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.

Fun afternoon in Big Sur. We parked off of 1 and walked up past Ventana to get to Coastal Ridge. The out portion was all gradual uphill, then back down. Nice visuals of a condor, turkey vulture, deer, and a red ant. Overall nice time. Road hiking, packed dirt.

hiking
5 days ago

This hike was great! We went clockwise as others have said, it definitely helps as your legs might get tired at the end.

The Park Service had to reroute some of the trails because of the landslides last year, so Creamery Meadows trail is closed. You will cross the knee-deep river and continue on Beach Trail for ~.75 miles. Take a left Bluff trail. Bluff trail will come to a fork and you should go left to take the Ridge Trail. From there everything is the same.

You'll welcome the wind at the peak of the hike when you get there! :) It was so gusty we lost a hat when we went.

Definitely some Posion Oak, mostly lower down, so make sure to wear long pants.

Great hike with awesome views. Note– the last couple miles of driving to the trailhead has some big bumps that made for some close calls in our Audi A4 hatchback. We made it out unscathed, but there were some sketchy moments. There were other non-SUVs up there too, so you wouldn't be alone, and you definitely would come across help after a 15 minutes max should you have a problem.

This was a nice length. We stopped for lunch at the top for 20 mins or so. Roundtrip total with stops for views, food, flowers and lizards, give yourself about 2.5 hours just to be safe!

Second time hiking this trail! Beautiful Spring day, with temperatures in the high 70’s low 80’s... On this attempt we were able to get to the top. The previous try was thwarted by heavy overgrowth that I wasn’t prepared for. I enjoy this hike, and except for a brief polite encounter with a Rattlesnake on the way down, it provides some stunning views in all directions!

gorgeous views!

My friends and I hiked this for a multi-day camping trip in April '16. This was the first time I had ever been on an overnight hike. It was grueling at times and I would NOT recommend it for a first timer who is out of shape. The only reason I did fine on this hike was that I upped my fitness level a little in the weeks prior to the hike (simply by going for daily long walks). The one member of our party who hadn't hiked in a long time and who was totally out of shape had a really, really tough time. There is a lot of up and down, at times pretty steep, and you hit the ups pretty early in the hike. It being my first hike, I couldn't conceive of how hard that would be with a 50+ pound pack!

Having said that, it was a spectacular hike. It was raining most of the time, which we expected, but it was mainly a constant drizzle/mist which made the experience and the views really, really nice. The rain caused a couple of minor hazards, but nothing serious (just have to watch you footing more carefully). Had it been dry and warm, it would have been exponentially harder. Whenever they open this up again, if this is your first overnight hike, I would recommend going in late April (that's when we went) or early May for cooler temps and the chance for some rain (yes, personally, I prefer a little precip on this kind of hike). Also, if your level of fitness is low or non-existent, I'd at least do some daily light cardio for 2-3 weeks prior to your trip.

Again, this is a spectacular hike and I found it to be very rewarding to complete, on a personal level. Most of our party were experienced hikers, most of whom had done this hike before. The hot springs can be a nice reward, even though most of my party was more excited about that than I was, but I think it's worth a soak after such a long hike. The trail was rather busy, which surprised me for such a long hike, but I actually liked seeing and talking to so many folks on such a lengthy and difficult hike. Somehow, I found that that camaraderie made the hike easier (and that's coming from someone who is typically anti-social).

This is a long and at times grueling hike. But it is also beautiful and rewarding and is well worth the effort. I'd definitely do it again and hope to someday.

backpacking
12 days ago

We started at Vincente Trailhead and walked counter clockwise. The diversity of terrain, plants and views is huge.

Early May there was lots of water at Vincente Flat, Goat Camp and Trail Spring.

Shortly before Stone Ridge Trail there were four options of trails. Take the second right if you want to make it to Goat Camp. That’s the right way of Stone Ridge Trail to come to Goat Camp and water.

We added a hike to Surprise Falls. Very steep and a 3 mile walk through the river. Only with water shoes recommended.

