Big Sur is home to some of the most iconic stretches of coastline in California. Located about an hour and a half from the Bay Area, Big Sur is an excellent spot for a weekend escape. Here’s how you can spend a weekend in Big Sur.
Tag: ventana wilderness
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a beautiful park, but it’s a fairly small park. There is probably less than 15 miles of hiking trails, some connecting deeper into Ventana Wilderness like Sykes Hot Springs via the Pine Ridge trail. Some are gems like the Big Sur River Gorge and Pfeiffer Falls. Others are less so.
Hike: Junipero Serra Peak via Santa Lucia Trail
Where: Ventana Wilderness
Trailhead: Santa Lucia Trail
Duration: 4 hours
Length: 4 miles
Gear: Outdoor Research Ignitor Tee, REI Sahara Convertible Pants, Boreas Topaz 25 Daypack, Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles, and Ahnu Sugarpine Waterproof Boot
Cost of Parking: Free
Drove down this past weekend to Los Padres National Forest with every intention to bag Junipero Serra Peak. (For the record, the drive down at night is gorgeous with millions of stars as far as the eye can see, so that was worth it in itself.) Did I bag it? Not even close. I underestimated the scorching sun, unforgiving heat, lack of shade, and desolate dryness of this side of the Santa Lucia Range.
Hike: Tin House from Park HQ
Where: Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park (park map here)
Duration: 4 hours
Length: 8~ miles
Gear: REI Sahara Convertible Pants – Women’s Petite, Arc’teryx Delta LT, Icebreaker Bodyfit Oasis Crew, Ahnu Women’s Montara Waterproof Boot, Black Diamond Ultra Distance Trekking Poles
Cost of Parking: $10 in park, or free on the side of HW1
I’ve been meaning to do this hike for a while, but never manage to make it out to Big Sur. The one time I did this past summer, I accidentally went to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (I mean, come on, the names are so identical) and ended climbing up the Big Sur River instead. Made it down to the right park this past Christmas, but then drove past the trailhead.
But that’s okay! Because it made this hike even better. I parked at the big turnout down the road from McWay Falls about 500 feet and walked up Highway 1 into park headquarters. For Christmas Day, it was pretty packed full of people already leaving. (It was 10am when I got there.)