Partington Cove Trail

MODERATE 193 reviews

Partington Cove Trail is a 1.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 1.1 miles Elevation Gain: 347 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

beach

river

views

waterfall

no dogs

Please note that portions of this trail are open as of March 2019. The Waterfall portion of the trail remains closed. All of trails in the park also remain closed. Please see park website for most up-to-date information on trail closures: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=29841 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
10 days ago

Easy, short hike down to three separate mini-hikes. The main attraction is the cove - accessed via a very cool 60 ft tunnel - where boats would unload shipments in the early 1800s. You can still see remnants of the loading elements. This is the “middle road” hike accessed by first crossing a wooden bridge over a stream. The hike that goes left goes to a wooded area next to the river, and to the right is a separate cove where you can watch the freshwater streams pour into the ocean while the waves crash over large rocks. Be careful about parking/driving past the entrance as there is no signage or parking lot on Hwy 1 for this hike, only a gate with posted hours. You will know by the cars parked along the sides of the highway - plus using a map for a general guide - where to access the trailhead.

hiking
17 days ago

This was a very rewarding hike down a cliff, over a bridge crossing a creek, through a tunnel, and to a gorgeous cove. We actually enjoyed the north side beach more as the waves were crashing with incredible “boom”s and splashing high in the air. The fresh water creek flowing into the ocean was a cool sight too. Easy hike for kiddos too (ours are ages 3 and 5).

hiking
23 days ago

A very short walk to the coast. Some people were fishing there.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful views. Easy hike. Went on weekend. If you arrive by 10, not crowded.

hiking
bugs
2 months ago

Loved this quick and easy trail! When you come to the splits, be advised that going left will take you to "pee central" where people apparently do their business and leave toilet paper/wipes all over the place. No real view here other than that. Going to the right, however, will take you to "cairn city" in another, private little cove. This one is worth the visit! The main cove is also quite lovely and, while I was there, I saw seals, dolphins, anemones, and diving birds! It was gorgeous. Highly recommend this "reverse hike"!

hiking
5 months ago

Beautiful short fun trail! The 3 separate paths at the bottom made it fun to explore and exciting to see what was at the end of each trail. The paths were more narrow so the trees and leaves did brush up against you as you traveled through the path. Would recommend wearing a long sleeve or having a long sleeve flannel. We spent about 45 mins on this hike and our favorite trail part was the far right path! Would def come back around 6pm or 7pm when it was less crowded!

hiking
6 months ago

BEAUTIFUL cove and ocean views!!! Steep but it's so short that it's okay.

hiking
over grown
rocky
6 months ago

Steep with a happy ending

hiking
7 months ago

for a short hike it sure delivers on views and gets right up next to the ocean.

hiking
7 months ago

Nice, short, steep trail with variety and pretty views. My previous experiences with this trail would have been five stars. But now I’m giving it only three stars because it was HEAVILY, HEAVILY trafficked by large groups of people without trail or backcountry etiquette. I found it hard to enjoy the nature experience with individuals yelling to each other from a distance and groups “hogging” the view for endless selfies.

hiking
7 months ago

Such a beautiful view at the end!

hiking
7 months ago

Busy busy trail, cool tunnel and bridge though.

hiking
rocky
scramble
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Good trail to explore the bottom of the cliffs at the ocean.

8 months ago

Very nice short trail with beautiful views. We saw a sea otter devouring its lunch. Highly recommend for a little walk, I would rate it between easy (trail quality) and moderate (in terms of fitness - short though so I think its almost doable for everyone).

hiking
9 months ago

The trail is a little steep on the way out. It might be hard for the elderly on a hot day. Kids could handle it though.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful, steep hike!

hiking
9 months ago

Nice well defined trail, good for the whole family. The trail forks to the right or left. To the left is towards the waterfall however there is still multiple down trees and it’s pretty much impassable with the family but if you’re own your own and in shape you can follow the creek up scrambling. Off the main trail if you go right or opposite the waterfall you come to another fork. To the left you cross a bridge and go through a cool tunnel. A few minutes later you end up at the ocean with nice views, if you go over to the right you will see the sea otters. Back on the fork if you choose to go right opposite the tunnel it leads you to a nice cove area, which the river flows into the ocean. Very nice spot that has more room and less populated.

hiking
10 months ago

Despite the steep climb on the path out we did this trail with young kids and the whole family really enjoyed it. Amazing river, bridge, cave passage, ocean side view and sea otters. All in was about an hour and 15 minute hike but we had little legs with us.

hiking
blowdown
10 months ago

2/25/19 Beautiful quick hike. The trail splits into 3 different sections, 1)waterfall trail, (tree had fallen and blocked reaching the waterfall), 2) through a cool tunnel opening to a gorgeous rocky viewpoint, 3) down the the rocky shore of a beautiful bay where the small stream joins the ocean. Quick and easy.

walking
Tue Jan 01 2019

Great short trail with the chance of seeing whales, otters, dolphins.

Mon Dec 31 2018

Pretty steep but it is very peaceful at the end.

Sun Nov 25 2018

Beautiful redwood grove at the end of a semi steep fire road. You’ll see fern and clover grotto, a stream, and end at ocean views and some tide pools left on the dock at low tide. Easy hike.

hiking
Tue Nov 06 2018

One of the best walk/hikes Ive ever done. The end down near the water is so gorgeous.

hiking
Sun Oct 07 2018

Scenery: 2 Views: 3.5 Difficulty: 3 Crowds: 3 Shade: 1 My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above: 5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP 4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park 4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail 5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park 5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park 4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park 4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail 5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak 4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

hiking
Thu Aug 30 2018

My son and I really enjoyed this hike. Loved the three different paths to take you into various parts of the flowing stream. We will be back again.

hiking
Tue Jul 31 2018

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.

Tue Jul 24 2018

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.

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