Backpack to Goat Camp in Big Sur

Goat Camp Trailhead

Distance

22 Miles

Elevation Gain

2400 Feet

Activities

Camping, Backpacking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer

Type

Out-and-Back

Beach
Forest
River
Scenic
Wildlife

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.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $176/night

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds

Pacific Grove, California

From $110/night

Enney Ranch

San Miguel, California

From $100/night

Walkabout

Santa Cruz, California

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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.

Distance

22 Miles

Elevation Gain

2400 Feet

Activities

Camping, Backpacking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer

Type

Out-and-Back

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Hike the 3 Branches of the Limekiln

Adventure

Camping at Limekiln State Park

Adventure

Hike from Kirk Creek Campground to Vicente Flat Trail

Adventure

Climb Cone Peak in Big Sur (Sea to Sky Backpacking Route)

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