Explore the most popular trail running 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.

Absolutely no trail signs in the entire park. Gorgeous views that are well worth it, but be prepared to face some confusion and frustration along the way, especially if planning an overnight backpacking trip. Breathtaking views of the ocean, but definitely wouldn’t recommend for the faint of heart. Very thin, relatively unmaintained trail carved into the side of various mountains right above the ocean. Spectacular but terrifying at times.

The views are incredible but prepare for 3+ hr hike round trip. We are two in shape guys and it took us a while... Route is very sunny - take the shade when you can get it. Views are incredible though - totally worth it.

My friend and I did this hike in mid-August and were not prepared. Normally rangers/guides overestimate heat and difficulty, but that was not the case here. Started at 12:30pm with about 1.5L of water between the two of us, and we basically were fried by the time we reached the false summit. The overgrown nature of the trail and the heat made the hike so brutal (my friend was showing signs of heat exhaustion) it was hard to enjoy the views. I'm sure in another season and with proper preparation, this would have been a really cool hike, but as a 23-year-old experienced hiker (for my age) and former college endurance athlete, I had a tough time. Bring enough water, start in the morning, and really take a close look at how sure-footed you are before attempting this hike.

Difficult trail. The trail gets really sketchy around the 2.5 mile marker but the views are beautiful. Wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water - you'll be in the direct Eastern sun the majority of the time. Really be prepared for a hard climb and feel good in your footing. The trail gets very narrow and overgrown, and in some places there almost isn't a trail at all. Overall it's a great physical challenge, just make sure you're prepared!

hiking
17 days ago

This is a very scenic short trail system suitable for anyone who is reasonably fit. The trail requires scrambling over and under logs in a few places and crosses a steam multiple times with makeshift log and stone crossing points. We went at end of July and water was low enough that you could cross without getting feet wet. The trail is through second growth redwood forest and is shaded and very cool the entire time. Great for a break on a hot day. The waterfall is worth seeing, though not spectacular. The abandoned lime kiln is cool. Our three children 12, 14, and 22 enjoyed it and our eldest did a ton of off trail scrambling on the rocks and fallen logs. Trailhead is at the far end of camping area, walk past everyone, there are a small number of day use parking spaces for $10 fee. If it’s full there is parking on side of road above. At the opposite end of camping area there is a small sand beach and rocky area where the creek empties into the ocean. Cross a wooden bridge and walk under the bridge. That is also super cool and worth a visit. The water is freezing but nice to splash around. Bring trunks and water shoes.

Great hike. The redwoods are breathtaking! It’s very shaded, perfect in the summer heat. Go to the 100 foot waterfall, you have to cross the creek a few times but that’s the fun part. Then go check out the Kilns, they’re really interesting and make for beautiful photos.
Be careful, there is poison oak everywhere.
Also, There’s NO (zero) cell service anywhere in Big Sur.

Beautiful dense trees once you finally arrive at Vicente flats. There is no water or signs to let you know you have arrived at Vicente flats. We kind of lost the trail for come peak when we went looking for a place to set up camp in Vicente flats.

We headed up on a Friday at 12:17 and was hit with lots of sun. The hike up could of been planned a lot better but, the views were just beautiful and took our mind off of the uphill hike with our 35lb packs for our age and circumstances I think we did just fine. Took us about 4hrs to reach Vicente flats.

We hit Espinoza camp first and next was the creek. We were so was so happy to find the small creek along the way, it was very refreshing.

When we arrived at Vicente flats about 3 miles up from the creek there wasn’t anyone there besides 1 small group, the next day heading out so many backpackers passed us. Some looked exhausted and not prepared and still had at least 4 Miles to go. I hope they all did well. Please bring plenty of water and bug repellent for those pesky flies!!!

Lots of poison oak everywhere so wear long pants or be like me and get it on your legs, thanks goodness I didn’t have a - bad reaction besides rashes.

Go do yourself a favor and get yourself some hiking poles, they def made the difference and kept me steady on those narrow trails with my heavy pack on.

For the girl we saw hiking by herself with the satchel & basic backpack, you are my hero!! Looks like she hiked all over that moutain by herself! Way to go!!!

Oh one more thing - you can park at the bottoms of trail head we had no problem

We entered Coast Rd just north of the Andrew Molera State Park. There is no gate there. We drove in about 7 miles and then turned around because we weren’t sure if the exit would be gated. It was a great opportunity to go off reading.

lots of climbing over branches and stream crossings. Absolutely gorgeous. my favorite things: redwoods, running water and fog

It's straight up from the sea to Espinoza campsite, took us almost three hours to there, with overnight packs and being a bit out of shape. Beautiful views of the shore and mountains. From there to Vicente Flats took another 45 minutes at a brisker pace, that section being much flatter. I wore shorts and didn't get poison oaked, since it was not overhanging the trail much, and I kept my eyes open to sidestep it. Vicente Flats is a great campground, a few bugs, but tall redwoods and lovely setting. Hung our food from a tree on account of mice and chipmunks. There was water from a brook just uphill from Espinoza camp, also water at the creek at Vicente, and if you hike past Vicente on the trail to Cone Peak Road there were multiple stream crossings within a half mile of the campground (July 2018). Next day hiked up the very steep trail to the road. I sat under an oak tree on the road while my pal summited Cone (3 hours round trip from road to Cone summit), but bring water if you're doing Cone, he found none on the way up there.

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
1 month 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!

hiking
1 month 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.

off road driving
1 month 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.

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

Nice views. High climb not that much shade. Came across a tarantula.

This was one of my favorite hikes while living in California. With that said, the crowds had clearly taken a toll, so I'm actually hoping the closure means it will be relatively inaccessible for a considerable time. This place needs time to heal.

The Pine Ridge Trail to Sykes is closed indefinitely. Locally we hear 2-5 years. While this is a bummer for everyone, please understand that Sykes and the backcountry of Big Sur deserves a much needed break. For years, Sykes got crushed. Damming, Trash, Fire, and Destruction were the norm. Im not an Environmentalist, Conservation No one should be in the Backcountry Purists. I am a local Big Sur resident who advocates for the backcountry, because she has no voice. The Volunteer Wilderness Rangers are out on patrol, and if necessary can call USFS to escalate. There are many other trails listed here on this site. You can get into the backcountry, but for a while, it cannot be through the Pine Ridge Trail. lovebigsur.com

Has anyone gone on this trail while closed??

Our favorite hike so far in Big Sur

Stunning redwood grove + creeks (and creek crossings) make for a fantastic short hike. Rocks/wood at creek crossings can be quite slippery so be careful! Falls at end of trail pretty but IMO nothing overly special. Signed detour to see the limekilns - was quite interesting - would recommend!

Did this years ago, before GPS.
I remember how sore I was and how quiet. I'm sure it's much more used now.

Load More