Monday , July 26 2021

The Greatest Tenting in Huge Sur, California

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Sheer cliffs. Crashing waves. Misty redwoods. Huge Sur, California is a rugged stretch of gorgeous shoreline on Freeway One between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and it’s house to among the dreamiest campsites in California! Tenting in Huge Sur means establishing your tent on ocean cliffs and in redwood groves, subsequent to babbling brooks and lazy rivers, and beneath shiny stars and wheeling galaxies.

Arguably essentially the most well-known cease alongside Freeway One, Huge Sur is thought for a lot of issues: it’s the oldest and most historic stretch of the attractive Pacific Coast Freeway, and its fame is hooked up to creatives and artists. People like Jack London, John Steinbeck, Jack Kerouac,  Ansel Adams, and lots of many others have both lived or hung out in Huge Sur. Nevertheless it’s additionally top-of-the-line locations to camp and hike alongside the California shoreline!

Whether or not you need to tough it on a backpacking in a single day, preserve it reasonably rustic with a drive-in web site, or go full-glamp with severe facilities, Huge Sur has choices. So pack your swimsuit (and perhaps a wetsuit) for the seashore and your climbing boots for the paths, and skim on to search out ideas for the proper Huge Sur tenting journey and one of the best Huge Sur campgrounds.

Psst: Planning a visit down Freeway One? We now have a great deal of posts on our house state. Browse them all here or check out a few of our favorites:


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Simply drop your e mail within the field beneath and we’ll ship it straight to your inbox, together with just a few insider ideas that will help you plan extra out of doors adventures.

Views from Highway 1 along the Pacific Coast in California.
“It’s the journey, not the vacation spot” positively applies to the beautiful drive on Freeway 1!

Methods to Get to Huge Sur

Huge Sur is gorgeous, rugged, and remoted. Mountains and redwoods and valleys loom on to 1 facet of Freeway One, the ocean on the opposite. In actual fact, this space didn’t even obtain electrical energy till the 1950’s!

However that isolation means it’s not the best vacation spot to get to: the one approach into Huge Sur’s gorgeous panorama is by way of Highway One (aka the Pacific Coast Highway) which runs alongside all the California Coast from north of San Diego to only south of the Oregon border.

Should you’re planning your individual tenting journey, you’ll need to drive or rent a car. San Francisco is about 100 miles away, or a few 3-hour drive alongside Freeway One. Los Angeles is a few 6-hour drive up the PCH.

There aren’t actually any public transportation routes that may get you on to Huge Sur, however there are some guided journeys that present transportation, like this One Day Big Sur Trip from San Jose. A roundabout option to get to Huge Sur is to take the Amtrak Starlight practice to San Luis Obispo after which drive from there – it’s about 1.5 hours.


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Tenting in Huge Sur: Suggestions & FAQ’s

Huge Sur has all kinds of campgrounds so that you can select from starting from rugged hike-ins to glamping. So long as you propose forward (it may be arduous to snag a spot!) and put together, there aren’t a ton of additional concerns when tenting in Huge Sur.

What’s the climate like in Huge Sur?

Huge Sur stays fairly delicate all year-round. Excessive typical hover within the 60s and 70s, whereas lows vary from the 40s to 50s. Many of the area’s rain is available in winter (December/January) whereas summer time and fall are fairly dry. 

All of that winter rain, whereas it brings coloration and life to Huge Sur, also can result in bother: this space of the California coast is tremendous vulnerable to landslides. After significantly unhealthy fireplace seasons, the charred floor can’t take up as a lot moisture, and when these situations happen, the mud begins to circulate. 

A landslide will lower off entry to Huge Sur each few years, however don’t fear: it’s often mounted inside just a few months. Freeway closures alongside the Huge Sur coast aren’t precisely uncommon — sections of highway have been closed fairly often for many years. However in the event you’ll be visiting in the course of the winter, it’s price checking the climate, the highway situations, and the chance earlier than planning your journey.

Greatest time of yr to go tenting in Huge Sur?

For my part as a California native, one of the best time to go tenting in Huge Sur is within the spring, between February and April! (Sure: spring begins in Februrary right here. Typically it begins as early as January!)

