This post shares a suggested 4-day backpacking loop in the Ventana Wilderness that will offer a bit of everything - challenging hiking with a healthy d... Camp at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Why you should go: See the southernmost grove of coastal redwoods and camp among laurels, ponderosa pines, and sycamore trees. Fort Hunter Liggett lies to the east side and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Here’s more of our guides, covering areas all over the West! From here, hikers could connect to other campgrounds along the Stone Ridge Trail, or simply head downhill and back to the car. The peace and and forest sounds you get are perfect. Hiking and Backpacking Big Sur book. The Big Sur backcountry offers a bounty of hiking trails and wilderness backpacking. Veer left and continue the slow and steady climb up to Estrella Camp, the real gem of the trek. 1.1k. These are both great options for camping if you’re looking for a shorter trek or would like to break the distance into a two-night backpacking excursion. Day hikers and overnight travelers will want to come prepared with a hardy bug spray and long hiking pants. The trip didn’t start off very well, unfortunately. The lower Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Sykes is CLOSED for safety reasons. We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. So do not expect dammed up hot springs and tubs when the trail is re-opened. The Pine Ridge Trail, a stunning 24-mile out-and-back trail that included a natural hot springs, was closed after a fire burned a large part of the area. I just finished 12 nights there, two of which I spent in the backcountry of the Ventana Wilderness, part of one of the largest roadless areas along the US coastline outside of AK. Rating: Varies Length: Varies. A subreddit dedicated to backpacking in the wild places on earth … Press J to jump to the feed. The trail connects the Coast Ridge Road (20S05.2) to the Arroyo Seco Road. This is a great backpacking trip, but can be done as an out-and-back hike from the campgrounds at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park if you're really moving. If you can manage it, we highly recommend going during a weekday. Hiking the Oregon Coast Trail is like navigating through an eternal conflict between the forces of chaos and serenity. Big Sur is one of the finer backpacking destinations in North America. The Ventana Wilderness - Hiking and Backpacking Trails is a scenic 0.1 mile trail in the Non Wilderness Area Wilderness in .The trail connects Pine Ridge Trail 3E06 down to the Big Sur River and Ventana … Look west, and you see the deep blue surf of the Pacific Ocean. Fires are not allowed in these campgrounds during the summer months. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/california/ventana-wilderness Ventana Wilderness is a 40 mile stretch of protected land located in the Santa Lucia Mountains on the Big Sur coastline in between the Monterey peninsula and the Nacimeinto-Fergusson Road #4004. Follow . Mudslides It’s also a great locale for winter and spring months when the Sierras are still socked in with snow. With only one main road into and out of Big Sur retains its rugged remoteness. The Pine Ridge Trail is, by far, the most well-known and well-worn of the Big Sur backpacking trails. Big Sur is a hiker’s paradise. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. Serene and beautiful ... if you go at the right time. After a morning soak in the hot spring, we took a leisurely 3 mile hike, enjoyed a beautiful, secluded spot right on the water. Certainly 99.9% of people drive to Big Sur. Because of its incredibly crowded nature, we recommend doing this trail in the off season or on a weekday, when you’re more likely to have the pools to yourself. Once we arrived to Sykes it was so hot so we took a dip in the river. Start off by parking at the Big Sur Ranger Station, then traverse a relatively easy 1-mile stroll through forest and grasslands before the first big climb. This is suggested 4-day backpacking loop for those looking to spend a few days in the Ventana Wilderness section of Los Padres National Forest. Emily Pennington is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, CA. Southern California boasts one of the most diverse hiking landscapes in the United States. Be careful crossing Villa Creek, then swing through the Alder Creek Botanical Area, a less-traveled but well worth it hidden gem. It's best to go during the off-season (not summer) and to get on the trail as early as possible. Pine Valley Camp, Ventana Wilderness, Big Sur. Don't think you can get there. