username
X
password
register
for free!
help

The Best Hikes in Los Padres National Forest

19 Triplog Reviews in the Los Padres National Forest
Most recent of 8 deeper Triplog Reviews
6.42 mi • 1,802 ft aeg
I was somewhat chagrined to learn that I spent about 6 hours in the car for a 6-mile hike, but I did need a lot of windshield time to make a bunch of long phone calls so it all worked out in the end. Big Sur is such a cool place. I regret not visiting years ago when I moved up here, but I was intimidated by the 2-3 hour drive each way from Walnut Creek.

I wanted to knock off a few shorter hikes in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and the Pfeiffer Falls-Valley View and Buzzard's Roost Trails fit the bill. I parked in the large lot just past the entrance kiosk ($10.00 fee), and went west on the River Path trail to the deck around some old growth redwoods near the lodge. The Valley View Trail begins on the other side of the main park road just north of the raised deck, and it meanders through a pretty grove of second-growth redwood before beginning to climb in earnest. The Pfeiffer Falls Trail branches off to the east about 2/3 mile from the road, but I kept climbing up to whatever the Valley View is. The trail soon gained the top of an uphill ridge on its ascent to Valley View, and there were nice views east towards the Manuel Peak massif and northwest down the Big Sur River valley as it approached the sea.

I reached the bench which marked the end of the trail about a mile from the road to meet a nice Swiss family. There were 3 generations of this family enjoying the view, and they were typical super-friendly Swiss people. The pregnant mother of 2 small children offered to give me her seat on the bench, but no way did I even look remotely that tired!

I went back down the Valley View Trail to check out Pfeiffer Falls. The quarter-mile trail to the falls is about 1/3 mile down from the top, and I'm glad I wasn't planning on spending a lot of time there. There is a viewing area about 100 feet from the falls with "barriers" around it warning people to not go past them to the falls. There were also about 30 people who had gone beyond the barriers to hang out just below the falls. A nicely flowing 50-foot-tall fall wasn't even worth photographing due to all of the people in the way. You can guess how happy that made me. There were also a few dogs even though dogs aren't allowed on any of the trails in this state park.

I went back down to the road to the bridge by the lodge, and crossed it to the Buzzard's Roost Trail. Go right at the junction as Buzzard's Roost Trail follows the Big Sur River under Hwy. 1 then a few hundred yards before it switchbacks to begin the workout portion of today's adventure. The trail gradually climbs on switchbacks first through a dark second-growth redwood forest, then a nice forest of bay, tanoak and smallish redwood before finally reaching open areas near the top. Buzzard's Roost Trail is a lasso-loop with the loop portion beginning a half-mile up. Go right (counterclockwise) to switchback up the summit for 2/3 mile through the successional forest. The summit of Buzzard's Roost has obviously seen wildfire in recent years, and the chaparral is gradually reclaiming it with baby redwoods right behind.

There is a small building on the summit which is merely one of numerous high points on a long ridge separating the Big Sur River from the coast. I was startled by how developed the Big Sur area is. There are at least 200 homes in the Big Sur area, and many of them are right out of Sunset Magazine. The summit is also close to a road that serves a few houses within a few hundred yards of the summit that appear to be linked to ranching. Indeed there is a lot of ranching along the coast of the entire state of California, and this area is no exception. There are great views in all directions from the summit. The remainder of the loop is about a mile back to the junction, then return on the Warden's Path trail as it heads east along the south bank of the Big Sur River. Cross the bridge to the north/left to return to the large parking lot.

A foldout visitor guide with the typical maps and interpretive information costs $2.00, but it's worth it.

Buzzard's Roost Trail is a loop
1.4 mi • 230 ft aeg
After eating Danish pastries in Solvang we stopped at Bradbury Dam overlook, hiked down to Cachuma Lake and realized how serious the drought was as there was only water at the bottom of the lake. GPS showed that we were walking on water. Most city fountains in Santa Barbara were converted to succulent flower-beds because of this drought.

Then drove toward Santa Barbara on CA-154 and turned to El Camino Cielo that follows the ridge of Santa Ynez mountains towards Knapp's Castle. It's a short hike along unpaved road to the ruins of a mansion built on the ridge side overlooking Santa Ynez Valley in late 1910-s and burnt in 1940. The chimney and parts of walls still stand.