From February via March, Huge Sur comes alive with gushing waterfalls, gorgeous greenery, and blooming wildflowers. It’s additionally a good time to see whales off the coast! Within the winter, grey whales migrate south to hotter waters, they usually’re continuously noticed off the coast in Huge Sur — try our California Whale Watching post to be taught extra.

Huge Sur’s peak season, from June via August, sees much less rain and greater crowds. Although bear in mind: June additionally brings “June Gloom,” a foggy and chilly California coastal microclimate (together with its cousin “Could Grey”.)

Whereas September and October have the warmest climate, it’s additionally California’s scorching and dry fireplace season, so that you’ll should be additional cautious along with your campfires – and you could not really be allowed to have them in any respect on high-risk days.

Within the winter when temps drop and the rains come, bear in mind: landslides are pretty widespread on this space.

Are there bears in Huge Sur?

Whereas black bears are virtually by no means seen in Huge Sur, there have been just a few noticed over time. Take fundamental bear precautions, which embody protecting meals shut at hand, making noise once you hike, and being conscious of your environment.

Go tenting lots? Obtain The Dyrt app.

 Performing as a large campsite search engine, The Dyrt has an enormous quantity of data out there about each publicly and privately-owned campgrounds. In a single place, you’ll discover the whole lot from campground amenity particulars to the climate forecast in your campground to detailed evaluations, all continuously stored up-to-date by different campers.

Our favourite characteristic is the paid model of their cell app, which helps you discover tenting out of your automobile even once you don’t have WiFi or cell companies. The Dyrt Pro has downloadable maps, offline campground finding help, and even contains waived charges on some campground bookings.

Should you go tenting typically, or will probably be tenting someplace like Huge Sur that doesn’t have nice cell reception, The Dyrt Pro is a must have app.


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The sunset at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Huge Sur seems like one thing out of Jurassic Park, however much less terrifying, perhaps.

Huge Sur Campgrounds: Automobile Tenting & Glamping

With 90 miles of coast and plenty of nooks, crannies, and coves, Huge Sur is house to loads of campgrounds and backcountry websites. From the plush beds in Ventana Campground’s glamping tents to the distant redwood websites at Vicente Flat Campground, Huge Sur’s acquired a spread of choices to fulfill any sort of camper. 

When planning your Huge Sur tenting journey, you’ll need to first determine if you wish to automotive camp or get a hike-in web site.

Automobile tenting is fairly easy: you pack your automotive with all of the tenting provides, coolers, and blankets you need, then you definitely drive your self proper as much as your campsite. That is positively the better alternative — you received’t must do as a lot detailed planning, and so long as your provides makes it into your automotive, it’ll be out there to you on the campsite. You additionally don’t want as a lot specialised gear, as a result of (as talked about above) you may throw in an air mattress, a cooler stuffed with recent meals, and every other cumbersome gadgets you need. 

One other large professional of automotive tenting is entry to facilities. Whereas they rely upon the positioning (and also you’ll need to know forward of time what your campground provides), drive-in campgrounds typically have beautiful issues like bogs, picnic tables, firepits, and dishwashing sinks. Typically even showers!

Automobile-camping cons? You’ll in all probability have neighbors and a little bit little bit of noise. You may additionally have bother discovering a web site on the busier campgrounds, so plan early.


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Ventana Campground

Ventana Campground is a part of the bigger Ventana Big Sur Resort. It’s completely separate although, and provides a spread of tenting experiences from rustic to fairly swanky — that means you may camp…or you may glamp

The campground is situated in an attractive redwood canyon about 2 miles south of Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park. Particular person campsites are located among the many redwoods and strung alongside the babbling Publish Creek — that is one picturesque campground.

Issues to Know

  • There isn’t any wildlife-proof meals storage, so plan forward to securely retailer your meals.
  • This can be a tent-only campground — no RVs, motor houses, trailers, or camper vans. 
  • The campground is situated close to facilities like cafes, eating places, retailers, normal shops and a put up workplace.
  • “Glamping” means you don’t have to deliver all your tenting provides. You get to sleep in an opulent tent cabin on a customized mattress — that’s glamorous alright.
  • Common websites: $80 per night time
  • Glamping websites: beginning at $240 per night time

Campground Facilities

  • Clear bogs 
  • Paid scorching showers
  • Picnic tables
  • Fireplace rings
  • Water taps
  • Firewood for buy
  • Glamping websites solely: towels, sink, Adirondack chairs, WiFi, lanterns, energy retailers

Methods to Get There

From the north, drive 2 miles south previous Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park on Freeway 1. From the south, you’ll drive about 9 miles north previous Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park on Freeway 1. The campsite is on the east facet of Freeway 1.

