Kirk Creek Campground to Vicente Flat Trail

HARD 28 reviews
#3 of 13 trails in

Kirk Creek Campground to Vicente Flat Trail is a 10.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
10.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2595 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

mountain biking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

no dogs

Directions from San Luis Obispo, CA: Take Highway 1, 80 miles north of San Luis Obispo or 35 miles south of the community of Big Sur.

backpacking
2 months ago

Beautiful views along the entire hike and lots of poison oak as others have mentioned. Wear pants if you are sensitive to it because it is pretty much impossible to avoid. There is only one tiny stream along the way so bring enough water to get you the 5 miles to Vicente flats.
There are a lot of campsites and it was nearly empty on the Tuesday I stayed. Only a few other campers so I found a great site along the creek. The rushing water drowned out most of the sounds of the forest so it was quite serene and peaceful. The sites are all in a pretty dense redwood forest so there is almost total shade all day.
Mosquitos were active near dusk but didn’t last too long.
Overall, a great short backpacking trip in the Ventana Wilderness.

backpacking
2 months ago

Gorgeous area. Poison oak is thick along a good portion of the trail, many times growing into the trail so that you have to maneuver over or around it. The trail is only wide enough for one way traffic, so at times you may have to move over into the poison oak. So beware. We arrived on Thursday at 12:30 pm and found one of the last available parking spots alongside Hwy 1. The trail is steep, right from the beginning, and for the majority of the way to Vicente Camp. The views are incredible, from multiple different spots. Many flowers along the way. The campground was not too crowded. We could not hear anyone talking, over the sound of the rushing creek. Very serene and beautiful spot.

hiking
2 months ago

The trail is in good condition and the walk overlooking the ocean is spectacular. There are six trees across the trail, one is a “Killer Tree” which I flagged with killer tree flagging, when passing under this tree avoid touching it or spending any time in the vicinity near the tree. I plan to bring in a crosscut saw next week and clear the trees. The campsites at Vicente Flat were very clean and not much toilet paper around the campsites, everyone seems to be OK with packing out their toilet paper.
Please practice Leave No Trace when visiting our public lands.
Check the Ventana Wilderness Alliance web site for up to date trail conditions. http://www.ventanawild.org

hiking
3 months ago

Beware Poison Oak!
A great hike along steep exposed hillsides and deep redwood filled creek draws, climbing up to a very nice stand of redwoods with several backpack campsites. There are some trails marked on ca state park maps that show the trail from limekiln state park connecting to this trail but that trail is unmaintained and full of windfalls and erosion from 2007 fire damage. Great views of the coastline and the extremely steep canyon of Hare creek and Limekiln creek below towering Cone peak. You can proceed to Cone Peak from Vicente Flat or turn around and go back to Kirk Creek campground. It was 55 degrees and sunny on February 22 with a light breeze. There is another campsite about 3 miles in that looks out at the ocean. Condors flew overhead and great sunset views over the ocean horizon made this an unforgettable day hike!

backpacking
3 months ago

This trail was great. We started around 11am and made it to the end around 4pm. We stopped to take a lot of pictures and took a few breaks along the way too. The views were amazing and the weather was perfect. The first part takes you along a ridge heading north then the next half or so takes you through redwoods and past creek passings. There were places to filter water at the campsites but we had to do a bit of walking to find the running water. The only reason this trail didnt get five stars from me was because it was a bit more crowded than most other "moderately trafficked" trails I have been on. There were so many people we were wondering if there was some 3 day weekend of government holiday that we had spaced on. There wasn't, there just happened to be almost 30 other campers across the campgrounds. Now normally this would completely ruin the illusion of being out on my own while backpacking resulting in a worse rating but the saving grace was that the sites where you could camp were huge and really spread out. From where you first walk in to the campground to the spot we ended up picking it was almost a .75 miles away. So while crowded, we didn't have to deal with other people to much. All in all this trail was great and I'm sure I'll be back in the future.

hiking
5 months ago

12.22.17

It was a clear day and the views were great. Had I known there were nice campsites at the end I would have brought camping gear and stayed the night. There are even more trails to head out on past the campsites.

5 months ago

Loved walking out the front door from camp and heading out on this trail, beautiful hike.

backpacking
8 months ago

Good trail with many campsites at the end.
We tried going to Cone peak on day 2 but it was too hot.

backpacking
10 months ago

Vincente flats is a good destination for an easy one nighter. Beautiful morning and afternoon. I definitely want to do it again and go all the way to Cone peak.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Pretty great hike, go as far as you want! Sun exposed so bring lots of h2o

backpacking
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Friday, February 10, 2017

ALL TRAILS EAST OF HWY 1 ARE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO THE 2016 WILDFIRE! $5000 FINES LEVIED AGAINST ANYONE TRESPASSING ON THE TRAILS!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Awesome view

camping
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nice place to camp for the night, and a cheaper alternative to camping in the state parks ($22 at the time of writing). Watch out for the poison oak though.

hiking
7 months ago

backpacking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

11 months ago