Manuel Peak Trail is a 9.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that offers scenic views and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 9.7 miles Elevation Gain: 3,395 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

views

rocky

washed out

closed

no shade

no dogs

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 there is currently no vehicle access to this trail or others in the park. See here for more info: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=30355

running
1 month ago

I ran the trail in about 1h and 40min. without water - not smart. This was hard.

hiking
no shade
over grown
3 months ago

Good: 1. nice view from the top 2. very steady grade 3. most of the way is protected from sun and wind Not so good: 1. trail may get very narrow, not for those who are afraid if heights 2. in many places goes through dense and rough vegetation Overall, it's better than average.

hiking
3 months ago

I would say it was a pretty difficult hike. Was pretty pooped towards the end. That said the views were quite beautiful from the top looking across the ocean. Some sections of the trail were rather narrow and may be difficult for less experienced hikers. Spotted a bobcat on the trail on the way back which was pretty cool.

hiking
blowdown
icy
muddy
over grown
rocky
washed out
4 months ago

This trail qualifies as very difficult. It is little more than a mountain goat trail. We didn't have time to get to the top due to a hort winter days and rain coming in, despite starting at 9 AM. We are not super hikers, but it was very tough. The views are incredible, despite not b being at the summit.

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
rocky
washed out
4 months ago

So I decided to hike this trail because it has the same name as me. Narcissistic? I hope not, but I’m glad to have done it, haha. The hike was closer to 11 miles roundtrip for me for some reason and I didn’t really go off-trail at all. Just a heads up! I started recording at the parking lot. I have not yet been on a trail so overgrown with bushes and trees. You should bring long sleeves and pants if possible like I did! This trail was quite narrow much of the time, washed out at other points, and there was a fallen tree. This was quite a difficult trail mainly because of all the brush and no shade. Some small portions had shade along the way, but don’t count on it being much (maybe 3% of the trail length?). I would say that the unexpected plus of this trail is that the elevation gain is nice and gradual going up all the way. That makes walking back much easier too. If this trail didn’t have so much brush, I definitely would think it to be one of the best so far. The top quarter of the trail (or maybe less) has tons of small flys (gnats?). They are prevalent in clouds here and there. This is not a trail for trail running in my opinion unless you like knowing that you are often on the fringe of death. I slipped off of the trail once while just walking with hiking sticks! It probably goes without saying that this is not something you should bring your kids on (and maybe even dogs, if they are allowed at all). The views of the ocean and mountain ranges inland from the coast were beautiful and make you feel so high in the sky! On a clear day I saw off into the horizon of the ocean until it disappeared. With all of the amazing views, it made up for the grueling hike! Don’t listen to AllTrails and hike past the radio tower at the top. The views don’t get any better after that and the brush is pretty thick.

recorded Recording - Dec 30, 03:24 PM

hiking
4 months ago

Not for me. I am afraid of heights and after a mile you are on the open house side with only a bunch of thicket in the down side of the trail. Could not get focused and had to turn around early once in the open house climb.

hiking
5 months ago

Take Mount Manuel trailhead to Homestead or parking in Day Use Parking Area 3 for a short 0.1 mile trek up an asphalt road.

hiking
5 months ago

Low 60’s sunshine with clouds. Great day. December. Wore hiking pants, sleeveless wo shirt tucked in (keep bugs from sneaking onto your skin) and a light long sleeve quarter zip over, and Salomons’. If you’re in shorts without good boots you messed up. Lots of sun first portion, 2 miles in there are 2-3 tick ride-along program sections. Brushed them off every few minutes. Second portion lots of overgrowth, holding dew and got soaked. People complain about the growth but it was fun, felt like a real backwoods hike. Had to duck, jump over, push through many areas. Top is amazing. Views all around are incredible. Went all the way to “peak” but wasn’t worth it. Best view at the seismic equipment. Probably awesome views if you turn right and scramble up the rocks before the equipment but didn’t do it. I’m fitter than most and went steady pace admiring my surroundings. Took 3 hours 15 minutes. Worked up a sweat but didn’t mind. Messed around up top, snacked, took pics and realized I’d been there about 45 minutes. Picked up pace on way down, 2 hours. Saw one other solo on way down, that’s it. Amazing. From truck, back to truck, my Garmin said 11.25 miles, 5.75 hours, 1500 cals. Great hike, great workout, not for beginners.

hiking
no shade
over grown
7 months ago

Beautiful views. Definitely a rough incline to tackle with the overgrown trails, but it’s worth doing it at least once.

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
scramble
washed out
8 months ago

This was the most worthless hike , nothing to see , a good workout but not for someone that has never hiked before . It can be challenging in some parts and no shade best if you do it in cooler weather. Wear long pants and long sleeves had to dinghy my way thru a few spots very overgrown and obviously not really maintained well .

hiking
over grown
8 months ago

This trail was challenging but worth it. Bring PLENTY of water! Rarely any shade until you get towards the top. This is not a trail for kids!!

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
scramble
washed out
8 months ago

This is a hard trail that requires both physical and and mental stamina. You need mental stamina to fight the overgrown weeds especially the last mile. The good news is the trail slopes are moderate so not hard on your muscles going up nor on your knees going down. about two thirds of the trail is exposed, no shade at all, so don’t do it in a hot day unless you are accustom to it. Bring a lot of water, I would recommend about 3L each. The trail is narrow and washed out at many places, we did not feel any danger although you have to pay attention. You are not likely to fall off trail unless you are drunk-hiking or taking a stupid selfie for your Instagram followers. Don’t do in a wet day as it can be slippery. Wear long sleeves, pants and a hat as you will be scratched by all sorts of overgrown bushes and weeds or get your hair caught in twigs. There is no « Peak » as such, so disappointing. I would really recommend turning back at the mini radar/weather station about 0.3 miles to the top, it’s not worth going all the way, there is nothing to see. We hiked down at sunset and had amazing views on the ocean. Bottom line, Very long and narrow trail, challenging but not much interesting, I won’t do it again.

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