What Makes it Nice

Along with the magical sunshine beams filtering in via the towering, misty redwoods, Ventana Campground is near a lot of the “civilization” inside Huge Sur — that means just a few eating places, fuel stations, and a super-cute bakery are all close by. So you may greet the day with espresso and an almond croissant from Big Sur Bakery!


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Fernwood Resort Campground

Fernwood Resort is a privately owned campground that takes tenting in Huge Sur up a stage or three: they’ve acquired glamping tents, RV and tent campsites, and a motel. To not point out a tavern, restaurant, normal retailer, tenting provides, and occasions! You’ll be able to take pleasure in a craft cocktail on the surface deck surrounded by towering redwoods earlier than stumbling again to your tent – how magical is that?

The campsites are situated alongside the gurgling Huge Sur River alongside a meadow. There are two bathtub homes with scorching showers, a dish-washing space and a laundry space. By tenting requirements, it’s fairly kush! Make sure to deliver alongside a swimsuit and tube to take pleasure in splashing round within the river.

Preserve an eye fixed out for the rare albino redwood tree subsequent to the check-in kiosk on the campground!

Issues to Know

  • You’ll be able to glamp in each tent cabins or journey tents. “Journey tents” have heaters, electrical energy, linens. Much like tent cabins, however furnished! There are additionally absolutely furnished, standalone ca
  • Since this isn’t a public campground, you’ll want to order your web site forward of time online (or over the cellphone for group reservations).
  • The onsite restaurant – the Tavern – serves lunch and dinner and provides indoor and out of doors seating.
  • The General Store and Espresso Cafe has snacks, scorching drinks, chilly drinks, and actually the rest you can want.
  • Buzzards Roost path is a well-liked path in Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park, and is well accessible from Fernwood Resort.
  • Campsites vary from $70-100 per night time

Campground Facilities

  • Bathhouses
  • Scorching showers
  • Dishwashing space
  • Laundry facility
  • Picnic desk
  • Fireplace ring
  • River entry
  • On-site restaurant, espresso store, and retailer

Methods to Get There

From the north, drive 12 miles south from the Bixby Creek Bridge on Freeway 1. From the south, drive 9.5 miles north from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State park on Freeway 1. The campground and resort are on the west facet of the freeway.

What Makes it Nice

Fernwood’s acquired the whole lot you want — which is uncommon in a spot as wild and distant as Huge Sur. Tenting provides, a normal retailer, and even an onsite tavern make this a unbelievable place for those who like campgrounds with a number of facilities You’re positively not roughing it right here!


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Kirk Creek Campground

Kirk Creek Campground is situated on an oceanside bluff inside Los Padres National Forest, providing ocean views from each campsite. The websites are beautiful, overlooking the rocky outcroppings and sandy seashores alongside this remoted wilderness playground. The campground can also be mainly throughout the freeway from Nacimiento Highway, which results in a scenic overlook (if the view out of your campsite ever will get previous!) and picnic space.

Issues to Know

  • Reserve upfront at
  • This campground welcomes tent and RV tenting, however there are not any RV hookups.
  • Campsites price $35 per night time.

Campground Facilities

  • Picnic tables
  • Campfire ring with grill
  • Vault bogs
  • Scenic overlook
  • Entry to rocky seashore

Methods to Get There

From the north, drive south about 2 miles from Limekiln State Park. From the south, drive about 40 miles north from Hearst San Simeon State Park. The campground is on the west facet of the freeway.

What Makes it Nice

Ocean views for dayssss! With each web site comes a beautiful view, so no have to stress about selecting the “greatest” web site.

Additionally, if seeing whales is in your Huge Sur bucket checklist, that is the campground for you. Psst: we have now a complete information to whale watching in California to assist with that!