Took this Bluffs Trail up to the Ridges and Back down. One of my favorite hikes. Barely any traffic and just beautiful absolutely stunning views. Big Sur ought to be on everyone’s list and Andrew Molera does a wonderful preservation job at keeping wildlife and flora in comfort.

Loved it!!! If you have hiking boots I would definitely grab them as you’re going down a trail that is a little steep with loose dirt and rocks. The waterfall part is very short walk at the bottom of the main part of the hill. Very pretty. After that stay to the left and go over the bridge to a beautiful trail that leads you to a fun tunnel and out into a beautiful water outlook. You need to come back the same way unless you are very agile to go over a fair amount of rocks. Once you’re back to the main trail go on to the ocean outlook, so beautiful!!! Now time to go back up the hill. Take it slow and it will be over before you know it

backpacking
14 days ago

We started at Vincente Trailhead and walked a counter clockwise loop to the fall. 20 miles, 2 days. The diversity of terrain, plants and views is huge. Redwoods, oaks, blooming Yuccas, meadows, creeks, views, views, views.

Early May there was lots of water at Vincente Flat, Goat Camp, Ojito Camp and Trail Spring.

Shortly before Stone Ridge Trail there were four options of trails. Take the second right. That’s the right way of Stone Ridge Trail to come to Goat Camp and the next water. We camped on Gamboa Trail at the entrance to the downhill walk to Ojito Camp. After 8 hours we avoided the climbing with the backpacks and wanted the views to the ocean. One tent-side is there. Next day we just took water bottles and some food with us to hike to the fall. It’s strenuous. You really need water shoes for the 2 miles through a river. With the dogs and no rope for us no chance to climb down the fall, but a bath on top was possible.

After that river hike the climbing to Cone Peak hurt, but all in all every single pain was absolutely worth it.

hiking
19 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike. Start by crossing knee deep gently flowing river. Water felt great. Took clockwise route to get all the uphills out of the way early. Had a nice breeze and the ascension grade seemed steady but fair with flat sections to catch your breath. Beautiful redwood forest at the top with nice views on all sides. Coastal portion is overgrown but beautiful and full of color from flowers and plants. Can mostly avoid the thorns but tread lightly on the way down. Reminds me of coastal hikes I've done at Pt Reyes. So refreshing and highly recommended. Not many people early on a Saturday, mainly people coming to beach

on Bluff Trail Loop

hiking
20 days ago

Amazing hike! Went clock-wise as many suggested. The uphill portion was tough, but worth it with all the breathtaking views. Nice conditioning! Took us a little over 4 hours, but we stopped several times for pictures and lunch. Encountered a few people on the trail (on a Saturday) but for the majority of the time we had the trail to ourselves. Would highly recommend this trail! Bring a jacket for the top.

Route is “open” to hikers, we walked around the paper sign. On a fire service road the entire way. Temperature can make this hike very difficult or very easy. Maybe 1 week left of wildflowers on May 5th. Good view of mountains and ocean. Watch out for: rattlesnakes, velvet ants.

5/2/18: The beach trail was closed due to a fire, you can still go to the beach by going through creamery.
First stop, you get to cross a small river (you will get your feet wet during that time of the year). After the first “obstacle”, it’s a really casual walk. Flowers and birds on the way with the beach at the very end of course!
Parking is $10.

Beautiful scenery and lots of wildflowers along the trail. We were advised to go counterclockwise and were glad we did. The beginning portion from the parking lot is along a pretty river.

Great trail. Gorgeous views in spring. Be prepared to get your feet soaked. Rocks on the creeks can be slippery too. All worth it though.

Took the inland loop up. Rolling uphill after another uphill and yet another uphill. Then down along the coast with gorgeous views. Trail a bit overgrown on the downward and coastal side. Watch out for poison oak everywhere. A nice long hike.

