“A singletrack dirt trail along the California Coast in Big Sur.”
— Willie Virgen
Relatively flat hard-packed dirt. Some switchbacks early on.
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.