Ocean view in Pfeiffer Big Sur National Park.
What an terrible view, why would anybody ever need to keep right here? Stated nobody ever.

Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park 

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park campground is a giant, in style campground on the Huge Sur River. Whereas it doesn’t have seashore entry, it’s near tons of trails, and Pfeiffer Beach is simply a mile away.

Big Sur River Gorge can also be close by — a granite-walled swimming gap alongside the Huge Sur River. The gorge is instantly accessible from a path that begins within the campground. 

Issues to Know

  • This campground provides RV and tent websites, however there are not any RV hookups.
  • Worth ranges from $35-50 per night time, relying on which sort of campsite you get. Riverfront websites are dearer.
  • Make reservations upfront at ReserveCalifornia

Campground Facilities

  • Fireplace pit
  • Picnic desk
  • Water
  • Bogs
  • Paid Showers

Methods to get there

From the north, drive about 6 miles south on Freeway 1 from Andrew Molera State Park. From the south, drive about 10 miles north on Freeway 1 from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The campground is on the east facet of the freeway.

What Makes it Nice

Huge Sur River Gorge is a spotlight of Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park — and this campground offers you direct entry to it. On a scorching day, chill out within the swimming pools and sunbathe on the rocks on this scenic river playground.


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Views of the ocean at Limekiln State Park in Big Sur, CA.
The ocean campgrounds at Limekiln State Park really feel otherworldly.

Limekiln State Park Campground

Limekiln State Park provides ocean views, redwoods, and naturally, Limekilns. So : customary Huge Sur stuff.

Limekiln State Park acquired its title from these kilns, which had been constructed on the base of a big limestone deposit. The kilns cooked the limestone to purify the lime, which was then shipped away for use within the making of concrete. The kilns weren’t lively for lengthy, as a result of the lime (and close by redwood forest) was shortly depleted. At this time, you may camp, fish, and hike in what was a booming lime and lumber operation.

Should you’re tenting in a “Redwood campsite,” you’ll sleep subsequent to the babbling Limekiln Creek beneath a cover of towering Redwoods. Should you’re in an “ocean web site,” you’ll have instant entry to the seashore and may go to sleep to the soothing surf.

Issues to Know

  • Limekiln State Park campground is cut up into two areas: the “Redwood Campsites” and “Ocean Campsites” — each areas provide their very own highlights. 
  • The campground contains entry to a small seashore the place Limekiln Creek empties into the Pacific.
  • You’ll be able to entry climbing trails from the inland finish of the campground throughout Hare Creek.
  • Campsites price $35 per night time.
  • This campground provides tent and RV websites.

Campground Facilities

  • Seashore entry
  • Fireplace ring
  • Picnic desk
  • Firewood for buy
  • Restrooms with indoor plumbing
  • Showers
  • Ingesting water

Methods to Get There

From the north, drive about 15 miles south on Freeway 1 from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. From the south, drive about 7.5 miles north on Freeway 1 from Sand Greenback Seashore. The campground is on the inland facet of the freeway.

What Makes it Nice

Both approach the cookie crumbles, you’ll get some nice pure options at Limekiln Campground. Should you’re tenting in a “Redwood campsite,” you’ll sleep subsequent to the babbling Limekiln Creek — beneath a cover of towering Redwoods. Should you’re in an “ocean web site,” you’ve acquired instant entry to the seashore and may go to sleep to the soothing surf.


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View of the beach from the trails at Sand Dollar beach in Big Sur, CA.
Sand Greenback seashore is a brief stroll from Plaskett Creek Campground and one of the crucial in style seashores within the space!

Plaskett Creek Campground

Plaskett Creek Campground in Los Padres National Forest isn’t proper on the water, however it’s a brief stroll to Sand Dollar Beach. That implies that in the event you’re on the lookout for a campsite close to ideally suited browsing, fishing, and sunbathing alternatives, this could be the campground for you. The campsites are organized throughout a sunny open subject, and a few sights even have ocean views.

Issues to Know

  • Reserve upfront at
  • There are many climbing trails accessible from Sand Greenback Seashore.
  • Campsites price $35 per night time.