This triplog data accounts for both hikes (0.6 mi RT Cachuma lake, 0.8 mi RT Knapp's Castle).
59.93 mi • 3,300 ft aeg
Big Sur Coastline CA Redux - August 2015
Big Sur Coastline CA Redux - August 2015
Superstition Wilderness Loop Hike
Superstition Wilderness Loop Hike


For my 1000th triplog on HAZ, needed something extraordinary (within reason). Saddened by our recent loss of Skippy our Springer Spaniel, maybe trip along Big Sur Coastline with a loop thru Yosemite would set things right...

Ahwatukee to Avila Beach CA is 575 miles, 9 hrs, 34 min per Google Maps
Avila Beach to Lucia CA is 91 miles, 2 hrs, 30 min per Google Maps
Lucia CA to Monterey CA is 54 miles, 1 hrs, 45 min per Google Maps

Monterey to Yosemite Village is 201 miles, 4 hrs, 2 min per Google Maps
Yosemite Village to Bishop CA is 139 miles, 2 hrs, 57 min per Google Maps
Bishop CA to Ahwatukee home is 584 miles, 8 hrs, 42 min via Palm Springs
Itinerary goes here...
Big Sur CA – August 2015

Saturday 8/22 – prep day…

Sunday 8/23 – Avila Lighthouse Suites, Avila Beach CA – confirmation number 244101678, King Master Suite Deluxe Ocean Front Patio Room. https://www.avilalighthousesuites.com Drive from home to Avila Beach is 575 miles, 8 hrs 43 min per Google Maps

Monday 8/24 – Avila Lighthouse Suites, Avila Beach CA – beach day, explore San Luis (Avila) Lighthouse :next: https://www.sanluislighthouse.org/ NOTE: hike permit required. Point Buchon Trail an alternative. https://pge.modwest.com/pgereservations ... .php?pid=4 Reservations Thursday to Monday. Located north of Diablo Canyon nuclear plant, north of Point San Luis lighthouse

Tuesday 8/25 – Lucia Lodge, Lucia CA - confirmation number (12103) and your reference number (IRS007831008560). Room #10 – Honeymoon Cottage https://www.lucialodge.com Avila Lighthouse Suites to Lucia Lodge is 90 miles, 2 hrs 1 min per Google Maps. Monastery :next: https://www.hermitagebigsur.com

Wednesday 8/26 – Lucia Lodge, Lucia CA - confirmation number (12105) and your reference number (IRS007831086695). Room #2 – Partial Ocean View Room https://www.lucialodge.com

Thursday 8/27 – Monterey Marriott, Monterey CA – confirmation number 93332298. Bay view, king bed room.https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ ... -marriott/ Lucia Lodge to Monterey Marriott is 54 miles, 1 hr 22 min per Google Maps. Point Sur Lighthouse tours @ 10am on Thursdays :next: https://www.pointsur.org/ (1st come, 1st served, no reservations).

Friday 8/28 – Monterey Marriott, Monterey CA – Monterey Aquarium day, evening whale watch cruise https://www.montereybayaquarium.com

Saturday 8/29 – check out Monterey Marriott, Monterey CA – drive home is 709 miles, 10 hrs 50 min per Google Maps

Sunday 8/30 – recover at home…

Sunday August 23rd - Ahwatukee to Avila Beach CA
Fitbit distance = 6.67 miles, AEG = 250 feet (25 floors)
Early morning getaway on I-10 to CA210 @ Redlands onto CA101 @ I-405 in Sherman Oaks. Continue along CA101 (Pacific Coast Highway) to Avila Beach turnoff before San Luis Obispo...

Avila Lighthouse Suites base camp (Martin Resorts) :next: https://www.avilalighthousesuites.com/? ... 23011848:s and https://www.martinresorts.com

HAZ hikes
1. Avila Beach Walking Tour :next: [ Avila Beach Walking Tour ]
2. Pecho Coast Trail :next: [ Pecho Coast Trail ]
3. Point San Luis Lighthouse Trail :next: [ Point San Luis Lighthouse Trail ]
4. Oceano Dunes & Preserve :next: [ Oceano Dunes Preserve Trail & SVRA ]
5. Big Sur Coastline Highway :next: [ Big Sur Coast Highway ]
Monday August 24th - Avila Beach CA and Surrounding Area
Fitbit distance = 14.97 miles, AEG = 859 feet (85 floors)
Early morning stroll along Avila Beach. Headed over to Montana de Oro State Park to explore what is called the "southern most stretch of Big Sur Coastline". Back at our Avila Lighthouse Suites base camp to eat dinner and watch the sun set from our room balcony patio...

