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

Big Sur, California

4.5/5
based on 15 reviews

Details

Distance

19.72 miles

Elevation Gain

7484 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Josiah Roe

Cone Peak is the most spectacular coastal mountain in the Lower 48 States. At 5,155' high and less than 3 miles from the ocean, the average gradient from summit to sea is 33%, which is steeper than Mt. Whitney to Owens Valley.

While you can make a day-hike out of it by driving up the gorgeous Sur-Nacimiento Road from Highway 1 to the Coast Ridge Road and take a 2 mile trail to the summit with 1300' of elevation gain (4 miles roundtrip), the more adventurous types do a Sea to Sky, starting at Kirk Creek Campground and up Vicente Flat Trail (23 miles roundtrip). You can camp at Vicente Flat 5 miles in. Another 2.5 miles up and you'll connect with the Coast Ridge Road, take a left and then up the Cone Peak trail to the summit.

You can camp on the summit if you like, near the old fire lookout. Unless you're during the week or in winter, don't expect to be alone for the hike.

For current fire closures and conditions, check http://calfireinformation.weeb... and http://calfire.ca.gov/. Illegally entering the area during closures can result in large fines.

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Features

Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

This hike is incredible. Be prepared for an additional ~2k ft vertical as the trail dips down about 1k ft. Also watch out for mountain lions! ūüźĮ

After driving 45 minutes through paved back roads through the hills, you'll find coast ridge road. The road is all dirt so AWD and high clearance is recommended. However, coast ridge road was closed the day we went so what intended to be a 4 mile round trip hike turned into a 12 mile hike. We never actually made it because the sun was setting and we had to turn back. Would definitely return though!

Coast Ridge Road was closed so we hiked that too, 5mi, before the 2.5mi climb to the peak. Totally worth it spectacular views the whole way up, and there was some snow left for us at the top!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Clifftop Camping & Hot Springs in Big Sur

Hike from Kirk Creek Campground to Vicente Flat Trail

Surf Willow Creek

Camping at Limekiln State Park

3 Branches of the Limekiln

Goat Camp via Twitchwell Flat Use Trail