Explore the most popular hiking trails near Big Sur with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
19 hours ago

Nice trail, great redwoods (not old growth). We parked at the trailhead on the right. After we hiked about 100 ft and turned around we realized we should have drove around the corner and parked on the left. The trail seemed to degrade after the 3rd stream crossing at 1.4 miles so at that point we turned around.

Much more populated than I expected. Fire road yes but with luxury houses at least two miles up

Great hike, go clockwise!

We hiked this trail on the Fourth of July and were surprised to only see one other hiker the entire day. The trail is in good shape, although it crosses a few active slides in places and you'll want to watch your footing. There is a lot of poison oak along the first mile of the trail, but it's easily avoided. Views from the summit are spectacular! We took an extended break at the old lookout and watched the fog starting to burn off below us, revealing views straight down to the Highway 1 bridge at Limekiln State Park.

Great views of the coast! Super easy walk! Loved it! (Definitely not a hike)

Easy walk to the beach and spectacular beach yet super super windy

Things that made this a great trip:
1. No cell service without a 30 minute drive (read boss can’t call you)
2. We had a campsite at the beach, with the sounds of both the ocean and a fast flowing creek to sooth us to sleep.
3. It’s near enough to Monterey to get good seafood if you’re willing to drive 90 minutes
4. Lots of scenic lookouts of the beautiful Big Sur coastline
5. You can go from the beach to the California Redwoods within minutes by foot.
6. Not “touristy” unless you head to Monterey, etc...
7. Did I mention no cell service for ANY provider?

This was our first visit, but not our last. My wife has added it to our regular vacation rotation.

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.

Very cool trail, did this several years ago with another family of 4, so we had 4 adults and 4 kids under the age of 7 with the youngest being 3. At the water crossings we had to play pass the baby but it was definitely worth it. The kids and adults alike enjoyed the kilns and the history behind them! Would definitely recommend this trail!

Easy trail with plenty of shade. Stay on the trail, otherwise you will run into a lot of poison oak.

Hard but beautiful. Steep uphill and little shade. Spectacular views.

Lovely trail, too bad it burned. Hope to go back soon to see how the forest is recovering. We camped at Barlow Flats and it was perfect...

hiking
11 days ago

great early morning hike on 7/4/18! happy birthday America! hike has awesome views when the fog moved around. nice single trail track well maintained for first 2 or so miles then sketchy in spots so watch ur footing. poles recommended and good shoes. fogged out in top but still saw great landscape...red hawks abound as does the poison oak- wear long pants and sleeves..have fun!

Spectacular views. You can park in the Ventana back parking lot no problem.

backpacking
12 days ago

Loved this trail. Amazing views and challenging terrain. If you choose to go up the right side of the loop, beware of the rigorously steep terrain and also there is absolutely no water until you descend half way down cone peak down the other side of the loop. I packed in 2 gallons and still ran out 2 hours prior to reaching cone peak. Along the left side of the loop there is a water spring about every hour or so and it is a much easier path to take. I started my hike at midnight on Sunday and camped 2,100 ft up the trail just above the fog. Started at it again at 0900 that morning and made it back to the bottom by 21:00 Monday night. Planned on staying another night but getting dehydrated on the right side of the loop really took away all my desire to camp. Hope this post helps future backpackers!

This was all fire road. Given the multitude of gorgeous options in the area, your time is better spent elsewhere.

hiking
14 days ago

Fantastic hike! Overall, found this to be a physically challenging trail – steep ups and downs, some washed out areas, lots of overgrowth and poison oak. Absolutely beautiful views and totally worth it. We went clockwise and very much enjoyed the amazing views on the back half.

Starting out, there was a good bit of confusion in the parking lot, as the Beach Trail is closed and the Creamery Meadows trail head is not apparent from the lot. There were a few groups milling around until we spotted a small "hiking guy" sign with an arrow near the shack (there was no ranger when we got there). Duh! It's down the access road, to the right as you exit past the ranger shack on foot.

As someone mentioned, there are planks over the river, so no issue there now. Down the Creamery Trail, turned left onto the Ridge Trail (to go clockwise) and up a steep incline. Ridge Trail in general was open and smooth sailing in terms of being washed out or difficult to navigate. Very warm starting out, then windy at the top – and gorgeous! As soon as you start down on the Panorama Trail you are in areas of overgrowth and lots of position oak. Long pants a must, and watch your arms! Some steep parts a bit tough to navigate. Views are totally worth it. Flattens out as you come onto the Bluff Trail and then head towards the beach. The end of the Bluff Trail is closed, so you have to jag back over to the end of the Ridge Trail and come out again on the Creamery Trail. Sounds complicated but it’s not. We went left on Creamery – away from the parking lot and down to the beach - and enjoyed a recovery meal on the beach. Awesome time!

hiking
15 days ago

We did the hike in late June. The bottom of the trail was full of really beautiful blooms and gorgeous views. It’s super steep with long stretches of no shade. About a mile in there is a long stretch of meadow that gets super steep, but it’s so worth it to make it to the oak tree and enjoy the beautiful view in a nice shady spot. We got a late start and it was pretty hot, so we decided to head back down from there.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike by the ocean. Especially on a sunny day. They put a FOOTBRIDGE over the stream!! yea! so no more walking thru ankle deep water. Got there about 8:30 on a Saturday (6/30) and practically had the place to myself. I went counterclockwise on the bluff trail based on the ranger’s suggestion that morning. It is overgrown in parts but not really that bad. It is a good idea to wear long pants tho due to the poison oak. Nice ocean views up to the panoramic trail. Got pretty windy due to the fog coming in so a light weight wind jacket is recommended. Its up from there but not too bad or steep, but glad I did it this way as it was easier on my knees.
Once you get to the Ridge trail its like another world. Its a wide tree covered trail. A nice difference compared to the narrow path you just left. Easy hike mostly down hill the 4 miles back.
From the lot it was a little over 9 miles 1200 feet of accumulated elevation and took me 3 hours.
Bathrooms at the parking lot.

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
17 days ago

Beautiful views in the area but the gate was closed and locked very well with private property signs all over the fence. I did not even see a path for bikers or hikers.

off road driving
17 days ago

Beautiful view but the gate was closed and locked very well with private property signs all over the fence. I did not even see a path for bikers or hikers.

If this trail had a little more upkeep, it would be amazing. A hike to a narrow and high waterfall or a hike to some old large kilns (or b both) are totally worth the risk of an errant piece of rebar or a collapsed trail. Beautiful views of large redwoods and exposed root systems make this dappled light park a must see.

Short walk down to a nice cove.

Agree with previous reviewer; this is more a short walk on a dirt road to the falls than a hike. Most of the trail was closed when I went on it. Fine enough if you're passing through but nothing special to make a specific trip out.

Very nice easy hike to a secluded falls. Lots of opportunities for going beyond the marked trail to more secluded spots.

Short leisurely walk to the cove. Nothing spectacular, in my opinion

hiking
23 days ago

Nice hike, wouldn't recommend for families with small children. Lots of folks hiked and had a picnic in a quiet place wish I had taken some food to sit, enjoy the view, and eat. Do this as a first hike if needed in morning. It will warm you up for the day.

hiking
24 days ago

Beautiful views.. started clockwise which seemed to be the way to go.. started on a bit of an incline but relatively easy throughout.. there was a lot of over growth on the second half, and poison oak pretty near the trail.. pack sunscreen and enjoy!

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