HAZ hikes
1. Avila Beach Walking Tour :next: [ Avila Beach Walking Tour ]
2. Point Buchon Trail :next: [ Point Buchon Trail ]
3. Sand Spit Beach (Montana de Oro State Park) :next: [ Morro Bay Sand Spit Montaa de Oro State Park ]
Tuesday August 25th - Avila Beach CA to Lucia CA
Fitbit distance = 9.22 miles, AEG = 660 feet (66 floors)
Early morning stroll along Avila Beach. Debated about putting Salmon Creek Falls on the itinerary but talked ourselves out of it given the dry/fire conditions. Hung out most of the afternoon at Sand Dollar Beach - one of my fav Big Sur spots! 31st wedding anniversary at honeymoon suite at Lucia Lodge room #10 :next: https://www.lucialodge.com Lucia Lodge recommendations :next: https://www.lucialodge.com/activities.html Watch the sun set from Lucia Lookout after watching 3 humpback whales cruise by between the kelp beds and being swooped by California condors...

HAZ hikes
1. Avila Beach Walking Tour :next: [ Avila Beach Walking Tour ]
2. Moonstone Beach :next: [ Moonstone Beach Trail ]
3. Elephant Seal Beach Vista :next: [ Elephant Seal Vista Point ] and https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/other_elephantseals.html
4. Point Sierra Nevada Beach :next: [ Point Sierra Nevada Beach - Big Sur Coastline ]
5. Ragged Point :next: [ Ragged Point - Cliffside Trail & Nature Trail ]
6. Willow Creek (jade and gold prospecting) :next: [ Willow Creek - Big Sur Coastline ] and https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_willowcreek.html
7. Jade Cove Beach :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_jadecove.html
8. Sand Dollar Beach :next: [ Sand Dollar Beach ] and https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_sanddollar.html
9. Pacific Valley Flats :next: [ Pacific Valley Flats ]
10. Mill Creek Picnic Area :next: [ Mill Creek Picnic Area - Big Sur Coastline ]
11. Lucia Lookout :next: write a HAZ description for 1000th trip logged
Wednesday August 26th Lucia CA and Local Surroundings
Fitbit distance = 6.78 miles, AEG = 440 feet (44 floors)
Early morning whale watching through the fog at Lucia Lookout while sipping on Starbucks coffee brewed in our room. Need to move our gear from Room#10 to Room#2 - thanks to housekeeper Rindy for making us a priority. Headed to the Hermatige near Lucia and arrived at the Book Store and Visitor Center @ 11:30am just as it is closing for 1 1/2 hr lunch break. Oh well, off to Pfeiffer State Beach for the afternoon (found the hidden entrance for Sycamore Canyon Road -hint; its paved and unsigned just north of the Shell Gas Station/Market) followed by some mega-whale watching at Partington Cove. Gassed up in Big Sur - yikes - $5.59 per gallon! I don't think I've ever paid that much for a gallon of gas, even in Europe! Cobbled up a picnic dinner at Lucia Lodge watching the sunset sans whales...

HAZ hikes
1. Lucia Lookout :next: write a HAZ description for 1000th trip logged
2. Hermitage :next: [ Hermitage - Big Sur Coastline ] and https://www.contemplation.com
3. McWay Falls Trails :next: [ McWay Waterfall Trail - Big Sur Coastline ]
4. Partington Cove Trail :next: [ Partington Cove Trail - Big Sur Coastline ]
5. Pfeiffer Beach via Sycamore Canyon Road (the only ungated paved road the west side of PCH between Big Sur post office and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park) :next: https://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/beaches.html and [ Pfeiffer Beach ]
Thursday August 27th Lucia CA to Monterey CA
Fitbit distance = 12.18 miles, AEG = 690 feet (69 floors)
Early morning whale watching sans fog at Lucia Lookout. Headed to the Hermatige near Lucia and arrived at the Book Store and Visitor Center @ 8am just as it is opening! On the PCH before 9am to head to the first-come-first-served tour of Point Sur Lighthouse :next: https://www.pointsur.org Tom was our outstanding volunteer docent for the 3 hour "behind the scenes, step back in history" tour. After the tour, headed to Point Lobos :next: https://www.pointlobos.org where we saw humpback whales, otters, more humpback whales, deer, and even more humpback whales in full body breach - awesome! After grabbing dinner in Sand City, checked into our Monterey Marriott room#710 base camp :next: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ ... -marriott/

