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Cone Peak via Highway 1 is a 21.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that features beautiful wild flowers 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.

Length 21.3 mi Elevation gain 6,230 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Closed

Description
Waypoints (5)
Tips

Please note that it has been reported that this trail is currently closed due to COVID 19. Start from sea level and summit the highest coastal mountain in the contiguous 48 states. Cone Peak rises dramatically from the Pacific Ocean and offers great views of the Lucian Range. Enjoy this multi-day backpacking trip from Highway 1 to this scenic peak.

- A fire permit is required for both stoves and campfires. Permits are available at Big Sur Station. - Water can be very scarce at times. Make sure to bring as much water as possible. - Kirk Creek Campground is right next to the trailhead. This can be a great option for travelers who want to get an early start or wind down afterwards. - Poison oak and rattlesnakes are prevalent in the area. Be on the lookout for both! - The hike to Cone Peak from Vicente Flat is exposed to the sun for extended periods. Make sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (122)
Photos (657)
Recordings (97)
Completed (212)
Kellen Broemmelsiek
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 15 2020
Hiking

The trail is a bit overgrown in parts. The steam water level is low. There is plenty of camping at Vicente Flats. Everyone on the trail was happy to be there.

Jacob Cottle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 25 2020
Backpacking

Went in late March. Was absolutely beautiful. Mostly uphill the entire way. Had some gorgeous. Views of the ocean insuring the first couple miles of the hike

Sarah Wissenback
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Apr 25 2020
HikingClosed

I’ve been on this trail before and it’s gorgeous and lovely and very challenging (for me ) so I’m giving this 5 stars. However I wanted to post on here so that people were aware that the trail is currently closed!! I saw a week or so ago someone had posted they’d gone, so I don’t know how recent they’ve started to enforce it, but I did try and hike this for a few hours, sneaked past the very clear closure signs, enjoyed the view for a bit and then determined that was a bad idea after a few miles and headed back. When I got back to my car just 3 hours later there was a notice from the CHP that if my car remained there, I could be fined up to $5000... so they’re not messing around! There were a few other cars parked there as well so I hope they didn’t get fined! (I was planning on staying a few nights but luckily my gut told me to get out of there and follow the rules! Otherwise I’d be contentedly camping on a mountain right now while accumulating $5k in debt!) Anyway, fingers crossed this trail opens up again soon, because I love it! Stay safe out there, fellow hikers!

Kevin Dobson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Apr 16 2020
Hiking

Amazing trail with incredible views. At each turn there was something new that left us speechless. This could and easily should be a 2-3 night backpacking adventure. We did the whole loop in two days and one night. Plenty of water throughout but Goat Camp is way off of where it is labeled on All Trails. The only negatives are the amounts of ticks and poison oak but come prepared and you’ll be fine. In addition, be ready to earn the views. Regardless of the direction you choose your climbing 5,000+ vertical feet in a relatively short distance.

View Kevin's Recording
Syed Wahaj
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Mar 19 2020
HikingSnow

Loved it! Backpacked during the week ascending on Thursday afternoon and arriving at Vicente Campground 5 miles later.. Decided that this would be the perfect hike during Covid-19 breakout and Yep!! I was right, it is truly a hidden gem. No permits needed for staying over night at Vicente camp, only permits required if you will make a fire or use a portable stove. Lots of spots for hammock, definitely recommend it. Water source at camp. The next morning I left my overnight supplies in my hammock, only took up layers of clothing, food and water. (Definitely recommend it) - Started my ascend to Cone peak 6.5-7 mile hike, all the signs are pretty clear. Ugh... I am missing it already it was sooo beautiful.. 360 views the whole way up. You can see the goal from a mile away which is great motivation, it was not too cold at top but I also got lucky with great weather. Definitely need layers. Jogged all the way down, super fun! highly recommend it. Got back to my car by at a perfect time for a beautiful gorgeous orange sunset. Check weather, plan ahead, don't worry about water. Have lots of fun :)

C S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Feb 21 2020
BackpackingBugsRocky
View C's Recording
Henning Heine
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Feb 17 2020
Hiking

Hiked over President’ day (Feb 15-16, 2020) from Kirkwood and set up camp at the top off of fire road. Great views. Hike from fire road to peak was tough. We climbed the peak the 2nd day and made our way back to Kirkwood in ~4 hours. Perfect weather but bring layers. Load up on water at Vicente. No water source on top. Beware of ticks.

