Molera Beach Super Loop
ElevationAscent: 1,142' 348 m
Descent: -1,143' -348 m
High: 1,084' 330 m
Low: 7' 2 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 27% (15°)
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“A nice leisurely stroll on the beach eventually gives way to high ocean views.”— Chris Gossage
Be prepared to get your feet wet - it's good to know what the tides are doing on the day you go!
Once you get to the beach, assuming you've checked the tides to make sure you won't get trapped by the water, take a left and continue down the spectacular Big Sur coastline. There may be a couple rock outcroppings that seem to block further progress down the beach but either wade around them (knee deep when I went) or look for the tunnel underneath one of them.
When you arrive at the cove where you are to begin heading inland onto a regular trail, look for the driftwood log jam. Scramble inland across these logs and in about 50 yards you'll see the Panorama Trail.
From here on out, the trail is pretty self-explanatory. This is also where the majority of the uphill running occurs until one reaches the ridge top. From the ridge top, there is a spectacular view up and down the Big Sur coastline. Once you reach Ridge Trail, follow it to the northwest. The Ridge Trail wanders mostly through lightly forested terrain and with minimal elevation gain, traversing the first ridge to the east of the coast.
At about mile 5.7, look for Hidden Trail - connects Ridge Trail to River Trail. Descend somewhat steeply on this connector to River Trail and follow it back to the trailhead.
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Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background
Land Manager: California State Parks - Monterey District