HAZ hikes
1. Lucia Lookout :next: write a HAZ description for 1000th trip logged
2. Hermitage :next: [ Hermitage - Big Sur Coastline ]
3. Point Sur Lighthouse :next: write a HAZ description for 1000th trip logged
4. Bixby Bridge :next: [ Bixby Creek Bridge - Big Sur Coastline ]
5. Point Lobos (China Cove, Whalers Knoll, etc) :next: [ Whaler's Knoll Trail ]
[ South Shore Trail ]
[ North Shore Trail ]
[ Cypress Grove Trail ]
[ Sea Lion Point Trail ]
[ Bird Island Trail ]
6. Monterey Walking Tour :next: [ Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail ]
Friday August 28th Monterey CA
Fitbit distance = 7.21 miles, AEG = 290 feet (29 floors)
Spend the day at Monterey Aquarium :next: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org chatted with the BBC/PBS film crew shooting clips for "Big Blue Live" that will air this Monday 8/31 :next: https://www.pbs.org/big-blue-live/home/
Happy hour at Peter B’s Brew Pub :next: https://www.portolahotel.com/peter-bs-brewpub/ (Stout Resistance with Buffalo Chili and Monterey Jack Cheese highly recommended) where we caught the Jays game (totally smoked the Tigers). Full moon walk along Cannery Row and the waterfront...

HAZ hikes
1. Monterey Bay Aquarium :next: write a HAZ description for 1000th trip logged
2. Monterey Walking Tour :next: [ Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail ]
Saturday August 29th Monterey CA to Ahwatukee AZ
Fitbit distance = 3.81 miles, AEG = 120 feet (12 floors)
Get away home day aborting route through Yosemite. Plotted route from Monterey to Paso Robles to Bakersfield to Barstow via Tehachapi Pass and onto Needles via I-40, then CA95 to Parker AZ with connecting road onto I-10 at Vicksburg and onto Phoenix - 731 miles per Google Maps, 10 hr 48min drive time...
Found Tobin James Cellar Winery in Paso Robles (curious combo for our daughter Tobyn and her boyfriend James :next: https://m.tobinjames.com/history.php ).

HAZ hikes
1. Monterey Bay Aquarium :next: write a HAZ description for 1000th trip logged
2. Tehachapi Mountain Pass Trail :next: [ Tehachapi Mountain Trail ]
3. Parker Dam :next: [ Parker Dam ]

TOTALS
Sunday 8/23 = 6.67 miles, 250 AEG
Monday 8/24 = 14.07 miles, 850 AEG
Tuesday 8/25 = 9.22 miles, 660 AEG
Wednesday 8/26 = 6.78 miles, 440 AEG
Thursday 8/27 = 12.18 miles, 690 AEG
Friday 8/28 = 7.21 miles, 290 AEG
Saturday 8/29 = 3.81 miles, 129 AEG
TOTAL = 59.93 miles, 3300 AEG
170 Avila Beach iPhone photos
148 Lucia iPhone photos
136 Monterey iPhone photos
241 Canon 7D photos
320 Canon 6D photos
167 Canon Rebel XT photos
TOTAL = 1182 photos
4 mi • 700 ft aeg
Nice hike on the Cozy Dell Trail on a cool morning (Temp was 37 at 10:30am). The immediate gentle climb from 877ft at the trail head to 1562ft within the first 1/2 hour of the hike helped warm us up! :D

Well traveled trail - though we didn't see a soul until we were nearly complete with this out-and-back. Having the trail to ourselves was nice. It was very quiet and provided beautiful views of the Ojai valley. Hope to do this trail again!
49.08 mi • 2,040 ft aeg
Big Sur Coastline - August 2014
Big Sur Coastline - August 2014
FitBit totals = 49.08 miles, 2040 AEG (204 floors)

BACKGROUNDER
I’ve had a couple of previous opportunities to visit the Big Sur Coastline of California. Pacific Coast Highway return trip home after Hannah's wedding in Oregon :next: [ photoset ] required a definite redux in the Big Sur area. I also had a chance to visit during a July business trip to Cupertino :next: [ popup triplog ]

With my August participation with a medical team in Leh Ladakh Kashmir India pushed out to October, had an opportunity to take my wife on a 30th wedding anniversary wish to the "Big Sur Coastline"...

Some things to consider;

1. Big Sur beaches :next: https://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/beaches.html
2. Kayaking in Monterey ? :next:
https://www.montereybaykayaks.com
https://www.seemonterey.com/things-to-d ... /kayaking/
https://www.adventuresbythesea.com
3. Monterey Bay Aquarium :next: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org
4. Whale spotting along Big Sur Coast
5. Giant redwood hike
6. Big Sur history :next: https://www.bigsurhistory.org
7. Dogs are pretty much NOT welcome anywhere in Big Sur...

