Sykes Hot Springs via Pine Ridge Trail [CLOSED]

HARD 111 reviews

Sykes Hot Springs via Pine Ridge Trail [CLOSED] is a 19.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that features hot springs and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

19.5 miles
7634 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly






nature trips

trail running



hot springs



wild flowers



over grown




Closed until December 2017 Big Sur has many great destinations, but Sykes Hot Springs is definitely near the top of the list for anyone who has been there. It is roughly 9-10 miles to the Skyes campground, and limited climbing after the first 2 hours (which can be steep at times, and tiring in the direct sun). It is possible to treat it as a day hike, but it is recommended to take some time for the hike, as there are rolling green hills, several waterfalls, and wildflowers throughout the trail, none of which should be missed. The hot springs is about 8 feet across and a couple of feet deep--about the size for 4 adults, and it stays around 100 degrees depending on rain. Start by parking at the Ventana Wilderness area ranger station and heading towards the back parking lot.

3 months ago

3 months ago

Loved this hike - had to cut down the stream to the springs once you got there. Definitely felt crowded, this was on a weekday in 2011.

3 months ago

Crowds were getting pretty intense up here before the Fall 2017 fire. Haven't been back since it burnt but used to be one of my favorite places in big sur.

3 months ago

6 months ago

6 months ago

closed due to road hwy 1 road closures

7 months ago

7 months ago

Awesome trail, nice to backpack for the night. Can be crowded at the Springs.

7 months ago

This is a highly traveled trail so if you don't like crowds either go during the week or try another trail. The hot springs at the end are nice, but you have to share a 2/3-person bath with approx 8+ people. A little too much sweat and bodily fluids in one body of water for me. Camping spots are generally pretty crowded because of the number of people coming through. Definitely a tough hike, especially in the heat.

8 months ago

We did This back in 2012. Epic hike with a reward at the end

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

WARNING: This Trail is closed as part of Soberanes fire. While Sykes wasn't affected by the fire. There has been reports of people Illegally camping in and having campfires according to the ranger station.

The ranger, said that it'll be closed for a while. Likely to open back up in April.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A bit tedious up and down the whole way but nice hike with cool River and springs at end

Friday, September 02, 2016

First time where I hiked and camped overnight with all my gear. Left at 4pm and got up before it got dark to setup camp. Definitely needed the hot springs to recover. Dogs barely made it but did it 2 days. Definitely possible if you keep a good pace

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

One of my all time favorites! The hike is long and I'd say moderate but long. The end is definitely worth it. Bring a bathing suit :)

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Friday, August 05, 2016

I have backpacked to Ventana Camp once before I did this trek. I really am not entirely experience in backpacking and I am here to warn you if you are not experienced I would skip this trip or maybe just settle for a closer camp. It took me two days to get out to Sykes. We kinda just decided to go on the trail and see how far we could go and we ended up making it all the way to Sykes. It was gorgeous there. WAY to many people though and people were not respecting others turns in the hot springs. They were just all jumping in front of people who were waiting to get into them. Also kinda wanted to be able to strip down but that was impossible cause so many people there and young kids. (awkward) other than that it was extremely gorgeous and was nice to be able to rest muscles in hot springs after that long trek. It only took us a day to get out all the way back to our car which was impressive for me though it was mostly down in elevation. Id also suggest going extremely early in the day or later at night and also in a cooler season because it gets really hot and strenuous on that trail especially from the trail head to Ventana camp.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Not much to see but the hot springs are worth the hike.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

The proximity to San Francisco is super convenient. We took a quick 2.5 hour drive on Friday evening, and slept in the back of a Getaround Prius in a parking lot near the trailhead. We got a late start (late for what we wanted) and were on the trail by 9:30am. It was foggy for the first 3 miles or so, which was great. It kept the temperature down during the steep initial ascent. The single track trail is well maintained, and relatively easy as far as wilderness trails go. The main challenge is the length. There's a great resting place at the 5 mile mark.

We arrive at Sykes camp around 1:30pm, and the sites were starting to fill up. By evening, every possible camp site was filled. Not a great location for solitude. Some camps were playing music, other camps were building campfires during a fire ban. There were no outhouses, and lots of toilet paper scraps scattered around in the brush. I would happily pay a fee for a wilderness permit if they figured out a toilet solution. The amount of traffic this place gets is pretty incredible, and I wonder how it's affecting the area. There was even some toilet paper scraps near the creek, which is pretty nasty.

We avoided the hot springs that evening because of the amount of people camping in the area. We woke up at 5:30am and hiked in the morning light down to the pools and had a nice quiet soak. I was again surprised to see all the campsites filled with campers, even all the way down to the hot springs. There was a tent set up right at the pools as well.

All in all, it was a fun trip, but don't come here for solitude or to be surrounded by people who treat the outdoors with kindness.