Backpack to the Ventana Wilderness' Sykes Hot Springs

Pine Ridge Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Blake Maitoza

Take a scenic 20 mile hike (roundtrip) along the Pine Ridge Trail to 3 hot springs sitting next to the Big Sur River.

The trek to Sykes Hot Springs is about 10-miles one way along the Pine Ridge Trail. This is a great backpacking trip, but can be done as an out-and-back hike from the campgrounds at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park if you're really moving.

The trail is moderately challenging, you'll cross the river twice - be careful in the winter and spring months, when the water runs fast. If it looks too fast, we don't recommend trying to cross. In the last 0.5 miles, you'll have to scramble down rocks to get to the hot springs. If you're reading this and thinking that 20 miles in one day isn't for you, it's cool, there are 3 hike in campgrounds, which are closer to the hot springs: Terrace Creek (about 5 miles in), Barlow Flat (3 miles from the hot springs and the largest campground on the trail), and Sykes Campground (right near the springs). Fires are not allowed in these campgrounds during the summer months. There is one toilet along the route, and by toilet, we mean an exposed wooden box with a hole in it. Pro Tip: the hot springs only comfortably seat 4-5 people. It's best to go during the off-season (not summer) and to get on the trail as early as possible.

Distance

20 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

5600 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Chillin, Camping, Backpacking, Hiking

Hot Springs
River
Scenic

Nearby Lodging

From $176/night

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds

Pacific Grove, California

Salinas / Monterey KOA

Prunedale, California

Moss Landing KOA Express

Moss Landing, California

Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA

1186 San Andreas Road

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. We also acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Done it, want to do it again!!

The hike was a little harder than I expected but it was a great trip overall. The hot tubs were very relaxing and pretty close to where people can camp.

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