Backpack to Goat Camp in Big Sur

San Francisco Goat Camp Trailhead

Added by Andrew Conway

The trail to Goat Camp is steep and arduous but offers spectacular views along the way. This lesser-known trail sees less foot traffic yet still allows one to experience the beauty of Big Sur.

To find this trailhead, head down Highway 1 towards Limekiln State Park Campground. Between Lucia and Limekiln, there should be a shoulder off the side of the road to park overnight. Cross the street to the trailhead of Twitchwell Flat Use Trail. Bear in mind that there is abundant poison oak along the entire trail so prepare accordingly! The trail has a gate barring entry to cars but is open to hikers.

Starting at about 200 feet elevation, the trail climbs up towards Goat Camp. At about 2200 feet, there is a four way intersection. At this intersection, take a left to head towards Goat Camp on Stone Ridge Trail. Climb another 400 feet to reach the top of the ridge where Goat Camp and a spectacular view of the sunset and the California coastline are located.

Our group attempted to find an unmarked waterfall further down the trail. We climbed across rocks and trees down a stream for about a mile but could not find the waterfall. I wouldn't recommend hunting for it unless you're someone who enjoys falling into streams and getting covered in poison oak.

The weather at Goat Camp was perfect and we all slept without a tent under the stars. The hike back down was far easier and more relaxing. This trip offers all of the splendor of Big Sur without the crowds or regulations. After returning to your car, consider checking out nearby McWay Falls to see a rare tidefall.

Pack List

  • Useful trail maps
  • Compass
  • Bug spray
  • Poison oak relief/protection
  • Trekking poles
  • Sunglasses and hat
  • Backpack
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping

Skill Level:




Trail Type:



22 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2400 Feet




Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

9 months ago

Awesome Views

The Old Twitchwell Flat Road offers epic views! Due to a storm our group did not make it as far as Cone Peak or Goat Camp for that matter. Regardless, the views from those hills is worth every bit of effort! Just a quick tip - get down before the rain hits. The rain makes for one slippery ride down.

9 months ago

Added by Andrew Conway

Oregon native paying rent in San Francisco :D

More Adventures Nearby

Backpack to Mississippi Lake

San Francisco / Henry W. Coe SP Headquarters

If you're tired of trying and failing to get reservations for backcountry camping around the bay area, then Henry Coe State Park is the perfect place to visit.

Saif Choudhary
8 Saves

Camp at Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

San Francisco / Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

This old Naval Base is now home to, well, almost nothing.

Natalie O'Connor
21 Saves

Camp at Red Mountain Campground

San Francisco / Red Mountain Campground

Red Mountain has 10 units, toilets, barbecue grates, and picnic tables. There is no potable water at this time. To get there, from Ukiah, exit U.S. 101 South at Talmage Road, then 1.