Sulphur Pots Camp

MODERATE 13 reviews
#28 of 163 trails in

Sulphur Pots Camp is a 7.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near San Luis Obispo, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.7 miles
1,437 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash









over grown

This is a great hike, especially for a quick night away from home. Sulphur pots is a small camp with fire-pit and limited space. Parking is at the big falls trail head. The most note worthy detail about this trail is that you will get wet, crossing the creek/river 50 times each way. WARNING: This is not a good choice during bad/wet weather. The creek fills up very quickly and becomes a river which can reach 5-6 feet in depth overnight! Difficulty can be from easy to moderate depending on the season and recent weather activity.

21 days ago

Parked at the Big Falls Trail. Recommend a truck as the water crossings to get there would be too much for a sedan/ car. From the parking lot to Sulphur Pots Camp site is just over 4 miles, crossing the stream about 30 times. Your feet will get wet so take extra shoes/ socks. The trail is overgrown and we did some trimming. There is a ton of Poison Oak, but It doesn't affect me. Camp site was nice with a fire pit and picnic table (Boy Scout project). Trees worked well for hammocks. Saw 3 eagles under the tree canopy on the trail and a small bear. Great camp.

2 months ago

Backpacked from Rinconada trail to 101 E Cuesta Grade. Camped 1 night on Big Falls Trail, second night at Sulphur Pots. Super cool area, lots of water (dried up just above Upper Lopez Camp), just SO MUCH poison oak. Definite evidence of a trail, but hours walking through with PO all around the trail.

4 months ago

Started at the Big Falls trailhead, I got there in my 2 wheel drive GMC truck, You have to drive through about 8 or 9 streams to get to the trailhead. so high clearance or 4 wheel drive vehicle works well. At the trailhead, a KIA Sorento and Ford Explorer made it. so maybe I'm just being cautious.
The trail is excellent. The creek was flowing great and the multiple crossings reminded me that I should have brought extra socks. However; about 3.5 miles up the canyon. the trail was totally overgrown. We were probably 20 minutes out from the camp. but didn't have any brush clearing tools. We turned back and crossed the creek another 10 times or so and went back to SLO for dinner.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Gates closed at the 101

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Started this hike at Mt Lowe trailhead. The hike to the East Cuesta portal was pretty windy with the usual mtn bike traffic up to that point. Descending the trail was slightly steep with a lot of storm damage I.E. several trees blocking the trail and some over growth. Very little poison oak currently. There was a bear in the area. Apparently this trail isn't traveled much, at least this time of the year. We observed no trash nor human tracks the entire way. Lots of deep leaves coverage on the trail. Watch your step! The creek is running at an easy rate. As we got to the valley floor we were treated to lots of mushrooms and some flowers. Crossing the creek was easy. Here there is little poison oak, but use caution as there is a wee bit. We backtracked out of this beautiful valley to the trail portal with moderate wind in the expected places. Parts of the trail are narrow with steep drop offs, so use extra caution. The Mt Lowe rd was super windy and chilly. A good base layer makes for a comfortable trek in and out this time of the year. I do recommend taking gloves and a medium jacket or light coat that might pack easily in your rig. The short days make for a quick drop in temperature in that valley. The morning temp was 42 at the top with an added wind chill. Overall an awesome day. There was zero traffic on the trail the entire day.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The hike is moderate. Sedan cars aren't sufficient enough for the road leading to the trail. We were lucky we were in a truck. Hike is beautiful! We went mid July 2016 and the big waterfall was dried up. Great experience

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I hiked from the Rinconada Loop trailhead to Cuesta at the end of May 2016. The trail is there, but it's overgrown in a couple of spots. Be ready for some wet feet.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

We started our trip at the top of the cuesta grade on the 101. The first four miles was on a fire road, flat wide trail but very steep. we gained 1000 feet in 4 miles. At the trail head the trail starts to drop down into the canyon the poison oak starts and gets worse starts worse the next 4 miles to sulphur pots. There was plenty of water. If you can put up with the poison oak I suggest this hike. if you hike through to the big falls trail head it is about 12 miles.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Beautiful canyon. I hiked from Hwy 101 thru to Big Falls Creek. The trail was tricky between Upper Lopez Camp and about 2 miles NW of Big Falls. Lots of poison oak but was able to keep my feet dry most of the way.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Great trail! Sometimes the trail was tough to see, follow the red plastic ties. Actual distance is I out back round trip! You van also take it all the way to cuesta! Can't wait to try it!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Wish I would have read the reviews before the drive out there. I was unable to make it do to the creek running through the road. Will go back in a 4x4 soon

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Amazing drive out there! Very beautiful, great views... but three miles from the trail head a stream cut through the road -- not passable in my Hyundai Elantra. We'll try going going back in something with more clearance.

Monday, July 04, 2011

I've done this trip twice so far, both were for an overnight camping. I will say I'm taking a guess at the 4.4 miles, seemed like a good guess but GPS doesn't get a signal due to the canyon.

1st time was a true adventure, was raining the whole time and the river filled up over the night and had quite the time getting out (long story)...

2nd time I took my wife and it was really nice out. She doesn't hike as much as I do but is in pretty good shape and did a good job.
As the description says, you have to cross the creek 50 times going in so expect to get a little wet year around, pack some extra socks/shoes.
The campsite is pretty small but fairly cleared out with a nice little fire pit. Also has a above ground toilet with a fence between the camp and the toilet (half a outhouse?) but very nice for the girls who don't like going in the bushes.
Fun little trip if you need a quick get away close to home or are in the area for the weekend!