Highway 1 to Cone Peak is a 22 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gorda, 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.

DISTANCE
22.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
6,584 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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 2-day backpacking trip from Highway 1 to the highest coastal peak in the contiguous 48 states.

backpacking
8 days ago

We did it in two days at a moderate pace and the worst part was just the heat at times. Unbeatable views.

backpacking
28 days ago

Fantastic trail. Went from H1 to Cone Peak Summit in a day. It was about 12 miles all uphill. Make sure to get water at the first camp because the spring on the San Antonio trail is dry and very overgrown as of October 13, 2018. Great views all the way. I camped on the Firewatch station with my one person ten, the station helped reduced the amount of wind. Don't sleep at the summit without a tent, years of people leaving their food/ trash up there has caused a rat problem at night. Other then that I cant wait to go back.

hiking
2 months ago

I day hiked this trail yesterday. i must say it’s one of the most challenging hikes i’ve done to date. the real challenge starts right after you get to Vicente Flat campgrounds. The views at the fire lookout is worth every single step. If you’re looking to train in distance and elevation gain for Mount Whitney, i recommend doing this hike. i did Whitney twice this year already, trust me :) Last but not least, being more than 3L of water on a hot day.

backpacking
2 months ago

generally: great big sur trail with ocean views, redwood grove, and then summiting cone peak for the last portion with option to hike part way or backpack;
parking: Easy parking at Kirk creek trailhead (no passes or fees)
trail conditions: relatively well maintained (by big sur standards), overgrown in some places, some poinson oak but we wore shorts and did not have a problem.
Scenery: The first few miles were shrouded in clouds and comfortably cool until we got above the cloud line a few miles in, redwood grove at vicente flat, exposed w expansive views for upper portion of hike to cone peak
water access: There was a stream flowing just past Espinoza, no waterfall Vicente Flat, but a stream less than half a mile past it.
We camped at Vicente flat, which was not crowded on a Saturday.

2 months ago

I had an amazing time backpacking this trail with my brother. Spent one night camping at Vicente Flats and a second night camping on Cone Peak. It’s not necessary to camp for 2 nights but it’s certainly worth it as the view of the Milky Way at night from the peak is breathtaking.

Lots of the trail is exposed to the sun and MUCH hotter than we expected from the weather report of Big Sur. This made it difficult for my dog, but not dangerous for her. Something to think about if you’re taking your furry friend.

Even in the middle of August there were water sources before Vicente and at. The creek bed in Vicente is dry but if you hike down it you will find water. Once you move beyond this point water becomes limited and there is absolutely none on the Cone Peak trail. I would suggest not hiking to the top unless you’re carrying at least a gallon per person and a little extra for your dog.

Overall this hike is incredible, Vicente Flats is breathtaking, and the views from Cone Peak are worth it. I would definitely do this hike again.

backpacking
2 months ago

Just finished this trail as an overnight backpacking trip. Would rather recommend doing this in the spring or fall. Summer’s too hot and the trail’s mostly exposed. Bring lots of sunblock. Creeks we’re running and got to filter some water. Stayed at Vicente Flats for the night. This is definitely a butt-kicker with a pack. Could be done as a day hike but start early.

backpacking
3 months ago

*no water at vicente*

We hiked in planning to either camp at Vicente or get water there and continue to cone peak. The hike to Vicente was gorgeous - ocean views most of the way and wildflowers all along the trail. There was a small stream right by Espinosa camp almost 4 miles in.

We reached Vicente on 6/9/18 and the stream/creek was bone dry. There was no water at any nearby streams. There were also big bee hives and lots of bees at the camp. We decided after looking for water for an hour or so to camp at Espinosa and refuel at the stream. It was beautiful there with ocean views and very quiet. There were a lot of gnats at dusk and dawn. The hike down the next morning was quick and shaded - we started out around 8am. It’s a beautiful hike.

Oh also beware of poison oak! I was spared but my boyfriend is covered. Careful about putting your pack in the brush.

5 months ago

strenuous 1 day ascent to summit from hwy 1 (took 8 hrs), overnight under the stars, spectacular views and stargazing, about 1/2 time for descent next day, worth the work. lots of poison oak but with long pants and sleeves have managed not to get a rash.

hiking
8 months ago

Fun and saw nobody out there. Beautiful view.

8 months ago

Feb 17-19, 2018.
*TONS OF POISON OAK*

This is a great first time backpacking trip. On presidents day weekend, we hiked in the five miles to Vicente Flat campground with all of our gear and set up camp. Definitely busy, but there's a ton of spots to set up tent. We were cozy with our neighbors, but everyone was polite. We left our camp set up and day hiked up to the peak just with day packs. Stayed at Vicente Flat Saturday night then hiked back out the 5 miles with our gear.

Despite it being February, I was wishing I was in shorts most of the time we were hiking, especially the 5 miles to and from Vicente Flat. It's pretty much all open, which allows for beautiful views of the coast but direct hot sun. This would be a pretty brutal hike in the summer. Even with warm days, we got a light dusting of snow at Vicente Flat Sunday morning, which was stunning.

We brought our medium sized Australian Shepherd, and saw a few other dogs throughout the weekend. The trail is pretty dog friendly, but I would recommend booties as a good amount of the trail is rocky, but totally doable for a relatively fit dog.

Overall, it was a really nice weekend trip. Beautiful view of the Big Sur coast, a nice mix of chaparral and redwoods, and Vicente Flat was a beautiful campsite.

backpacking
8 months ago

Nice trail, but very crowded.

Water:
The first stream is a couple of minutes past Espinosa Camp. The creek was dry at Vicente Flats, you need to hike up another 5 min to get to water. When you head up to Cone Peak, the last water was where the redwoods end. I did not see any sign of the spring mentioned in the trail description.

Camping:
There were easily 50+ tents at the Vicente Campground over president's day weekend. Lots of fun people, but not a lot of solitude if that's what you're looking for.

Hiking up to the peak:
Most people left their tents and stuff at Vicente and hiked up with a light pack, that way you could carry more water. I got up to the peak a bit after 10 and was alone there for almost a half hour before people started showing up. After 12 it got really crowded up there.

backpacking
10 months ago

Backpacking with two friends and a dog in mid November.
It Rained the day prior
Parking for about 15 cars maybe more at trailhead.

Overall medium high to low sun exposure throughout, with medium high to low poison oak as well.

Espinosa campsite is about 3.5 miles from trailhead and has Two available campgrounds

Vincente campsite is about 5 miles from trailhead and has Many available campgrounds

There is a River about 8.5 miles from trailhead, as well as a stream about 5 miles in

The Temperatures varied from sweating in shorts and sleeves rolled up during the day uphill to chilly mostly fully layered at night
Good for dogs
Some rowdy people when we were there.

backpacking
10 months ago

Great 2-3 night trip. We camped atop Cone Peak and saw a beautiful sunset and sunrise (see pics above). Our trip in late December was uncrowded, but had no water above Vicente Flat. There is plenty of parking off HWY 1 for easy access.

11 months ago

lovely views, be cautious of poison oak!

backpacking
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

I love this trail so much, and would like to go back in a couple of weeks. Does anyone know if you can currently park your car next to the trailhead off HWY 1?

hiking
Saturday, February 04, 2017

I have hiked hundreds of trails. This is one of the best. The views along the way are amazing: from the waves in the Pacific to the snows near the top and anything in between.

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