THE PLAN

Mon 8/18 - Ahwatukee AZ to Marriott base camp #1 in Monterey CA :next: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ ... -marriott/
709 miles, 10 hours 25 minutes per Google Maps Confirmation 88321895, 80,000 points Monterey Marriott
350 Calle Principal, Monterey CA, 93940

Tue 8/19 - explore Monterey CA
Monterey Aquarium :next: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org
Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail :next: [ Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail ]
Shoreline Stroll Trail :next: [ Shoreline Stroll Trail ]
Should consider Point Lobos State Reserve, North Shore Trail :next: [ North Shore Trail ]

Wed 8/20 - Monterey to Glen Oaks base camp #2 along Big Sur River in the redwood forest :next: https://glenoaksbigsur.com
30 miles, 0 hours 44minutes per Google Maps Confirmation P433714A6627, $249.62 pre-paid on Visa Glen Oaks Big Sur Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920 Hiking in Big Sur :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com The "must see trails" :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/mustsee.html
McWay Waterfall Trail :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_mcwayfalls.html
Ewoldsen Redwoods Trail :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_ewoldsen.html
Partington Cove Trail :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_pa ... ncove.html

Thu 8/21 - Glen Oaks Big Sur to Avila Beach Lighthouse Suites base camp #3 :next: https://www.avilalighthousesuites.com
116 miles, 2 hours 45 minutes per Google Maps Confirmation 211148994, $398.60 Avila Beach Lighthouse Suites
550 Front Street, Avila Beach CA, 93424

Fri 8/22 - Avila Beach CA to Ahwatukee AZ
575 miles, 8 hours 37 minutes per Google Maps Avila Beach Walking Tour :next: [ Avila Beach Walking Tour ]

THE TREK

Mon 8/18 - Ahwatukee AZ to Marriott base camp #1 in Monterey CA :next: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ ... -marriott/
Arrived at base camp dinner time-ish by the ocean shore to a foggy Monterey Bay where I joined onto Hwy 1, Pacific Coast Highway.
Ok, so it really took almost 12 hours door-to-door. Stopped in a surprisingly active oil field near I-5 and CA46. Lost Hill Oil Well purchase :next: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Hills_Oil_Field
Walked Fisherman's Wharf and Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail out to Lover's Point :next: [ Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail ]
Also saw cleanup from the weekend vintage car auction :next: https://www.rmauctions.com/results/resu ... eCode=MO14 Amazing to see six-figure cars all stored outside in the sea-mist waiting for pick-up! Finished up walking the dunes and shoreline trails and over to Laguna Park :next: [ Shoreline Stroll Trail ] and [ Laguna Grande Park ]

Fitbit Totals = 9.37 miles and 150 AEG
Tue 8/19 - explore Monterey CA
We picked up our Monterey Bay Aquarium passes at the front desk of the Marriott Hotel the night before. Pass is good for 2 consecutive days creating multiple options for us. https://www.montereybayaquarium.org
The Aquarium is awesome - hard to improve upon. Loved the modern blend of functional architecture with local history - the entire building is an ode to local cannery row lore. As each hour passed at the Aquarium, the crowd multiplied. We decided to check out for lunch. The Cannery Row Brewing Company was noted on the morning walk from the hotel to the aquarium. Much to my disappointment this is not a brewery. Although some craft brews are on tap, none were local (unless you call San Diego local for Monterey) :next: https://www.canneryrowbrewingcompany.com
This area could be called "ground zero" for John Steinbeck's "Cannery Row" :next: https://www.canneryrow.com/john-steinbeck.php
Lynn and I then headed to another "brew pub", Peter B's Brew Pub :next: https://www.portolahotel.com/#dining/brewpub/about
Crap, it doesn't open until 4pm daily. Ok, we had to settle for the faux English Pub (Crown & Anchor Monterey) across the road from the Marriott :next: https://crownandanchor.net Whale Watching up next from Fisherman's Wharf. The Princess Monterey took us to the Monterey Canyon off Moss Landing where we saw a couple dozen humpback whale breaches and many more surface grazings! Monterey Canyon is reported to be the undersea equivalent of the Grand Canyon matching depth and length and provides the diverse ecosystem to support the abundant marine life found in Monterey Bay :next: https://www.montereywhalewatching.com and https://www.montereycanyon.com After dinner walk out to Point Pinos Lighthouse :next: https://www.pointpinos.org and [ Point Pinos Lighthouse ]
Rooftop night long exposure shots? Did that plus a few around Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row. Wrapped up catching last call at Peter B's Brew Pub - excellent cherrywood barrel aged porter and buffalo chili topped with Monterey Jack cheese (of course).

