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.
- Useful trail maps
- Bug spray
- Poison oak relief/protection
- Trekking poles
- Sunglasses and hat
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
Are we missing something?Suggest an edit
ReviewsLeave a Review
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.
More Adventures Nearby
Backpack to Coast Camp in Point Reyes via Palomarin Trailhead
San Francisco / Palomarin Trailhead
Spanning from just north of the small town of Bolinas (about an hour north of San Francisco) across Inverness ridge and to the top of Tomales Point, Point Reyes National Seashore is as stunning park .
Hike Austin Creek State Recreation Area
San Francisco / Gilliam Creek Trailhead, Austin Creek SRA
The hike starts at the Gilliam Creek Trailhead, halfway up Armstrong Woods Road on the way to Bullfrog Pond.