Jen McGarvey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jan 06 2020
Hiking

As of 1/5/2020 Lots of water at Vicente Flats creek (fill up there) No snow on cone peak (there was back in November, so make sure you check the latest forecast and are prepared) Trails were all pretty clear

Corrine S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jan 04 2020
Hiking

Did a two day backpacking trip over New Year’s Eve/New Years. Camped at Vicente Flat for the night and refilled my water there. Started out early to catch the sunrise on the peak. Would recommend! No issues with bugs and the weather was perfect this time of year. It’s probably helpful to have water proof or resistant shoes as you cross the river several times when you leave Vicente Flat. Great views at pretty much every point of the hike!

Evelyn Muros
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Dec 15 2019
Hiking

It’s nice. Just summited with my dog

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James Witkin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 16 2019
Hiking

Great trail. A lot of poison oak but avoidable if you’re careful. No water at Vicente as of October 2019 but if you continue on the trail for 5-10 minutes towards Cone Peak the river starts flowing again.

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Royce Wesley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Oct 16 2019
Backpacking

Took this trail as a first section of a low mileage backpacking loop a few years back. Nice views and low traffic.

Gabriel Fanelli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Oct 11 2019
Running

Ran this in about 6 hours or so. Once you break off the main trail to the forest road it’s HOT and exposed. Once you come back onto the trail heading up to the lookout on cone peak the flies were nasty and vicious! The way back was all downhill. I don’t recommend trying this in one push unless you’re experienced and bring a lot of good nutrition along with you. I had to refill my water sources in the creek at the campground on the way back. Took a nice little soak too! Gorgeous views all around. Lots of overgrown sections and poison ivy/oak. Get ready for a long day.

Mike McCann
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 23 2019
HikingBugs

You don’t have to do this hike to get to the top. There’s a dirt road that takes you to a parking lot 1 mile from the peak. You’re welcome.

C S
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 21 2019
BackpackingBugs
View C's Recording
Andrew Gregg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Sep 14 2019
HikingBugsOver grown
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Lindsey Arnold
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Aug 24 2019
HikingBugsOver grown
View Lindsey's Recording
Giovanni Minelli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 17 2019
Hiking

Trail was in good condition. Still decent amounts of water at Vicente Flat campground. Small inconsistency with the AllTrails map at the top of Vicente Flat Trail before hitting Cone Peak Rd- just follow the trail and you’ll hit the road about 1/4 mi after All Trails says you will. Load up on water before leaving the watershed, that climb is a good challenge!

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Solo Her
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 17 2019
Hiking

Backpack this trail back in May.. it was a holiday wkend and the campground was so full. Beautiful trail n area. The first 3 mile to Vincente flat is exposed. On the way to summit the peak the next day we encounter rain, wind, and even a bit of snow up at the top. On the way down the shine finally shine. We camp at Vincente and did a day hike to the top next day which I recommend. We did other trails around the area after setting up camp.

samrao1997 .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Aug 08 2019
Backpacking

One of my favorite backpacking trips! Vincenete flats is a great campground sooo big and water year round! I would recommend making vincente your base camp and leaving you gear there while going to cone peak. I have this trip both ways and prefer leaving my gear behind because the last leg is extremely brutal and can be very hot! However camping at the peak is awesome, has outstanding 360 view of sunset and night sky, so whose to say. No water supply at the top tho so idk. Such good memories with this trip ugh

Katsy Pline
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 07 2019
Hiking

A fantastically beautiful and rewarding backpacking route that winds its way through a wide variety of landscapes. Dry oak grasslands, lush redwood canyons and windy mountain peaks support wildly diverse plant populations, often varying from one ridge to the next. Spectacular views of the Pacific for most of the loop. We camped at Vicente Flat the first night. The following day we headed up to Cone Peak and from there to the beautiful but difficult to access Ojito Camp. Ojito Camp is quite small (it has room for 2 tents) but there are a couple of 'false' camps less than a quarter mile downriver that have extra space. There was plenty of water at Trail Springs, Goat Camp, Ojito and Vicente Flat as of mid-June.

