Tanbark Trail and Tin House [CLOSED]

HARD 36 reviews

Tanbark Trail and Tin House [CLOSED] is a 6.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Big Sur, California that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

6.1 miles
2,024 feet



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers


old growth


no dogs

A strenuous loop into the hills above Big Sur with amazing views along the coast as far as the eye can see This tough climb away from Hwy1 will reward you with breathtaking views along the Big Sur coastline as far as the eye can see. The trail starts through redwood and oak forests on the side of a creek and almost exclusively climbs up about 3.5 miles to the Tin House where the trees clear and leave you with an unrestricted view across the canyon and down to the shoreline below.

1 month ago

Did this trail several years ago while stationed in the central valley of California. It was a very strenuous hike for us (4 adults and 4 children under the age of 7) Though we all made it out unscathed. It took us much longer than we anticipated. The Tin House itself was overly vandalized with lots of broken glass and grafitti, but cool. BUT the views from up there were AMAZING, definitely worth the steep mostly straight uphill climb to get there. We could see HWY 1 and miles of coastline, even saw some sea critters playing in the water below. The view was so mesmerizing we hung out there much too long, saw the better part of the sunset from in the clouds!!

Because nightfall was fastly approaching we decided to take the logging road back but still found ourselves hiking down part of the mountain in the dark. We emerged on HWY 1 without any signage or sense of direction due to the dark. HWY 1 can be VERY busy, so be careful. We made our way back to our car and eventually back home. It was an amazing experience albeit a rough one!
I see that the trail is currently closed, I am assuming due to trail maintenance, the trail was in rough shape when we trekked it, with rebar stobs, broken steps and places where the trail bed had just fallen away. Should it open back up, I would highly recommend this trail to experienced hikers.

4 months ago

nice trail, first part along Creek is beautiful, then steady incline for a good workout. The trail is quite overgrown in parts, some bigger fallen trees are blocking the trail here and there. Unfortunately the coastal fog blocked the ocean views, that at a clearer days would have been more rewarding.
the tin house is in my opinion not worth seeing. You will have to hike along Hwy1 for a little to get back to the entrance.
By the way. I have never seen that many ticks in my live, as on the last third of the trail. I had to shake them off my pants every few hundred feet.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Gorgeous Coastal views. This Trail is very steep in some areas, and there is a MASSIVE fallen tree on on a narrow part of the trail near Swiss Camp. Make sure, if headed to the Tin House, you stay right at the fork once you've reached your "Peak" and you'll be headed to the access road. If you make a left at the sign pointing Left and higher you will miss your exit, and be on your way to Norman House. I don't personally recommend making the trip out to Norman, Tin House is pretty cool. The House is completely gutted with a fallen roof in a rear area of the house. WATCH OUT FOR GLASS AND SHARP EDGES, as the entire structure is Rusted. In the backyard there are views of the coastline in both directions. It's awesome. The access road has amazing views as well!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Strenuous but beautiful views of redwoods and ocean (check weather and make sure it's going to be clear or you won't see anything along the summit ridge )

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Good hike. Steep incline at the beginning but best part is on the decent you see the beautiful coastline. The tin house trail is an off shoot of the main trail. You have to walk about a 1/4 mile back to where you parked when you come to the end of the trail.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Definitely worth the work!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Thursday, September 10, 2015

This trail is longer than 6.3 miles. I ended up around 7.5 miles. This trail is steep in some areas with loose dirt and a narrow path. I would still consider it moderate. The tin roof building is also worth seeing towards the end of the hike. Make sure you walk through the building to get out to the front so you can see the water. Inside the building itself is kind of gross. You walk through a metal screen that would need a tetanus shot if you got scratched by it and there is glass and trash on the floor but keep going. It only takes 30 seconds to get through. Once you are on the front porch you can walk down the steps on the side and go see the water. Also, leaving the Tan Bark trail I would use the path that goes to Hwy 1 if you parked by the Partington Cove Trail. You have great views and it is only a 10 minute walk up Hwy 1 back to your car. One other note, in early Sep there are a lot of little bugs like gnats that fly around and annoy the crap out of you....don't even think about eating a bar, banana or anything until you are off this trail unless you don't mind sharing.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

It was an amazing hike! Great views from the the Tin House. Trail was a little over grown and a tree had fallen, blocking part of the trail, both are very easy to navigate through. We passed a Maintenance crew that was working on clearing the trail.
I gave the trail 4 stars because of how the trail ends. The trail ends on a fire road that dumps you across the street from a view point. Hikers take note that if you park at the trail head you will need to walk 1/2 mile back to your car along HWY 1. It can be a little scary walking along the HWY especial if there is thick fog. When we saw that it was a loop we thought we would end up right where the trail started.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

More of a moderate trail as it was over 2000ft elevation change. Also first time on trail and at the 3.5 mile mark we took the tan bark trail sign but turned around as wasn't sure where it was leading us too and pretty steep at start of turn off. Maybe when you see sign ignore and continue going straight?? Never saw the tin roof building.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Great spot, don't miss the tin house at the top of the ridge.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wonderful trail, though narrow at times, requiring some minor bushwhacking. The house is cool!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

I suggest looking at this place in google maps and find the entrance to this park. I didn't see any signs on the road to find this trail. Overall, highly recommended!

1 month ago

5 months ago

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Monday, May 23, 2016

trail running
Friday, March 11, 2016

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

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