Campground Facilities

  • Seashore entry!
  • Ingesting water
  • Restrooms with indoor plumbing
  • Grills
  • Picnic tables

Methods to Get There

From the north, drive about 7.5 miles south on Freeway 1 from Limekiln State Park. From the south, drive about 35 miles north on Freeway 1 from Hearst San Simeon State Park. The campground is on the east facet of the freeway, simply south of the Sand Greenback Seashore day use space.

What Makes it Nice

Staying at this campground means you’re only a minute’s stroll from Sand Greenback Seashore – Huge Sur’s largest sandy stretch. This seashore is a beautiful crescent of white sand curling across the deep blue Pacific and, just like the title suggests, it’s an ideal spot for beachcombing.


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Riverside Campground and Cabins

Riverside Campground and Cabins provides campsites and cabins close to Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park alongside the banks of the Huge Sur Ricer. Whereas it’s not beachside, you may entry the seashore and climbing trails inside 10 minutes of the campground. However you’ll even be proper subsequent to the river for swimming, tubing, and fishing!

Issues to Know

  • This campground provides tent and RV websites (with hookups). 
  • Costs vary from $70-75 per night time for tent websites.
  • Riverside Campground is near the Huge Sur Roadhouse and the Fernwood Tavern.

Campground Facilities

  • River entry
  • Picnic tables
  • Fireplace pits
  • Bathe services
  • Laundry services
  • Restrooms

Methods to Get There

From the north, drive about 3 miles south on Freeway 1 from Andrew Molera State Park. From the south, drive about 1 mile north on Freeway 1 from Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park. The campground is on the west facet of the freeway.

What Makes it Nice

This place has acquired all of it — situated close to eating places and different facilities, you’re near something you can want. The campground additionally sits alongside the Huge Sur River, so you may swim, wade, chill out, or tube with out ever leaving camp.


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Camping in tents at night with views of the milky way in Big Sur, CA.
Ponderosa Campground is without doubt one of the greatest locations to go stargazing in Huge Sur, because of its distance from the coast in addition to interfering metropolis lights!

Ponderosa Campground

Ponderosa Campground is a little bit of an off-the-beaten path place to pitch your tent in Huge Sur. Ponderosa’s location about 14 miles from the coast makes it a superb place for stargazing, so plan to reap the benefits of any clear nights.

This campground is tucked up into the mountains alongside the Nacimiento River, so there are many alternatives for fishing and swimming. You’ve additionally acquired close by entry to miles of climbing trails within the surrounding Los Padres Nationwide Forest.

Issues to Know

  • Reserve upfront at
  • This campground provides each tent and RV tenting, however there are not any RV hookups.
  • Campsites price $25 per night time

Campground Facilities

  • River entry
  • Picnic desk
  • Fireplace ring with grill
  • Vault bogs
  • Ingesting water

Methods to Get There

You’ll positively have to examine highway closures earlier than you propose your drive to Ponderosa Campground. From Freeway 1 simply south of Limekiln State Park, the Nacimiento-Fergusson Highway heads east into the mountains for about 14 miles earlier than reaching the campground.

Landslides can and have closed this highway, so examine to verify it’s open earlier than you propose to drive in from the coast. In any other case, you may get to the campground by way of Freeway 101, taking the Jolon Highway exit west. 

What Makes it Nice

This campground’s distance from the ocean makes it an incredible place to stargaze on a transparent night time. Huge Sur’s distant location makes it nice for seeing the night time sky, however in the event you’re too near the ocean, the fog can intervene.

However removed from the fog and metropolis lights, this campground is a good possibility in the event you’re all in favour of seeing what the night time sky really seems like. Convey a telescope or binoculars when you’ve got them, however stargazing with the bare eye is loads particular.

Huge Sur Campgrounds: Hike-in Tenting

Hike-in campsites are solely accessible by foot. Some walk-in websites are a fast eighth of a mile jaunt, whereas some are a fully-fledged backpacking journey away. If a hike-in web site is what you’re on the lookout for, you’ll want to determine just a few additional particulars, like:

  • How lengthy is the hike from the trailhead to the campsite?
  • How do I get from the trailhead to the campsite?
  • How am I going to get all my stuff from the trailhead to the campsite?