Jessica Weant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 03 2019
Hiking

Tons of poison oak on the trail. There are a fair number of ticks on the trail mostly from Vincente flat to the fire road. We set up base camp at Vincente flats and submitted cone peak the following day. Came back down to Vincente flats for the night and packed out the next day. The trail is very exposed once you hit the fire trail and I would recommend being prepared with ample water and starting as early as possible. A number of ppl ran out of water on the way up. Vincente flats is crowded with backpackers and cone peak seems to get a good deal of day hikers in addition to the backpacking crowd. Overall the trail is beautiful and I highly recommend. Please remember to leave no trace and pack out your trash including toilet paper.

Naomi Myers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 29 2019
Hiking

The first hour-ish of the hike is pretty exposed, but the beautiful view of the coast is totally worth it. My husband, pup and I were planning on making it a 3 night trip for Memorial Day weekend to the Peak, but when we got to Vicente Campground, we decided to jut stay the entire time there. It was absolutely stunning!!! Plenty of water to filter from the flowing stream - not sure how long into the summer it will last, so plan accordingly. BEWARE OF POISON OAK AND TICKS! We both came back with poison oak. I had a tick collar for the dog but I wish I had one for myself. I woke up with a tick deep into my back one morning - so bring the proper tools and check yourselves often. While filter water, my husband and I caught three ticks that had tried to hitch hike on our bodies before they burrowed. TONS of other people camping down there - probably at least 100, but we still found a secluded spot and didn’t run into anyone hardly at all the entire weekend. All in all, I would 100% go back!

Kenzie Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed May 22 2019
Hiking

Beautiful hike! Hit the summit in one day & camped overnight at the fire lookout. Took about 8 hrs to get to the top from hwy 1. Started at 1100 and got to the lookout at 1900. The fire road is open right now and the trail conditions were great! Definitely don't recommend doing the whole 11 mile ascent in a day unless you're an experienced hiker.

Tanner Scott
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue May 14 2019
Hiking

Great out and back hike that can be done easily in 24 hours. Pack plenty of water even though the springs and the creek are flowing well.

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Josie Sova
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Apr 28 2019
Backpacking

This was a tough one! I would definitely recommend setting up camp at Vincente Flats and doing it as an out and back the next day. Or do 2-3 nights. The elevation gain to summit is pretty intense and there is no water source from Vincente until about 1.4 miles past the fire tower. Beautiful views and a rewarding trail but make sure you have plenty of water and give yourself enough time!

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Mike Siders
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Apr 15 2019
BackpackingBugs

What an awesome trip. We started at Highway 1 and hiked into Vincente pretty early on Friday (4-12). When we arrived not many people there so we found a good site and set up camp. Vincente is a really cool spot. Tons of fire pits and a beautiful area with redwoods. The Creek was flowing well and plenty of firewood to find. Sadly quite a bit of toilet paper in the area. Sucks to see how careless people are with this. We started our trek up to Cone Peak the following morning around 730 and reached the summit around 11ish. If you take the 6 mile route up, I will say, it's a rough hike. The climb out of Vincente to the fire road is a lot of gain but once you hit the road, it levels out quite a bit. The switchbacks and final ascent to the summit was tough but overall not bad. The views are amazing. We were fortunate enough to have clear skies and it was a beautiful day. Due to how early it was, we opted to take the long route back and make a loop. I don't regret the decision but it was a LONG hike. I clocked in at 16.82 miles and 4500FT of gain overall. I don't think I'd do the loop again. We saw a ton of people taking the long route up to the summit which I also don't think I'd do. Too long and seems a bit repetitive. I'd likely just do an out and back next time. You do get some amazing views on Stone Ridge trail though. Exposure is high on the majority of this so make Sure you're prepared. Also, a lot of ticks. I got bite twice but caught them right away. Be aware when you're out there. We also came across some folks who seemed not very prepared for the summit including someone who we met the next morning again who seemingly got lost and ended up back at the car. Not sure what happened but I will say, Cone Peak is not an easy hike. Do your research ahead of time on the trails and make sure you're well prepared for the elevation. With the proper planning, you'll be rewarded with some unreal views and a great sense of accomplishment

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