Best trails in Big Sur, California

4,667 Reviews
Looking for a great trail near Big Sur, California? AllTrails has 52 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Andrew Molera State Park or Garrapata State Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Lovers Point Park or Perkins Park. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 23 hard trails in Big Sur ranging from 4.9 to 33.4 miles and from 39 to 5,157 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in Big Sur, California
Top trails (52)
#1 - Beach, Bluffs, Panorama, Ridge, and Creamery Meadow Loop
Andrew Molera State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(755)
Length: 8 mi • Est. 3 h 14 m
A loop that offers beautiful ocean vistas, meadows and forests. Please note that partial trail closures leading to the beach have been reported for this trail as of 06/16/2020.Show more
#2 - Partington Cove Trail
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(294)
Length: 1.1 mi • Est. 41 m
Note: As of October 2020, this park and its trails may be closed due to wildfires. More information here: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=578 A hike down a steep road that will take you over a wooden bride and through a tunnel to a view of the protected Partington Cove. The hike back up the hill will be steep, but is short. There is a lovely quick side trip to a river if you take the path left of the wildlife sign before the bridge. Highly recommend--it's peaceful and secluded, and you can take some time to enjoy the shade and the sound of the water.Show more
#3 - Overlook Trail to McWay Falls
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(280)
Length: 1.2 mi • Est. 29 m
The McWay Falls Overlook Trail is only partially open as of January 9, 2021 due to trail erosion that has caused dangerous conditions. McWay Falls can still be seen from the section of the trail that is open. Please check with the park for updates https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=578 There is no beach access here. Any attempt to get down to the beach is a citable and arrestable offense. This area is extremely hazardous. Please stay on the trail. This short hike will give you some of the most stunning views in all of Big Sur for the least amount of effort. The 1-mile out-and-back hike leads you to a trail on the cliffs along the coast. At the viewpoint, you can see McWay Falls pouring down on the sandy beach below in McWay cove. The route can be accessed from the south parking lot or the stairs near the entrance kiosk. The trail passes under the highway and then heads north around McWay Cove, overlooking the waterfall and beach that was created from a 1983 land slide. It ends at an observation deck with a magnificent panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean - a good location to see migrating whales. California Condors are often seen in the Eucalyptus trees here. Because of the very steep and narrow sections of this trail, the wheelchair and stroller friendly tags have been removed. Some users with specialized mobility equipment may still be able to navigate portions of this trail.Show more
#4 - Buzzards Roost Trail
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(527)
Length: 2.6 mi • Est. 1 h 36 m
#5 - Bluffs and Panorama Trail via Creamery Meadow
Andrew Molera State Park
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(350)
Length: 7.9 mi • Est. 4 h 3 m
A scenic hike that takes you along the bluffs for a great view of the Pacific to the west and the Santa Lucia mountains to the east. When you start on the trailhead that leaves the parking lot, you'll cross the Big Sur River and then come to a fork for the Beach Trail and River Trail. Both will take you to the beach and are about the same distance and intensity, but the River Trail is a dirt road used for horseback riding. You will meet-up with the Creamery Meadows trail one mile down and this will take you right to the beach. Take in the beach views and odd birds in the area, and then double back a little ways to the split-off for the Bluffs Trail. The Bluffs Trail will eventually become the Panorama Trail, at which point you can either turn back or continue on the new trail. If you continue, the Panorama Trail will meet up with the Ridge Trail, which will take you back to the parking lot for a lovely eight mile loop.Show more
#6 - Pfeiffer Beach
Big Sur, California
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(110)
Length: 0.9 mi • Est. 22 m
Fee is $12.00 to park. Show more
#7 - Cone Peak Summit Trail
Los Padres National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(113)
Length: 4.5 mi • Est. 1 h 48 m
#8 - Andrew Molera Beach Trail to Creamery Meadows Trail
Andrew Molera State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(84)
Length: 2.3 mi • Est. 58 m
This is a straightforward easy walk to a secluded and driftwood covered beach. You have to cross the Big Sur River which at times can be a raging torrent. In spring it can be knee high, so be careful. The hike encompasses a walk along the beach where you can view sea otters in the California Coastal Preserve. This is also a good spot for whale watching during seasonal migration. If you hike far enough down the beach, there is a good chance you will be all by yourself, occasionally people still sunbathe in the nude, although the practice has been discouraged by rangers in recent years. You can climb a bluff and connect with the Bluffs Trail if you like, but it will require some sticky bushwhacking.Show more
#9 - Timber Top and Boranda Trail
Los Padres National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(132)
Length: 5.3 mi • Est. 3 h 50 m
#10 - Creamery Meadows Trail
Andrew Molera State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(220)
Length: 2.4 mi • Est. 1 h
On October 31, 2018 the seasonal footbridge crossing the Big Sur River was removed for the season. Hikers wishing to access the beach, Creamery Meadow, Ridge, Bluffs, Panorama and Spring trails must wade across the Big Sur River. The footbridge is expected to be back in place mid-June, 2019.Show more
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