Stroll-in websites sometimes have fewer, if any facilities, so that you’ll have to plan for issues like water purification and going to the lavatory outdoors.

Whereas there’s a lot to contemplate when planning to camp at a hike-in web site, there are some perks, too: You’ll probably see approach fewer folks and luxuriate in a quieter web site.


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Beautiful beach views at Julia Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur with a boat sailing in the horizon.
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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park options redwood forests, chaparral, and granite cliffs dropping into Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Oh, and there’s an 80-foot waterfall spilling proper into the Pacific Ocean.

However not like Huge Sur’s different state parks, there are solely 2 campsites. Sure, 2. And so they guide up wayyyy upfront.

Each websites are walk-in, that means you may’t park your automotive instantly on the campsite. It’s a really quick stroll although, so no want for backpacking-level preparation.

Contemplating the park’s spectacular options and the truth that there are solely 2 campsites right here, it’s robust to get a reservation. Verify ReserveCalifornia about 6 months earlier than your goal dates to snag one!

Issues to Know

  • These walk-in campsites are on the west (ocean) facet of Freeway 1, 1 mile south of McWay Cove. Parking is situated off Freeway 1.
  • Once more, there are solely two websites! They often refill 6 months upfront, so in the event you’re set on tenting right here, actually plan forward.
  • Campsites price $30 per night time.
  • Make reservations upfront at ReserveCalifornia

Campground Facilities

  • Picnic desk
  • Fireplace ring
  • Trash
  • Pit bathroom
  • Good day, McWay falls

Methods to Get There

From the north, drive about 12 miles south on Freeway 1 from Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park. From the south, drive about 15 miles north on Freeway 1 from Limekiln State Park. The campsites are situated on the west facet of the freeway. Parking is simply off the freeway, and also you’ll stroll about an eighth of a mile alongside the dust path to the campsites.

What Makes it Nice

Proximity to McWay Falls: the trailhead to view the falls is sort of proper throughout the road from the campsite. You’re additionally in one of many predominant parks. inBig Sur, so you will have easy accessibility to climbing trails!

Long grass on the coast at the beach in Big Sur, CA
Whereas Vicente Flat is situated within the redwoods, your hike to get there will probably be stuffed with gorgeous views of the ocean!

Vicente Flat 

Vicente Flat is a hike-in campground that makes for an ideal in a single day backpacking journey. The 5-mile hike to Vicente Flat begins throughout the road from Kirk Creek Campground and continues up the coastal cliffs over Freeway One – with jaw-dropping coastal views the entire time – earlier than diving into the mountains and redwoods! 

This campground sits within the Ventana Wilderness, a wilderness space inside Los Padres National Forest. Due to its wilderness designation distant location, there aren’t any facilities to talk of — except you rely the unbelievable views and gurgling stream (which we do)! Convey a rest room equipment to cathole your waste, and word that you simply’ll want a state campfire allow for all fireplace and range utilization.

Vicente Flat was our very first in a single day backpacking journey, and the 10-mile spherical journey was the proper introduction to backpacking. The campsite isn’t too rustic and it’s not tough to search out (you’re positively a step above backcountry tenting.) And though the hike to get to the campsite with a full pack in your again isn’t the best factor on the planet, it’s additionally tremendous doable for freshmen who permit themselves loads of time. And that’s coming from us, the 2 slowest hikers on the planet!

Issues to Know

  • The hike to Vicente Flat camp is about 5 miles every approach, making for a straightforward in a single day backpacking journey.
  • You’ll have to pack in the whole lot for the night time, although there’s a “principally dependable” water supply working via camp. When the creek is undependable, there’s additionally a year-round water supply above Vicente Flat alongside the Stone Ridge path. You’ll need to boil the water, or deliver alongside water filtration like a Steri-Pen, Lifestraw, or potable water tablets. We suggest our Lifestraw water bottle – you may simply scoop up the water and drink!
  • Verify for any closures and fireplace/camp range restrictions earlier than heading into the backcountry. For any fires on federal land (like Nationwide Forest), you’ll want a permit.
  • There are a number of campsites unfold out among the many redwoods — decide a spot that appears prefer it’s already been used so you may decrease your affect within the wilderness!
  • Overview Leave No Trace rules earlier than heading out — backpacking requires a bit extra forethought and preparation than your customary tenting journey.

