Cone Peak to Surprise Falls [CLOSED]

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Ventana Wilderness

Cone Peak to Surprise Falls [CLOSED] is a 11.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length11.5 miElevation gain3,398 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingNature tripsBird watchingForestViewsWaterfallWildlifeBugsScrambleClosed
Description
Waypoints (0)
Getting There

FIRE CLOSURE: As of September 2020 there are closures in this park or area due to wildfire. For more information, please visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lpnf/recarea/?recid=10974 Good for an overnight at Trailsprings or Ojito Camp, but certainly do-able in an ambitious day. Start at the Cone Peak Trailhead and pick up on this trail at the base of the cone peak summit trail.

Drove up from 101, through the Fort, up Nacimiento-Fergusson, on to the Cone Peak fire road/22S05, parked where I saw other cars and a sign for Cone Peak/Cone Peak trail, hiked that trail until the signage for the Cone Peak Summit trail vs continuation of Cone peak trail down to Trail Springs camp.

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Daylight
Reviews (11)
Photos (184)
Activities (1)
Completed (72)
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Jay Harrison
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HikingBugs

It was hot hot hot. Poison oak all over the trail and unavoidable at points. Lots of up hill. And mosquitoes. The views are amazing and there where places to gather water along the way. AllTrails is off on the mileage. It was about 28.5 total. Hard trail

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andie cihasky
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Hiking

heads up!! not sure what the trail is actually like! the road you can typically drive up to reach the trail head is closed!

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Ryan Fox
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Hiking

Trail was a bit hard to reach but worth it.

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Wyatt Mullen
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Backpacking

*As of August 10th, 2018 there was no water at the falls or next to the second Ojitos camp Started at the coast in Limekiln State Park and followed the Twin Peak/Cone Peak Loop. Camped at the first Ojitos Camp which was definitely an adventure to get down. Poison oak everywhere, but never really that hard to get along the path without touching it. ~10-15 trees to climb over or under. Campground could fit up to 2-3 tents optimistically but a nice place to stay the night and no one around. Water disappears and reappears as you make your way to the falls along the creek bed (perhaps the coolest part of the hike), but falls were completely dry. It wasn’t too hard to get to the base of them (path off to the left), but we decided not to continue onwards. Flies were prevalent anytime there was light in the sky, but after the sunset they disappeared almost immediately and they didn’t really bite, just wanted to climb up your nose. Mosquitos around only near twilight and early morning. Would definitely do again to check out the waterfall in the spring.

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Parker Clayton
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We hiked from the trailhead indicated by alltrails up to cone peak and then down to the Ojito campsite where we stayed the evening. The trail down to the camp was pretty steep (~800ft elevation over about a mile) and had a lot of poison ivy. This time of the year the flies got pretty bad, so make sure to bring insect repellant. The creek by Ojito campsite had some awesome pools to swim in, and we brought filters to fill back up on water. The hike out the next morning was a bit more climbing. Despite the bugs, it was an awesome trip with some great views.

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Panamint Pity
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Backpacking

We started at Vincente Trailhead and walked a counter clockwise loop to the fall. 20 miles, 2 days. The diversity of terrain, plants and views is huge. Redwoods, oaks, blooming Yuccas, meadows, creeks, views, views, views. Early May there was lots of water at Vincente Flat, Goat Camp, Ojito Camp and Trail Spring. Shortly before Stone Ridge Trail there were four options of trails. Take the second right. That’s the right way of Stone Ridge Trail to come to Goat Camp and the next water. We camped on Gamboa Trail at the entrance to the downhill walk to Ojito Camp. After 8 hours we avoided the climbing with the backpacks and wanted the views to the ocean. One tent-side is there. Next day we just took water bottles and some food with us to hike to the fall. It’s strenuous. You really need water shoes for the 2 miles through a river. With the dogs and no rope for us no chance to climb down the fall, but a bath on top was possible. After that river hike the climbing to Cone Peak hurt, but all in all every single pain was absolutely worth it.

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Danielle Kepics
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So we drove up using the directions from all trails and the final left hand turn to the trailhead the road was closed. So we ran into a couple that said you can start from the bottom at Kirk campground. They said they were “just shy of summit” and they turned around because it was getting late. We hiked from the bottom and went 7 miles with no summit in sight hahaha. It was STUNNING. And I loved it but I think the distance is from the trail head we weren’t able to access at the time. We parked at the bottom went for 7 miles (in about 3.5 hours. It is up hill. The elevation gain is real. But there are lots of straight seats too Andy the scenery is amazing!! BEWARE OF TICKS. LOAD YOU AND YOU LR DOG WITH DEET! They were alllllllllll over. I’d love to summit this thing but I think from the bottom it’s a multiple day hike. But def beautiful with ocean and redwoods!

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Carlos Espinoza
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Hiking
First to Review

Tried a there and back day hike, and the info is WAY off in regards to distance. We were running out day light and headed back. We ended up doing 12 miles and 4000+ feet of gain. So this hike is short of 15 miles, but totally worth it. We are planning on going back and starting a bit sooner. Would be ideal to do this in two days, so that you may enjoy the epic views.

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Dale Worsham
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Walking
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Royce Wesley
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Hiking
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Chelsea Harris
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