Fitbit Totals = 10.90 miles and 260 AEG
Wed 8/20 - Monterey to Glen Oaks base camp #2 along Big Sur River in the redwood forest.
Morning redux of Monterey Bay Aquarium (pass is good for 2 consecutive days). After pulling out base camp #1, headed out 17 mile scenic drive from Point Pinos Lighthouse to Spanish Bay to Pebble Beach to Carmel-By-The-Sea. https://independenttravelcats.com/2013/ ... alifornia/ and https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/17-Mile_Drive and https://media.pebblebeach.com/images/st ... -drive.pdf Search for the "Lone Monterey Cypress :next: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupressus_macrocarpa
Also need to find the pullout between Carmel and Rocky Creek Bridge for tide pool exploration :next: [ photo ] and https://hikearizona.com/map.php?LAT=36. ... 2&Z=15&M=6 (found it! - dubbed this a new HAZ mini-description "Big Sur Coastline - Malpaso Creek to Soberanes Creek"). Poked in the tide pools - almost like an extension of the touch pools at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Stopped at Garrapata State Park Beach :next: https://www.californiasbestbeaches.com/ ... beach.html Access from the west side of Hwy 1. There is a fairly new set of wooden stairs leading to the beach. The surf is considered hazardous here and we could see why with some spectacular waves hitting the shores today! Did the obligatory stop at Bixby Bridge and headed non-stop to base camp #2. Checked into room 15 at Glen Oaks in Village of Big Sur to establish base camp #2. Settled in and then hiked down to the redwood grove beside Big Sur River.

Fitbit Totals = 11.10 miles and 530 AEG
Thu 8/21 - Glen Oaks Big Sur to Avila Beach Lighthouse Suites base camp #3 Checked out Pfeifer Big Sur State Park (north) and Julia Pfeifer Burns State Park (south) :next: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=570 and https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/570/file ... ut2013.pdf
Note that these are two different parks albeit reasonably close together. 2008 Basin Fire has closed many of the trails in the north park, so we headed south. First stop of the day was in a Hwy 1 pullout because Lynn thought she saw whales - turns out plural was very correct as we saw about a dozen humpbacks in coordinated feeding mode. This would mark just the beginning of our whale sightings for the day. Think every stop today that had an ocean view that featured whale sightings!
Partington Cove Trail :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_pa ... ncove.html
McWay Waterfall Trail :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_mcwayfalls.html
Ewoldsen Redwoods Trail :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_ewoldsen.html
Mill Creek picnic lunch (after $20+ purchase at Lucia General store) :next: [ Mill Creek Picnic Area - Big Sur Coastline ]
Pacific Valley Beach - IMO this was the best beach along Big Sur Coastline (Orca sighting topped it off! Throw in some dolphins for extra measure...). Although this was our first visit to this beach, there was an “air of familiarity” to this beach. Don’t know why – location for commercials/movie scenes perhaps?
Pacific Valley Beach (just north of Pacific Valley Flats noted on HAZ) :next: [ Pacific Valley Flats ] and https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_pacval.html
Sand Dollar Beach :next: https://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_sanddollar.html
For what we originally thought was Sand Dollar Beach, turned out to be Point Sierra Nevada Beach (part of San Simeon State Park) :next: https://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/590/file ... re2009.pdf
Elephant Seal Vista provided multiple wildlife options with some Blue Whales offshore and the namesake Elephant Seals on the beach :next: [ Elephant Seal Vista Point ]
Drove through San Simeon and stopped at the local beach before heading to Morro Bay.
Morro Rock Vista :next: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morro_Rock
After establishing base camp #3, did an evening stroll of Avila Beach. Avila Beach walking tour :next: [ Avila Beach Walking Tour ]

Fitbit Totals = 12.49 miles and 1050 AEG
Fri 8/22 - Avila Beach Lighthouse Suites base camp #3 to Ahwatukee AZ Morning walk on the beach followed by a leisurely breakfast on our oceanfront patio before the 600 mile sprint home. It was very fitting that a giant sea weasel (aka sea otter) made an appearance in the Avila Beach surf just as we were wrapping up our walk before heading home.