Methods to Get There

The path to Vicente Flat begins throughout the road from the Kirk Creek Campground. The camp sits 5 miles in on the junction of the Kirk Creek Path and Stone Ridge Path. Alongside the best way, you’ll go tiny Espinosa Camp which has a few campsites, however positively proceed to Vicente Flat — we promise, it’s price it.

What Makes it Nice

Whereas attending to this campsite requires a hike, a stroll alongside the coastal bluffs is an superb option to expertise Huge Sur. Miley Cyrus is true — the climb is a part of what makes tenting right here so unbelievable. To not point out the (uncommon) solitude you obtain by selecting a harder-to-reach campsite!

Extra Locations to go Tenting in Huge Sur

Listed here are just a few extra Huge Sur campgrounds to try:


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What Else is There to Do in Huge Sur?

Huge Sur is fairly remoted, so there isn’t a lot when it comes to buying, eating, or sights. However there’s loads to do in Huge Sur: with 90 miles of beautiful, rugged, shoreline, it’s an outside fanatic’s paradise!

Listed here are a few of our favourite issues to do whereas tenting in Huge Sur:

  • Pfeiffer Beach, south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, is a well-known seashore recognized for 2 distinctive options. A type of is Keyhole Arch, a pure arch rising from the water that makes for unbelievable pictures. The opposite is the purple sand discovered close to the north finish of this seashore. The purple coloration comes from garnet within the cliffs and makes for some distinctive seashore surroundings.
  • For breakfast, get up early and head to Big Sur Bakery to snag one in all their unbelievable croissants earlier than they run out! The meals and occasional right here is unbelievable, so even in the event you don’t get a croissant, don’t fear – something you order will probably be fantastic.
  • One of the influential artists to make their mark on Huge Sur is Henry Miller, whose Memorial Library stays the cultural middle of Huge Sur and attracts artists from everywhere in the world to provide impromptu live shows. It’s effectively price a cease!
  • Dive into the quirky historical past of Huge Sur (actually) and head to the Esalen Institute to chill out in the hot springs. Clothes, in fact, is non-compulsory.
  • Huge Sur is stuffed with miles of trails winding via mountains and peeking at sweeping coastal vistas via redwood timber. To greatest take pleasure in Huge Sur, we suggest lacing up your climbing boots and exploring on foot. The Partington Cove trail leads via a tree-lined canyon and a tunnel to an attractive rocky seashore. The Pfeiffer Falls & Valley View Trail is a straightforward 2-mile hike stuffed with waterfalls and sweeping vistas. For extra particulars, head to our put up concerning the best Northern California hikes.
  • Sand Dollar Beach is one in all Huge Sur’s greatest seashores: it’s in style for browsing, picnicking, and, just like the title suggests, beachcombing.
  • Cease at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and to see the enduring McWay Falls, one in all California’s two tide falls – waterfalls that spill instantly into the ocean. Image a sleek waterfall dropping 80 ft onto a white sand seashore, surrounded by a rocky cove with the Pacific Ocean crashing onto the shore. Umm, sure please! There’s no hike wanted to see the falls, that are completely in view proper off the facet of the freeway.
  • Should you’d like to check your religion in fashionable engineering (or simply admire from afar), cease on the well-known Bixby Bridge alongside Freeway 1. Constructed within the 1930’s, this bridge spans the scenic Bixby Canyon alongside the continent’s edge. If pictures is your factor (and when you see this bridge, it is going to be), there are many overlooks to snap unbelievable images of this bridge. Simply don’t look down!

What to Pack for Tenting in Huge Sur

We now have a complete checklist of what to pack for a camping trip, however beneath we’ve included some particular solutions for tenting in Huge Sur.