You can park on Highway 1. Went on a weekday around 11-12 and had no trouble finding a spot right in front. 200 steps and I was at the overlook spot. Good for kids. No dogs allowed!

hiking
1 month ago

I did this hike while it was closed. When you first get onto the trail, stay close to the river, and don't go up the stairs that are being worked on. Eventually you'll veer to the right side of the river. It's quite a hike up (mile or so) until you reach the loop. Once you reach the loop there are numerous sections where trees are fallen, nothing that you can't get through though. I went clockwise on the loop, not to bad. There was one section that was very bad where I had to climb up the side of the mountain and back down which was VERY steep. I basically slid down. That was the worst part of the hike. The views were outstanding - although when we went it was foggy. Rivers, bridges, redwoods, ocean views, incredible tree views. Overall a great hike. And m GF didn't kill me!

Hiked from Nacimiento-Fergusson rd, as Coast Ridge rd is still closed, making it about 16 miles round trip if you believe the signs. The views are fantastic and despite the road being closed, the road and trail were well maintained. Distance aside (12 of the 16 miles), the road to the trailhead is flat and easy. Last mile on the trail is all switchbacks with lots of exposure, which makes the shade at the fire lookout up top, coupled with some amazing panoramic views, feel euphoric. Glad to have been here to celebrate earth day.

Easy to miss. highway 1, going south. if you get to Julia Pfeiffer State park you' ve missed it. easy to miss as there are no signs but youll notice all the cars park on both sides, curve to the righr going south...beautifull hike. we did it with three kids (2,13,15) and they all loved it. you cant foresee its beauty from the road but absolutelly worth it. do both paths once you are almost at the bottom, to the right to see the beach and the end of the creek, and to the right, through a wooden bridge to see the mine type tunnel and the beautiful ocean view

Gorgeous. we are visiting Big Sur with three kids (2,13,15) and we all loved it. one of the best if not the best hikes we've done here. i strongly recomend it to families. not too hard for kids; not too long but beautiful all the way, all along the creek with the noise of the water and the waterfall at the end as the reward (out and back trail). just note that you have to cross the creek a coiple of times through rocks and longs but lots of fun if your kids like the adventure type of challenge!

Steep hike most of way to top. We went counter clockwise, but going up clockwise May have been easier. Great views at top. Not overly crowded.

Actually, its open. And its beautiful. Just walk around the closed gate.

Obsessed with this trail! Great for kids, adventure through rock hopping, and combine the Limekilns for a really fun trip.

Heat, Height, and Vertigo warning ⚠️
Prudently and honestly assess your abilities before committing to this Trail. It is strenuous, exposed, frequently tick infested, peppered with poison oak, has no water access, is overgrown, sketchy in parts and little better than a goat trail along a precipice past the 1/2 way “Point of No Return.” You must be sure footed and mindful of your feet. If hiking in summer, give yourself an early am start or the brutal heat will be relentless.

If that does not deter you, then you are in for a fabulous treat of wildflowers in spring and stunning mountain ⛰ views of the Coastal Range year round. Experience views of the scenic Big Sur River from virtually an aerial perspective, and contemplate the fire adaptive abilities of CA Native plants as they regenerate underneath burned standing tree sculptures. The false Peak offers 360 views of the Ventana Range and Pt Sur Lighthouse. The actual peak offer views of telecommunications equipment. Skip it.

Great but really HARD ,but it worth it and is a must. Don’t forget which right road is harder

FYI - This trail is not accessible at this time (April 16, 2018). There is a sign at the start of the loop saying it is closed until late 2018. This was a bit disappointing to find, as we were super excited about this hike!

Epic bucket list hike.... went out with a bang! Always wanted to do an overnight hiking trip before my big 5-0 .... trail was no easy task (for me) but with the help of my daughter it was a success..... Not so much for one of our team mates who fell about 30ft down a revine and had to be airlifted out after my daughter was able to rescue her enough to get her back on the trail. Hats off #calfire #chp and the medical team.
I will definitely be back.

Incredible beach. Hard to get parking so get the early. The sunset through the rock formations in the water is epic. Busy and popular beach but for good reason.

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