Timber Top and Boranda Trail

HARD 78 reviews

Timber Top and Boranda Trail is a 5.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, and camping. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.3 miles Elevation Gain: 2,503 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

camping

hiking

running

views

wildlife

scramble

hiking
over grown
12 days ago

Very mildly overgrown. Very doable. Excellent prep for bigger taller things! Up hill then down., pretty straight forward. Gorgeous views!!!! Would definitely recommend. Wasn’t busy at all over a weekend. Dog ran and we had a good time. No water crossing. Packed water in. Windy in the winter. Some spots without shade for sure but in Jan wasn’t a problem Several spots nice for running

1 month ago

Stunning views. Great work out. We brought our poodle who was covered in hundreds of ticks. The frequently overgrown trail serves as a tick hitchhiking hotspot. if it weren't for bathing our dog 3 times in tick shampoo when we returned, this would have been 5/5.

hiking
2 months ago

A little bit of a hill there. #cobrahikingclub #nojoes

hiking
bugs
over grown
3 months ago

Great workout. Definitely an uphill trek to the top! Lots of overgrowth on the trails, literally having to walk through a bunch of bushes, etc. kinda scary, kinda fun at the same time. We were checking each other for ticks non stop but never saw any. We did see a bobcat so make sure to be prepared for that! Took us 2.5 hours but we didn’t stop much. 1,000 calorie hike.

hiking
no shade
over grown
3 months ago

hiking
no shade
rocky
4 months ago

This trail has gorgeous views and is definitely a great workout with over 2,500 feet of elevation gain. One staff gets knocked off for how overgrown the trail is about the beginning fourth. There are also a lot of ticks, so check yourself after the hike! Another star gets knocked off as there is little to no shade on this hike. Even with sunscreen and having consumed 4L of water during this hike, I’m still burned badly. Be careful if it’s a hot day like when I went in the 90s!

hiking
4 months ago

Trail is very steep and difficult but worth it for the views. Ended up stopping around 1.5 miles in at a nice campsite overlooking the water, would definitely recommend.

backpacking
7 months ago

This is very difficult steep climb to Timber Top Camp. A little before half way up there is a nice view next to an oak tree with lots of shade and space off the trail to look at the views. This would be a good spot to turn around if you're day hiking. There's a picnic table at Timber Top Camp you can use to eat your lunch or a snack. We planned to keep on going to Cold Springs Camp by taking the short trail to the right over to Coast Ridge Road, but it's not depicted in the right spot on All Trails. Not only that but the trail is almost completely gone. To find the trail coming from the Boranda Trail once you enter the camp immediately turn right and go down the hill towards Coast Ridge Road. The map at bigsurtrailmap.net is a lot better and more accurate. Also there is water at Cold Springs Camp as of June 14th, but the tank has a leak. The tank is being refilled by a natural spring so it could still have water for awhile from now. Make sure to bring a water filter if you plan on using it.

hiking
7 months ago

Yes the trail is beautiful but there are so many bugs keep biting us the whole way. What. The. Hell. And at some parts the plants are so overwhelming. It looks like nobody is maintaining the trail. There are better trails with no bugs.

hiking
7 months ago

great trail. dog friendly. awesome views. relentless uphill battle.

hiking
8 months ago

Lovely hike! It was early May and there were a ton of bright yellow, pink, and violet wildflowers along the whole trail. It was overcast and foggy, but I still had some nice views. It’s a relentless climb, which I wouldn’t recommend unless you’re in good hiking shape. If you are, it shouldn’t take more than 3 hours max.

hiking
8 months ago

This was a wonderfully challenging trail with amazing views of the ocean, the coastline, and a plethora of multicolored wild flowers to feast your eyes on! Each viewpoint seems to get better and better. There are places to stop along the way for quick water breaks or a picnic if you packed one. My friend brought his dog and all three of us had a great time. Pretty consistent and sometimes pretty steep incline most of the trail. Parts of the trail have loose rock/gravel, so be careful not to slip! Check yourself for ticks after this hike. I would do this hike many times over and would definitely recommend if you’re up for a challenge!

backpacking
8 months ago

This is an awesome trail in the spring. The temperature was perfect, and the views were incredible. The first three miles up to Timber Top is a rough hike, especially with backpacking gear. I would say it is tougher than uphill on the Sykes hot spring trail on Pine Ridge. My friend and I actually kept going north along the fire road and camped at Cold Spring. It gets really windy and cold on the other side of the ridge, so bring layers!

hiking
9 months ago

Very nice trail but with a lot of elevation gain and loss. Views of the highway 1 and the ocean are incredible, but as you hike to the top, there’s less view. Meadows and wild flowers are so pretty! We’ve only seen a couple groups of people when we hiked. We are somewhat fit and this trail still took us 4 hours to complete. Bring your hiking poles because the elevation change is huge and you’ll save your knees and toes. I’ll definitely consider doing it again if I’m going to revisit Big Sur area in the future.

9 months ago

Firstly, this is an awesome trail. There are very few people for Big Sur, and at the top you get sweeping views of not only the coast, but the Santa Lucia Range if you look east. All that aside, take precautions to protect yourself from ticks. I found 30 of them on my dog after I got down.

hiking
11 months ago

Pretty nice trail, the climb is no joke though, it's damn near uphill for 80% of the trail. Unfortunately the fog rolled in so by the time we hit the ridge, we had zero view though I'd imagine it's beautiful up there. This would be a pretty cool quick overnight trip too. There's a campsite at the top with a picnic table and charcoal grill. I'm sure the views would be amazing on a clear day for sunset.

hiking
Mon Jan 07 2019

A great trail and a stiff workout. The grade is fairly intense for the majority of the 5 mile out and back, and your legs will likely be sore the next day. However it’s an excellent workout and great day hike without much shade. Took us just under 4 hours to complete.

Tue Nov 06 2018

Nice trail, up and down 4hours with stops. Lot of sun! Would recommend a night stay at the top

backpacking
Mon Sep 17 2018

Highly recommend as an overnight trip, so you can watch the sun set over the sea! You can camp at the top; we were only ones there.

hiking
Fri Sep 14 2018

Starts at a small pull-off right on the highway. Probably only fits a handful of cars. The entire trail is incline, though there’s a good combination of leveling out that it ended up being a good, but comfortable, workout. The views are downright spectacular. Must’ve taken a few hundred photos. Only saw one other couple the entire time

hiking
Tue Sep 04 2018

This is an awesome trail! I want to do it in late May next year because the flowers and the views are incredible.

hiking
Mon Sep 03 2018

Awesome, Views! Pretty steep, not much shade! Bring plenty of water! 4hrs round trip.

hiking
Sat Aug 11 2018

The views are incredible but prepare for 3+ hr hike round trip. We are two in shape guys and it took us a while... Route is very sunny - take the shade when you can get it. Views are incredible though - totally worth it.

Fri Jul 06 2018

Hard but beautiful. Steep uphill and little shade. Spectacular views.

hiking
Sun Jul 01 2018

We did the hike in late June. The bottom of the trail was full of really beautiful blooms and gorgeous views. It’s super steep with long stretches of no shade. About a mile in there is a long stretch of meadow that gets super steep, but it’s so worth it to make it to the oak tree and enjoy the beautiful view in a nice shady spot. We got a late start and it was pretty hot, so we decided to head back down from there.

Wed Jun 20 2018

Nice views. High climb not that much shade. Came across a tarantula.

Mon Mar 26 2018

Gorgeous views and just the type of strenuous workout that I was looking for. 4 stars, because there is almost no shade on this trail.

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