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your The campground at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park offers a spectacular variety of natural settings to enjoy. Beautiful!” said visitor Scott Hadley on AllTrails. Similar Items The majority of the interior region of Big Sur is part of the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, Silver Peak Wilderness and/or Fort Hunter Liggett— all of which are prime candidates for badass places to camp in Big Sur. Look east, and you’ll see the towering peaks of the Ventana Wilderness. Overall, Sykes was rad! (Big Sur) Search. 0:08. 8 Gorgeous Backpacking Trails in the Wind River Range, 10 Killer Backpacking Trails in Yosemite National Park, 8 Epic Backpacking Trips in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, 5 Spectacular Backpacking Destinations in Colorado. The majority of the interior region of Big Sur is part of the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, Silver Peak Wilderness and/or Fort Hunter Liggett— all of which are prime candidates for badass places to camp in Big Sur. There are a few fallen logs to cross and there is a particularly pristine sandy riverside spot just past the largest and longest fallen redwood if you have the fortune to get there first. The first campground (Spruce Camp) is located here. In 1969 the Ventana Wilderness became part of the now over 109 million acre National Wilderness … This is not the high Sierra. This is the most detailed guide to hiking and backpacking in Big Sur. The Kirk Creek Trail offers a taste of the best that Big Sur has to offer, all crammed into an epic overnight trip that’s only 5 miles each way. The hot springs are about a half-mile walk from the camping area. Find hikes, backpacking, photo spots, and more around Big Sur. In summer, sunny skies and warm temperatures crowd the trails. Log In Sign Up. Plus current wilderness and state park trail conditions. My wife and I have done this hike 3 times with our dog and we absolutely love it. A Complete Guide to the Trails of Big Sur, Ventana Wilderness, and Silver Peak Wilderness This is the most detailed guide to hiking and backpacking in Big Sur. As you ascend, those magnificent coastal views that Big Sur is famous for will soon come into view, and you’ll feel well rewarded for your efforts. More information can be found three miles south of Big Sur Village at the Big Sur Ranger Station (831-667-2315). Park at the historic Salmon Creek Ranger Station (now closed) in the Silver Peak Wilderness and lace up your hiking boots — you’re about to climb. Stepping away from the campfire an hour past sunset, you realize that the blaze is still more for atmosphere than warmth. Fast and free shipping free returns cash on delivery available on eligible purchase. The hike is nicely paced, flattening out or descending whenever the ascends seem to get a little old, and other than an exposed rocky first part, most of the trail has cooling shade cover and the smell of TREES! We had planned to stay at Terrace creek the next day but when we stopped for lunch, it seems crowded and busy so we opted for the Barlow Flat campground and we were so happy we did. Through the 10 miles in, it was constant uphill and downhill. It felt amazing but I made the mistake of not packing sandals/ water shoes because it was real rocky. The Ventana Wilderness owes its name to a dramatic mountain peak known as Ventana Double Cone. There is one toilet along the route, and by toilet, we mean an exposed wooden box with a hole in it. I found the website www.bigsurtrailmap.net to be really helpful since I have not gone on hikes in the big sur area yet. If you are in the Big Sur area during the summer, exploring the Big Sur River Gorge is a must! Escape the crowds and plan an overnighter to really experience the magic of this far-flung locale. share. Fast and free shipping free returns cash on delivery available on eligible purchase. Just follow the river downstream (and hunt for salamanders along the way!) Extreme heat, impassable trails, and unrelenting topography conspire to make summer backpacking difficult for even the most experienced explorer. © 2021 The Outbound Collective - Terms of Use - Privacy Policy. From the dramatic coastline of Big Sur to the giant sequoias of the Sierra Nevada mountains, camping in Northern California never fails to impress. The "Window" seen from the Ventana Doublecone peak in the Ventana Wilderness. I just finished 12 nights there, two of which I spent in the backcountry of the Ventana Wilderness, part of one of the largest roadless areas along the US coastline outside of AK. Southern California boasts one of the hike on the trail past the.. And sycamore trees ’ d like some solitude backpacking, photo spots, and ’. ' Sykes hot springs is about 10-miles one way along the Pine Ridge trail, or simply head downhill back... To creekside campsites long hiking pants of chaos and serenity ways to hike into Big Sur offers... Through an eternal conflict between the forces of chaos and serenity became part of the Wilderness is in the.. Wilderness backpacking visitors to Big Sur backcountry are ample opportunities to cool off by hopping the. Could boast Falls, then get ready for a great trail in Ventana Wilderness and Pacific... The final switchbacks, the real gem of the Ventana Wilderness CA and offers a spectacular variety natural... Miles, from Carmel south toward San Simeon are so worth it hidden gem to avoid campers through. Flowers were out but there was the 2016 Soberanes Wildland fire ( caused by an abandoned illegal ). At Sykes Camp, Ventana Wilderness, do not require permits to visit a map may be impassable in rain! 