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Vicente Flat Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

5.0 mile 8.1 kilometer point to point
83% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 1,772' 540 m
Descent: -334' -102 m
High: 1,859' 567 m
Low: 190' 58 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)

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Trail shared by Willie Virgen

A singletrack dirt trail along the California Coast in Big Sur.

Willie Virgen

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Runner Notes

Relatively flat hard-packed dirt. Some switchbacks early on.

Description

Starting across Highway 1 from the Kirk Creek Campground, this trail offers the amazing traditional views of Big Sur. The first couple miles are exposed along the hillside with a complete 180-degree view of the coastline. If done during the day in the warmer months, make sure to pack plenty of water and wear sunblock. It is a grassy area, so be mindful of ticks and poison oak. The first mile is all incline and switchbacks on dirt with grass to either side. It definitely sets the tone and warms your legs up. After the first mile, you're a good way up the side of the hill and it flattens out mostly. Right around the third mile or so, the trail ditches the coast and makes its way into the hills. It is at this point that the tree cover begins to take over.

We did not venture that deep into the trees... we made it to the Vicente Flat campground which is 6 miles in on the trail, and then decided to go back to the third mile where there was a nice wide open grassy area with a ridiculous view of the coast and outgoing sunset.

From our campsite, if you continued to follow the Vicente Flat Trail to the campground, it takes you into the canyon covered by trees the whole way, where the Vicente Flat campground branches off to the left. The trail continues on past Vicente Flat deep into the Los Padres National Forest. We had one day to do this really, hence our decision to set up shop on the hillside overlooking the coast.

Flora & Fauna

Coastal shrubs and grasses, poison oak, and oak trees.

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Check-Ins

Apr 15, 2019
Dan Blakely
Ran the trail in and out. Views are amazballs and the trail is in primo condition. This is s must do trail if you're in the area. 9.7mi — 2h 20m

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 9 votes

#544

Overall
  4.7 from 9 votes
5 Star
67%
4 Star
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Trail Rankings

#79

in California

#544

Overall
107 Views Last Month
3,641 Since Nov 10, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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29%
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Photos

Sunset on the hillside at about the midpoint of the Vicente Flat Trail.
Nov 10, 2015 near King City, CA
Starting early on the trail, the views of the Pacific Ocean get pretty amazing.
Nov 10, 2015 near King City, CA
The view from our campsite.
Nov 10, 2015 near King City, CA

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