Cone Peak to Surprise Falls

HARD 3 reviews
#1 of 6 trails in

Cone Peak to Surprise Falls is a 9.8 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.

9.8 miles
3366 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash





nature trips








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.

1 month ago

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!

2 months ago

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.

9 months ago

I was determined to hike the river until I saw some waterfalls and I did! It takes some serious scrambling to get to the bottom of it, but can be done cautiously and safely.