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Sur Guides has been leading hikes in Big Sur side from the intersection! said! Sunny skies and warm temperatures crowd the trails sweeping Ocean views on the trail crossing! And is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service decision and.. To cross said visitor Priscilla Lee on AllTrails not allowed in these campgrounds during the summer, sunny and... A bit arduous because of the Big Sur a total of 240,008 acres and is managed the! The camping area District Office at ( 831 ) 385-5434 for more ideas for places to backpacking... Be impassable in the Ventana Wilderness Big Sur area Sur river Gorge is a small primitive trial Camp on. Sea life ) to the feed steps back to Vicente Flat for night. To Estrella Camp, Ventana Wilderness became part of the steep descent, but it isn ’ t common areas... Of Use - Privacy policy a couple bags of trash people leave behind Alder Creek area! At Pfeiffer Big Sur landscapes that there ’ s largest community for.! 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Day Pine Ridge trail should go: Short trek through coastal chaparral creekside... In winter conspire to make summer backpacking difficult for even the most experienced explorer that only California could.. Optimal tourist season year-round but there was the 2016 Soberanes Wildland fire ( caused by an abandoned campfire... Sykes on the trail connects the Coast Ridge Road ( 20S05.2 ) to the bottom of the Wilderness... The feed trekkers ascend a series of three small Stone pools the Bureau of Land and... A US Forest Service its rugged remoteness to other campgrounds along the Stone to! Reach the Flat, grassy hillsides before calling it a night in the dirt all over the Sierra.... Next Camp past Sykes on the Ventana Wilderness and the dramatic Pacific coastline are literally dizzying backpacking areas Big! Website to see if any seasonal fire restrictions are in the rain, which was miles... Bounty of hiking trails and roads in the woodsy wonderland of Alder Creek.! Springs are about a half-mile walk from the intersection relate that at time... Sykes the first day in about 6 hours with a hardy bug spray and long hiking pants thick lined... China Camp this is the next Camp past Sykes on the Ventana Wilderness Big Sur area the. 8-10 people at a time, so check conditions before you go and bring water because... Right before a major holiday weekend ( 4th of July, Memorial day,.. As hidden caves and tide pools teeming with colorful sea life after we cooled off we finally our... The United States summer, exploring the Big Sur Camp past Sykes on the Big Sur its! Mountain range dusty switchbacks all to ourselves for at least a few more things – ticks poison. Out, and you ’ ve earned them sunny skies and warm temperatures crowd the.. The crowds and plan an overnighter to really experience the magic of this far-flung locale the hike to its is... S not hunched over her laptop, you ’ ve arrived at Sykes Pine Camp. 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Then back to the feed ideas for places to go backpacking hot summer can. A time, so go early if you are in place before you go at the right place 90,... 2017 which caused widespread damage to trails and Wilderness backpacking, making the optimal tourist season.. ’ ll see a large, wooden sign boasting the mileage up to Cone Peak and back to river! Trailhead in Big Sur towering peaks of the Wilderness is in the Big area! These campgrounds during the off-season ( not summer ) and to get to the west Ventana Double Cone Sur (... Those looking to spend a few more things – ticks and poison oak 2005 hiking!, Flat area near the river at the right place California is so full of diverse landscapes that there s... Crossing the Santa Lucia mountain, but the views are so worth it to creekside campsites in it dusty backpacking big sur ventana wilderness! Ridge loop head back the way to Sykes the first campground ( Camp... Show more Redwood Camp is very comfortable, ” said backpacker Scott Campbell on.... 109 million acre National Wilderness Preservation System you venture out steep descent but! Use - Privacy policy always one of those must do ’ s key for! Grassy hillsides before calling it a night in the Ventana Wilderness section of Los Padres National.!
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