Camp on Prewitt Ridge

Prewitt Ridge - Search Nearby - Added by Clare Healy

Enjoy dispersed camping in the Los Padres National Forest. Prewitt Ridge offers up indescribable Big Sur coastline from above.  Please remember to pack all of your trash out.

After much time in Big Sur, it became quickly apparent that Prewitt Ridge is the crown jewel of camping in the area. It has even been described as "the most beautiful car camping spot on god's green earth" and that doesn't do it justice.

While Prewitt Ridge is an officially designated campground in the Los Padres National Forest, it's "dispersed camping," meaning there's no reservations, no toilets, and no running water. But don't let that discourage you. These are the reasons why PR remains a hidden gem and allows campers immense space and notable views, even on busy holiday weekends.

Let me start with the reason no one goes there - Nacimiento-Fergusson road. You have to climb it to get to the fire road that allows access to the campsite and it's just not the kind of road that most people would consider easy. It is a dirt road that winds its way along too many switchbacks to count until to part ways to drive the ridge road that dead ends into the campground. Although a bit time consuming to drive the road safely, I've seen every type of car do it (even Honda Civics).

Once up there, you won't want to leave. From hiking trails to open space and often friendly neighbors, this site is a camper's dream. Make sure you take extra water, food, and firewood. There's a bunch of spaces available, most with the most epic views. Look for one with a metal fire ring and maybe even a picnic table.

Look up the current sunset time and try and arrive with time to spare. I have never seen better.

  • Bring a LOT of water. The air is very dry. You wont get another water source unless you drive down the mountain. Bring a gallon per person per day.
  • Make sure to have at least half a tank of gas before you go up there. The closest Gas station is 16 miles South in Gorda.
  • Try to allot enough day time to actually get up to the site.
  • Is it fire season? Check to ensure if fires are allowed or if you are restricted to propane stoves.
  • Be prepared for the weather. In late May, it was in the high 50s down on highway 1, but in the high 70s, low 80s up on the Ridge.
  • Be sure to pack out everything you brought in!


Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

Stay Nearby

Big Sur, California

Big Sur Lodge

From $199/night

San Miguel, California

Enney Ranch

From $110/night

Pacific Grove, California

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds

From $176/night

Prunedale, California

Salinas / Monterey KOA


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Beautiful Spot

This is a great option if you don't have a site reserved anywhere else. It's about a 45 min drive up Nacamiento from the coast. Definitely suggest taking an off road vehicle since halfway up it turns into dirt as can get a little gnarly. Also during the summer there are an outrageous amount of flies and honestly makes it unbearable if you don't have an enclosed tent! Late fall and winter months are the best!

Hello, I'm glad to hear you had fun! But please give credit to my post ( if you're going to be copying things from there... Thanks :) I also try to remind people to clean up after themselves as I have recently heard from fellow travellers that the area is trashed now with 'shit hills' all over. Please respect the area more everyone! :)

This article is one of the best places I have ever found because of The Outbound!! This campsite was absolutely gorgeous and breathtaking. More than words or pictures could ever express. I'm so glad that I came across this on The Outbound because it greatly influenced the quality of this trip. I can't wait to make another trip back up here because it's seriously the most insane view I've ever seen in my life.