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Monterey County, California

Looking for the best hiking 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 Hiking 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

    Ewoldsen Trail (Closed)

    4.5
    4.2 mi / 1500 ft gain
    This trail is temporarily closed. For updates, please head to Parks.CA.Gov. The Ewoldsen Trail is one of the more accessible yet challenging hikes in Big Sur. It is a stunning hike through the redwood forest up the mountains of Big Sur to a gorgeous overlook of the Pacific. It is a beautiful ~4...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Waters Ridge Trail (Closed)

    5.0
    7.13 mi / 2776 ft gain
    This trail is temporarily closed. For updates, please head to Parks.CA.Gov. Situated on a cliff above Highway 1, the Waters Ridge Trail offers spectacular views of the rugged coast and soaring condors. This hike above the clouds is a small detour off of the Ewaldson Trail, and is a must see! Ac...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Hike to Big Sur's Tin House

    4.0
    When it comes to the beauty of Big Sur, a half day on Tanbark Trail to the Tin House captures it all. From the redwood forest along Partinton Creek, to the abandoned Tin House, to Highway 1 and coastal views, you can't ask for much more.The hike starts on the east side of Highway 1 - the northern...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Explore The Hidden Rock Caves At Partington Cove

    5.0
    Partington Cove which is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, is one of Big Sur's hidden gems. It's a very short hike with enough views to show why Big Sur earned the nickname " Little Yosemite." The whole hike can easily be completed in less than an hour, although there are definitely eno...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Partington Cove Trail

    5.0
    1.09 mi / 262 ft gain
    Partington Cove Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a waterfall located near Big Sur, California.
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  • Paicines, California

    Hike the Juniper Canyon, High Peaks, Tunnel Trail Loop in Pinnacles NP

    5.0
    4.3 mi / 1200 ft gain
    Pinnacles National Park is located just over two hours outside of San Francisco (depending on the traffic). It was designated the 59th national park in 2013 and while it is small it offers beautiful views and unique wildlife viewing. Keep an eye out for California condors on this hike! This trail...
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  • Paicines, California

    Balconies Cave Trail

    2.63 mi / 617 ft gain
    Balconies Cave Trail is an out-and-back trail where you may see wildflowers located near Paicines, California.
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  • Paicines, California

    Hike to Bear Gulch Reservoir in Pinnacles National Park

    3.5
    1.5 mi / 275 ft gain
    Start the hike from the Bear Gulch Trail Parking lot.  While pulling in, the trail head is on the left.  The Trail is marked Reservoir, Caves, and High Peaks.  Continue down the trail until faced with a junction.  Make sure to admire rock formations while hiking!At the junction take the Bear Gulc...
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  • Big Sur, California

    3 Branches of the Limekiln

    4.0
    1.98 mi / 696 ft gain
    The Limekiln Trails offer up a moderate hike with defined trails, creek crossings, and limited elevation. From the parking area, head east under the canopy of redwoods until you get to the bridge, where there’s a kiosk marking the trail. The three branches are ~0.5 miles each, making it easy to ...
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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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  • San Benito County, California

    Explore Pinnacles National Park

    4.6
    It’s hard to believe how many people don’t know about this place, which was newly designated as a National Park in January 2013. Pinnacles National Park is hidden just south of San Jose in the Gabilan Mountains, and is a short drive for anyone living in the Bay Area.With beautiful rock spires pie...
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  • Paicines, California

    Hike the Old Pinnacle Trail in Pinnacles National Park

    5.0
    9 mi / 2000 ft gain
    Start at the Old Pinnacles Trailhead and embark on a roughly 9 mile long adventure surrounded by amazing geological rock formations and natural landscapes. Bask in the peace of nature... meander through meadows alongside the West Fork of Chalone Creek and into Old Pinnacles. Continuing on at the ...
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  • Paicines, California

    Hike the High Peaks & Balconies Cave Loop

    5.0
    8.4 mi / 1540 ft gain
    This hike can begin at Old Pinnacles Trailhead (East Entrance) or Chaparral Trailhead (West Entrance) and can be hiked in either direction. This description is from Old Pinnacles Trailhead, hiking clockwise, which gets the most demanding part of the hike done first. From Old Pinnacles Trailhead w...
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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

    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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