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Partington Cove Trail

Intermediate
 3.7 (3)

A short run to a concealed cove with violent surf.


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Map Key

0.5

Miles

0.8

KM

74%

Runnable

269' 82 m

High

9' 3 m

Low

2' 1 m

Up

263' 80 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

17%

Max Grade (10°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Cave · River/Creek · Views

Although gated, there is a clear, intentional pedestrian entrance.

Need to Know

Parking is along the highway's shoulders. The trailhead is hard to see as you drive past it, and only visible as you drive northwest (away from McWay Falls, towards Big Sur).

Description

Starting from a crook in Highway 1, a few miles northwest of the McWay Falls overlook, this out-and-back trail descends to sea level.

Along the way it crosses a short pedestrian bridge and follows a short, straight, and unlit tunnel through the hill protecting the cove. I bought a headlamp, but didn't need it for the tunnel.

Two side paths leave the main route, but it's not hard to keep on the wide trail. At the end, you'll find a bench bolted to the rocky ground, safely away from the water.

A sign warns against swimming or wading — a warning to take seriously.

Contacts

Shared By:

Ben Gremillion

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#20881

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
67%
3 Star
33%
2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#2,179

in California

#20,881

Overall
9 Views Last Month
36 Since Dec 16, 2019
Intermediate

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33%
67%
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Photos

The Partington Cove trailhead is easy to miss — notice the brown sign behind the gate. I found it by noticing where other people had parked.
Dec 15, 2019 near Carmel…, CA
Waves crash into Partington Cove, a hidden inlet accessible via tunnel. A sign that warns against swimming or wading isn't a joke.
Dec 15, 2019 near Carmel…, CA

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