  • Layers: Huge Sur will get chilly at night time when the fog settles in and the coastal breezes roll off the ocean. So whatever the climate forecast – however particularly if rain is predicted – pack some heat clothes, even when it appears scorching. (And produce that clothes in your hikes as effectively!) A lightweight rain jacket is all the time a good suggestion, as is a packable down jacket or fleece jacket and a warm hat. We additionally sleep in merino wool leggings to remain heat at night time.
  • Warm Sleeping Bag: Huge Sur is often round 40-50 levels at night time, so be sure to deliver a sleeping bag rated to no less than 40 levels or decrease (or in our case, beneath and over quilts since we’re hammock campers.)
  • Water: Don’t underestimate the quantity of water you’ll want. We suggest bringing a hydration daypack with 100oz of water for hikes.
  • Solar Safety: You’ll want loads of environmentally-friendly sunscreen – reef protected in the event you’ll be going within the ocean! I additionally suggest these swim leggings for browsing or swimming – the Pacific Ocean just isn’t heat.
  • Beach towel: this sand-repellant mat is ideal for sitting on the seashore however not bringing sand again house to your tent!
  • Cooler: Our RTIC cooler is a beast. It matches a number of days price of meals and retains it completely chilly for so long as we’d like! It’s our go-to cooler for tenting.
  • Swimwear: Lots of the greatest campgrounds in Huge Sur are close to rivers or the ocean, the place you may swim and play within the cool (okay, chilly) water. Convey your swimsuit (these are my favorites), or in the event you’re a weenie like me, strive these swim leggings and swim top for a tiny large of added heat within the water.

We’ve acquired extra solutions on what to pack for tenting in Huge Sur in our detailed camping packing guide!

Need a Printable Packing Guidelines? We need to be sure to don’t neglect something you want for a enjoyable, protected tenting journey. So we’ve created a FREE, printable model of our Camping Essentials packing list!

Simply drop your e mail within the field beneath and we’ll ship it straight to your inbox, together with just a few insider ideas that will help you plan extra out of doors adventures.


Ultimate Camping Checklist: 42 Car Camping Essentials

Are you able to pack your cooler and sleeping bag and head to a Huge Sur campground? What’s your desire: redwoods or ocean views? Drop us a remark beneath!

Psst: In search of extra tenting concepts? We now have loads to encourage your subsequent camping journey (and one warning story)

Taking a visit down Freeway One? Take a look at a few of our different weblog posts about essentially the most gorgeous highway journey on the planet:

We even have a Highway One podcast episode! A humanist cult, a Danish hideaway, a gravitational anomaly, towering timber, a spoiled wealthy child’s citadel, clothing-optional scorching springs, and the cutest (and weirdest) animals possible: on this episode, we cowl the whole lot you should plan your journey up the California Coast – and all of the bizarre historical past you by no means knew alongside the best way.

Hear beneath or just click here! Oh, and don’t neglect to subscribe so that you don’t miss new episodes.

xo Lia & Jeremy signature graphic


Psst: Save this put up for in a while Pinterest!

Our Prime Journey Suggestions & Sources

Listed here are our favourite journey ideas & sources for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra ideas, try our complete guide to trip planning.

  • Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Skyscanner or Kayak. Cash-saving ideas: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a funds airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We often keep in budget-friendly, trip leases, boutique inns or personal rooms in hostels. We use to guide inns (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to guide hostels (low deposit, straightforward change/cancellation, and wonderful evaluations). For trip leases, we want to guide utilizing VRBO (they have decrease charges and higher help than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor file.) You may as well guide trip leases on Expedia and We have additionally used TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our house and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We all the time, all the time, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY recommend it – go to our Travel Insurance Guide to search out out why. We suggest both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is without doubt one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, they usually have wonderful month-to-month insurance policies which might be good for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC website to analysis really useful medicines and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We all the time suggest getting each vaccine really useful by the CDC! You may get them at your main care physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
  • Excursions: We love reserving guided excursions, particularly meals excursions and strolling excursions, to get a neighborhood’s perspective and a historical past lesson whereas sight-seeing! We guide our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine easy methods to get from place to put utilizing public transit. Once we guide a rental automotive, we use Kayak to check rental corporations and discover one of the best deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Each time we’re testing early or profiting from an extended layover, we use Stasher or LuggageHero to soundly retailer our baggage whereas we’re working round. On Stasher, you need to use the code PW10 for 10% off your reserving!
  • What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we deliver on each journey. We even have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and lots of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!

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