THE FITBIT TOTALS
Monday = 9.37 miles, 150 AEG (15 floors)
Tuesday = 10.91 miles, 260 AEG (26 floors)
Wednesday = 11.10 miles, 530 AEG (53 floors)
Thursday = 12.56 miles and 1050 AEG (105 floors)
Friday = 5.14 miles and 50 AEG (5 floors)
TOTALS = 49.08 miles and 2040 AEG

THE HAZ DESTINATIONS

1. HAZ Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail :next: [ Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail ]
2. HAZ Shoreline Stroll Trail :next: [ Shoreline Stroll Trail ]
3. HAZ Laguna Grand Park :next: [ Laguna Grande Park ]
4. Point Pinos Lighthouse :next: [ Point Pinos Lighthouse ]
5. HAZ 17 Mile Scenic Drive :next: [ 17 Mile Scenic Drive - Monterey Peninsula ]
6. HAZ Spanish Bay to Bird Rock Trail :next: [ Spanish Bay to Bird Rock Trail ]
7. HAZ Point Joe to Bird Rock Trail :next: [ Point Joe to Bird Rock ]
8. HAZ Big Sur Coastline - Malpaso Creek to Soberanes Creek :next: [ Big Sur Coastline - Malpaso Ck to Soberanes Ck ]
9. HAZ Garrapata Beach :next: [ Garrapata Beach ]
10. HAZ Bixby Bridge - Big Sur Coastline :next: [ Bixby Creek Bridge - Big Sur Coastline ]
11. HAZ Glen Oaks Big Sur Redwood Grove Loop :next: [ Glen Oaks Big Sur Redwood Grove Loop ]
12. HAZ Partington Cove Trail :next: [ Partington Cove Trail - Big Sur Coastline ]
13. HAZ Ewoldsen Redwoods Trail :next: [ El Sur Grande - Ewoldsen Trail ]
14. HAZ McWay Waterfall Trail :next: [ McWay Waterfall Trail - Big Sur Coastline ]
15. HAZ Mill Creek Picnic Area :next: [ Mill Creek Picnic Area - Big Sur Coastline ]
16. HAZ Pacific Valley Beach :next: [ Pacific Valley Flats ]
17. HAZ Sand Dollar Beach :next: [ Sand Dollar Beach ]
18. HAZ Point Sierra Nevada Beach :next: [ Point Sierra Nevada Beach - Big Sur Coastline ]
19. HAZ Elephant Seal Vista :next: [ Elephant Seal Vista Point ]
20. HAZ San Simeon Bay Beach :next: [ San Simeon Bay Beach ]
21. HAZ Morro Rock :next: [ Morro Rock Walking Tour ]
22. HAZ Avila Beach :next: [ Avila Beach Walking Tour ]

I'll post some photos when I get the chance. Enjoy! :)
121 on iPhone
297 on 6D
214 on 7D
42 on Rebel XT
TOTALS = 674

Sent from my iPad
7.08 mi • 510 ft aeg
Big Sur Coastline
Big Sur Coastline CA - Saturday July 12th, 2014
FitBit totals = 7.02 miles, 510 AEG (51 floors)

BACKGROUNDER
Pacific Coast Highway return trip home after Hannah's wedding in Oregon :next: [ photoset ] required a definite redux in the Big Sur area beyond some of the HAZ noted descriptions;

HAZ Big Sur Coast Highway :next: [ Big Sur Coast Highway ]

HAZ Elephant Seal Vista Point :next: [ Elephant Seal Vista Point ]
With a planned business trip to 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino CA (see :next: ) and a base-camp to be established at Courtyard Cupertino Marriott, 10605 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino CA, 95014 ( see :next: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/hotel-p ... cupertino/ ), thought I'd "front-end" the trip with some exploration of Big Sur and Yosemite with a goal to capture long exposure dusk image of Bixby Bridge ( see :next: https://parkerlab.bio.uci.edu/pictures/ ... bridge.jpg ) and an Ansel Adams-like shot of Yosemite Valley (see :next: https://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/four ... _point.jpg and [ photo ] ).
Google maps indicated travel distance from Cupertino base-camp to the north end of Big Sur Coast was 83 miles with 1 hour 22 minutes travel time. Travel from Carmel CA (north end of Big Sur) to San Simeon CA (south end of Big Sur) - distance on Hwy 1, Pacific Coast Hwy is about 90 miles with 2 hours 30 minutes travel time. See :next: https://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/map.html

Bixby Bridge :next: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bixby_Creek_Bridge and https://parkerlab.bio.uci.edu/pictures/ ... bridge.jpg and https://photography.nationalgeographic. ... alifornia/

Big Sur beaches :next: https://www.bigsurcalifornia.org/beaches.html

THE TREK

Arrived at base camp lunchtime-ish and headed in the rental vehicle towards the Pacific Ocean. Arrived at the ocean shore to a foggy Monterey Bay where I joined onto Hwy 1, Pacific Coast Highway.

