Hikes in Big Sur
Big Sur is a charming town in Monterey County, 140 miles south of San Francisco. The name also applies to the fifty miles of coastline between Big Sur and San Simeon, which is as beautiful as any in the world. Big Sur is defined by dramatic and beautiful landscapes. Tall green mountains drop to rugged shores and mesmerizing blue waters.
The drive up Highway One is so scenic that many people don’t get out to hike at all, but they should! The region offers numerous great trails. Los Padres National Forest protects much of the wild coast, but there are other parks involved, including Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, home of one of the most spectacular waterfalls on the planet, McWay Falls. Many of the trails in the Big Sur region are free, so get out of the car and stretch your legs on these fine trails with unforgettable ocean views.
Big Sur Hiking
This collection of trails in Monterey County along the California coast between Big Sur and San Simeon lists the hikes from north to south. The table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, GPS maps, elevation profiles, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these day hikes. An interactive map is also provided.
|017||Ridge Trail - Panorama Trail - Bluff Trail Loop|
This loop in Andrew Molera State Park crosses a coastal ridge, bluff, and beach that are packed with amazing Big Sur views.
|020||Pfeiffer Falls and Valley View|
This out and back trek is like two hikes in one, reaching a waterfall in a canyon of redwoods and a vista point overlooking the Big Sur River Valley.
|022||Nature Trail - River Path Loop|
This easy loop explores woodlands along the Big Sur River and a redwood grove that includes the unique and impressive Proboscis Tree.
|025||Big Sur River Gorge|
This off-trail hike ventures up the Big Sur River on a water-wading boulder-hopping adventure to a crystal clear pool that’s a gorgeous Big Sur swimming hole.
This short walk reaches an absolutely stunning beach that's a classic feature of the Big Sur landscape.
|0.2 miles (or more)|
This out and back hike visits a tunnel-accessed cove and a secluded beach in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park along the scenic Big Sur coast.
This out and back hike heads inland up McWay Creek past a picnic area in a redwood grove to a lovely little waterfall in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
This out and back hike looks out on a stunning Big Sur waterfall that pours 80 feet right on to the beach in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.
|057||Hare Creek Trail, Limekiln Trail, and Falls Trail|
This out and back hike in Limekiln State Park explores a trio of trails along lovely streams in redwood-lined canyons, reaching Limekiln Falls and historic lime kilns.
|060||Pacific Valley Bluff Trail|
This short out and back hike extends from Highway One to an ocean bluff with fantastic views of the Big Sur Coast.
|063||Sand Dollar Beach|
This short hike to Big Sur's longest beach passes two scenic overlooks on the way to the sand.
|0.5 miles (or more)|
|065||Jade Cove and Plaskett Rock Point|
This loop across ocean bluff visits a prominent peninsula and a small cove.
This hike into Silver Peak Wilderness starts with bold ocean views and crosses redwood groves to reach Upper Cruickshank Camp at a junction with Buckeye Trail, 2.5 miles from Highway One.
|5 - 9.25 miles|
1,150 - 1,925 feet
This hike reaches incredible ocean vistas and trail camps in the Silver Peak Wilderness. Connect Cruickshank Trail and Buckeye Trail for an excellent shuttle hike of 8.25 miles or more.
|6.5 - 9.25 miles|
1,450 - 1,925 feet
|080||Salmon Creek Falls|
This out and back hike visits a fine 120-foot waterfall near the start of Salmon Creek Trail.