Partington Cove Trail

MODERATE 55 reviews

Partington Cove Trail is a 0.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that features a waterfall. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and walking.

DISTANCE
0.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
308 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

walking

beach

river

views

waterfall

no dogs

A hike down a steep road that will take you over a wooden bride and through a tunnel to a view of the protected Partington Cove. The hike back up the hill will be steep, but is short. There is a lovely quick side trip to a river if you take the path left of the wildlife sign before the bridge. Highly recommend--it's peaceful and secluded, and you can take some time to enjoy the shade and the sound of the water.

hiking
17 days ago

Paradise by the seashore. One of the most picturesque beach hikes I’ve ever done. Partington Canyon and cove was named for the Pioneer family who settled in the area in 1874. A moderate hike down to the cove through a short mountain tunnel and you find yourself in a late 19th Century “dog cove” where supplies were shipped and off loaded from the sea. There’s a comfy bench to take in the stunning views. You can still see the remnants of the wood and steel apparatus used to off-load supplies. If you take the other path (to the right) you will arrive at a beautiful rocky shore. We sat and watched sea otters frolicking in the water before us. Could have spent a whole day in this area. It’s not a long hike but the view is invigorating and inspiring. Not to be missed.

24 days ago

Loved this hike!! Once you hike down the switchback You can go right and sit on the rocks by the beach and listen to the waves crash. You can go left and walking along the creek to a small waterfall. Or you can go straight and though the wooden tunnel (which is super rad!) and check out the beautiful cove. It’s beautiful and worth the trip. Be careful, poison oak is everywhere so I would recommend long pants.
Going back up, the hill is steep but not too long, that’s the only “challenging” park of the hike.

28 days ago

Too crowded, very short and not an amazing view. Not very challenging (rather easy than moderate).

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a favorite stop in Big Sur for me; three different areas for the hike down!

Don’t forget the forest area, it’s awesome too!

1 month ago

This trail was perfect for a small trip with much to see. It has a wonderful coastal view at two lookout points as well as a small waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

Short walk down to a nice cove.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

This was my favorite stop in Big Sur. You hike down a mountain on a dirt path that has a few little offshoots/detours -- take them! One on the left leads to a beautiful stream in a shady meadow. Once you get to the cove, it's just so beautiful and amazing. Plan to sit and enjoy the waves for a bit. Then the hike up is all uphill but not too long, nice to get in some workout after being in the car anyway.

2 months ago

It is really easy to miss but so worth it. Park by side of road and hike down past the gate. Steep walk down so be careful of slipping on rocks/dirt. The trails are each beautiful and have something to offer. Such a unique spot in Big Sur

2 months ago

Lots of poison oak. Good place to eat lunch. Easy short hike.

3 months ago

Loved it!!! If you have hiking boots I would definitely grab them as you’re going down a trail that is a little steep with loose dirt and rocks. The waterfall part is very short walk at the bottom of the main part of the hill. Very pretty. After that stay to the left and go over the bridge to a beautiful trail that leads you to a fun tunnel and out into a beautiful water outlook. You need to come back the same way unless you are very agile to go over a fair amount of rocks. Once you’re back to the main trail go on to the ocean outlook, so beautiful!!! Now time to go back up the hill. Take it slow and it will be over before you know it

3 months ago

Easy to miss. highway 1, going south. if you get to Julia Pfeiffer State park you' ve missed it. easy to miss as there are no signs but youll notice all the cars park on both sides, curve to the righr going south...beautifull hike. we did it with three kids (2,13,15) and they all loved it. you cant foresee its beauty from the road but absolutelly worth it. do both paths once you are almost at the bottom, to the right to see the beach and the end of the creek, and to the right, through a wooden bridge to see the mine type tunnel and the beautiful ocean view

hiking
4 months ago

I wouldn’t miss this again. Pretty easy hiking and incredible views of a river to a waterfall to the ocean. Beautiful.

4 months ago

Partington Cove is a great, albeit heavily trafficked, easy stop, right off ofthe 1 on the north end of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park which offers an introduction to Big Sur’s rugged coastal beauty and charm. There is also a riparian environment here, as the cove serves as one of the steep mountains of Big Sur’s thousands of drainages. Although it is short and good for children, the hike back up is steep. Definitely not the kind of place one would ever get in the water, and be careful of breaking waves if you decide to wander out on the rocks, especially on the far side of the tunnel. There are some great spots to explore, but the ocean is no joke! Keep your wits about you, and always make sure you can get back from where you are venturing out to!

hiking
6 months ago

A nice, quick little stop, I was lucky enough to have the cove to myself during sunset, and it was just barely misting and full sun...absolutely beautiful...do not climb the rocks too much like I did, I realized after climbing to a point that I was in a pretty remote spot and could have easily fallen off a cliff into the ocean with no safe way back out...hopefully people are wiser than me

hiking
6 months ago

It was pretty foggy when we hiked this trail this afternoon but still glad we did. Well worth it. We were able to see down into the cove even tho we couldn’t See out into the ocean. Beautiful!

hiking
6 months ago

Awesome trail, plenty to explore, beautiful sites throughout the trial. For my first hike on the coast I’m glad I went here.

hiking
9 months ago

hiking
Friday, June 17, 2016

Such a beautiful hike. My wife and I hiked this trail with another couple we met in Big Sur, two days before our wedding. Was our first hike together, and I don't think we could have picked a better one. Went out on the rocks, saw tons of sea urchin and huge waves. Will need to do this one again when better prepared next time in Big Sur.

hiking
Saturday, April 23, 2016

Beautiful ocean vista on the tunnel side.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Quick easy walk. Just beautiful!

hiking
Thursday, September 10, 2015

Short and sweet. After you walk down to the rocks on the main trail definitely take the tunnel to Partington Cove on your way back. If you want to hike the Tan Bark Trail the Partington Cove is a good one to do the same day because they are across the street from each other. Neither one of these trails are marked from the road because they are not State Parks. Cell phone reception is non existent at best so make sure you have maps/mile markers or whatever you are using to find the location downloaded in advance.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Short hike but beautiful! My partner and I ran downhill. We climbed out to the rocks and watched the waves. Must do indeed!

hiking
Sunday, January 05, 2014

There is a lot of history in these coves, as you can see by walking through the hewn tunnel (past the lovely creek) and noting the concrete footings that still remain of the pier that was used to off load supplies from coasting ships over a century ago.
One can even do a "Sitz-dip" in the creek on a hot day (rare).
This is a good place to see a hidden secret of Big Sur and to avoid the larger crowds at the Pffiefer State Park just south.
The real hidden gem is the trail up through the redwoods acrid the road. A way longer hike but nicely remote.

hiking
Friday, August 30, 2013

A quick trip down to a spectacular cove! Very relaxing. I highly recommend taking the side trail to the left of the wildlife sign on your way down. You'll see a great creek, and it's very peaceful to listen to the water and take pictures of the mini-waterfalls.

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