First stop was an isolated pullout with some interesting coastline somewhere between Carmel and Rocky Creek Bridge. I lingered for some time poking in the tide pools and watching what seemed to be a million crabs moving in and out of just about every crack in the rock. If you have a crustacean phobia, this is not a place for you...

Next stop, Rocky Creek Bridge. As I was snapping a shot of the concrete arch, the San Francisco Exotic Car Club pulled up - Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens, Ford GTs, Porsches, and my current fav, Audi R8's. Must say that the Porsches looked rather vanilla next to these exotics. The lead driver thought they were stopping at the Bixby Creek Bridge. I told him he's got a mile or two further south to reach it and that I'd soon see them there...

Bixby Creek Bridge was next on the list. I found my spot to set up for a long exposure shot. With it being only 4pm and sunset not until 8:30pm, it was time to explore further south along the Big Sur Coastline.

Multiple stops along the coast until I reached the Mill Creek Picnic Ground. This is a hidden nook that has a parking lot and restrooms plus a rocky beach to catch the setting sun. I had stopped at a hotel/general store in nearby Lucia to grab some dinner snacks. So there I was on a giant boulder, snacking away while catching the setting sun. All was right in the world...

Made my way back to Bixby Creek Bridge to experiment with long exposure shots capturing streaking lights of passing vehicles. My only challenge was extremely light traffic passing by on a Saturday night!

THE HAZ DESTINATIONS

HAZ Big Sur Coast Highway :next: [ Big Sur Coast Highway ]
HAZ Bixby Creek Bridge :next: [ Bixby Creek Bridge - Big Sur Coastline ]
HAZ Mill Creek Picnic Area :next: [ Mill Creek Picnic Area - Big Sur Coastline ]

I'll post some photos when I get the chance. Enjoy! :)
6.19 mi • 2,333 ft aeg
This is a really straight forward hike up a fire road from Gaviota State Park into Los Padres National Forest. Its about 20 minutes west of Santa Barbara, just past the rest stop. Basically, when the 101 turns North and leaves the coast, this is the peak it is bending around. It costs 2 dollars to park.

The hike starts out climbing, and mostly keeps the same elevation profile the whole way up. Half a mile into the hike, there is an unmarked path headed toward the hot springs. I took this path on the way up, which continues past the hot springs back to the road. There were a couple of bathers.

The rest of the way up was just a steady trudge up the mountain, on a road passable by a civic. Really beautiful santa barbara coastal-springtime views the whole way. There aren't many signs, but its never very hard to figure out.

The peak has a summit log and a benchmark.

At the peak, the trail actually continues and you can take another way down (Trespass trail). Its longer, but less steep. I decided against it this time, and returned the way I came.
0 mi • 150 ft aeg
I was Mt. Biking and frogleaping with my brother on bikes and SUV and we came across this waterfall on the Pacfic Coast Hwy. It is a very short hike but is a must see hike. You can see the waterfall from the road and it is a wonderful falls right on the coast line. If you park in the bend of the road on the pull off, do not hike the trail on the left when you are facing the falls, but look for the hidden trail on the right. This trail can be slippery and muddy but is full of fun. The fog is so thick in this area, the camera took awful pics, but I took them anyways. You will walk high above the creek for a little while and the trail will have junction trails leading off (do not go that way if you want to see the falls) just listen to the waterfall and walk that way. You then you come to a Boulder field which is fun to play around, then head straight down the cliff. Older people beware, you can slid all the way down if you dont have a good foot hold. once you get to the river, snake your way over the big boulder to get to the pools at the waterfall. If you dare, you can sneak around the last boulder and jump into the water for a hidden pool at the bottom of the falls that most people will never go to. It is a movie love making setting for sure, but seriously becareful, it is extremely slippery and one slip here and you will bust your head open for sure. Posion ivy is everywhere so watch out for it, but dont worry you can easily avoid it on this trail. Short 10 minute hike (20 minutes round trip)
helpcommentissue

end of page marker