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Monterey County, California

Looking for the best camping in Monterey County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Monterey County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Camping Spots in and near Monterey County

  • Greenfield, California

    Marble Peak Bridge via Arroyo Seco Campground

    4.6
    5.46 mi / 1506 ft gain
    This off-the-beaten-trail adventure has a little bit of everything for everyone and is as challenging as you make it. Many just make it about a mile down to the river for a leisurely day of relaxing, swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying a few cold beverages. Others embark on a 5+ mile adventure up ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Goat Camp via Twitchwell Flat Use Trail

    5.0
    9.2 mi / 3852 ft gain
    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 alo...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camping at Limekiln State Park

    4.3
    This campsite is split into two sections and is located directly below a bridge along Route 1 the Pacific Coast Highway. Be cautious turning into the park as the incline and turn are quite serious.Below the bridge are campsites located both along the tree line and tiered up along the hill. Under ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Clifftop Camping & Hot Springs in Big Sur

    4.7
    Campsite:There is nothing quite like driving or biking along US-1, the Pacific Coast Highway. Make sure you get a chance to do the drive during the day so that you can see all that Big Sur has to offer. Be careful when pulling off especially onto the shoulder and never stop on a curve in the road...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Hike from Kirk Creek Campground to Vicente Flat Trail

    10.9 mi / 3454 ft gain
    The Vicente Flat Trail is well kept and wide, with many campsites at the end. This trail is very close to Cone Peak, and is used for mountain biking, trail running, birding, and nature trips. 
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  • Big Sur, California

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

    4.5
    19.72 mi / 7484 ft gain
    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 u...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Big Sur River Gorge

    4.7
    0.36 mi / 56 ft gain
    If you are in the Big Sur area during the summer, exploring the Big Sur River Gorge is a must! The gorge is located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and your closest parking will be day use parking lot 3. The trailhead to the gorge can be found at the northeast end of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park C...
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  • Paicines, California

    Camp in Pinnacles National Park

    4.0
    / 1819 ft gain
    Pinnacles Campground is accessible from the east side of the park, and you generally lose cell service about 20 minutes before the park entrance. The campground offers tent camping, group camping, and a handful of RV sites. The tent and group sites have individual picnic tables and fire rings, an...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp on Prewitt Ridge

    4.2
    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 i...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

    5.0
    The campground at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park offers a spectacular variety of natural settings to enjoy. Each of the 189 tent and RV sites is located within the redwood groves, oak woodlands, grassy meadows and they even have riverside camping.Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, access to dr...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Sykes Hot Springs via Pine Ridge Trail

    4.2
    18.96 mi / 7339 ft gain
    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 t...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Pine Ridge, North Coast Ridge Loop

    2.0
    33.45 mi / 11388 ft gain
    If you are looking to do some backpacking in the Big Sur area, you've come to the right place. This post shares a suggested 4-day backpacking loop in the Ventana Wilderness that will offer a bit of everything - challenging hiking with a healthy does of elevation, beautiful primitive camping amon...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp at Ventana Campground, Big Sur

    4.6
    This campground is a gem when it comes to Big Sur camping, book here. Each site includes a parking spot, a campfire ring with grill, a picnic table, and plenty of space for 1-2 tents. There are multiple immaculate restroom facilities with showers, clean trash enclosures (emptied and sanitized dai...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Pat Springs via Skinners Ridge

    3.5
    13.18 mi / 3645 ft gain
    Backpacking to Pat Springs is a way to see Big Sur and the San Lucia mountains from a perspective that few get to experience. The Ventana Wilderness is rugged and remote, yet Pat Springs is one of the most beautiful campgrounds around that will allow you to take in this amazing terrain.  To get ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Sand Dollar Beach

    4.8
    0.35 mi / 82 ft gain
    Head into Big Sur and get a campsite at Plaskett Creek. You can either make a reservation through recreation.gov or show up and hope to luck out on one of the first-come, first-serve campsites. The campground is much more crowded during the prime summer months, so if you want to get better surf ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp at Andrew Molera State Park

    4.5
    1 mi
    Andrew Molera is about 27 miles south of Carmel and one of the first State Parks you'll hit heading down the coast. There will be signs for the Park as you approach and the main parking lot is only a couple hundred yards from Hwy 1. There are a number of hiking trails and activities to do around ...
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