Outbound Collective logo
  • United States
  • California
  • Monterey County
  • Monterey County, California

    Monterey County in California is a top spot for outdoor adventures with a multitude of scenic trails and activities. One must-visit trail is the Soberanes Canyon Trail. This 4.7-mile loop offers a moderate difficulty level and features a river and beautiful wildflowers. For a more challenging hike, the Skyline to Sea Trail is a 25.9-mile trail that features a waterfall and is best used from April until November. For a unique outdoor activity, try whale watching at Monterey Bay or exploring the tide pools at Asilomar State Beach. The best Trails and Outdoor Activities are abundant in Monterey County, making it a perfect destination for those seeking an active and scenic getaway.

    Top Spots in and near Monterey County

    • 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...
      Read more
    • 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...
      Read more
    • 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. 
      Read more
    • 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...
      Read more
    • 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...
      Read more
    • 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...
      Read more
    • Big Sur, California

      Surf Willow Creek

      4.0
      Willow Creek is a couple of miles south of Sand Dollar Beach. Sand Dollar is generally a mushier wave that is more welcoming. Willow Creek on the other hand, has more power and offers punchier waves for the more experienced. However, it is more fickle than Sand Dollar Beach. There are loads of ke...
      Read more
    • 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...
      Read more
    • 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...
      Read more
    • 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...
      Read more
    • 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...
      Read more
    • Big Sur, California

      Hike to Pfeiffer Falls

      4.0
      2 mi
      This trail is a staff favorite at Big Sur. This family-friendly waterfall trail provides only a moderate challenge for young children and older family members. There are two starting points for this hike depending on where you stashed the car. If you’re parked near the gift shop, the head up the ...
      Read more
    • 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...
      Read more
    • Big Sur, California

      Pfeiffer Beach

      4.0
      0.81 mi / 75 ft gain
      Pfeiffer Beach located in Big Sur may truly be one of the most awesome beaches in California...if you can find it. I lived within 40 miles of this beach for over 20 years and just discovered it recently. This beach is located on an unmarked road called Sycamore Canyon Road. On Highway 1, this roa...
      Read more
    • 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 ...
      Read more
    • Big Sur, California

      Hike the East Molera Trail

      3.2 mi / 1390 ft gain
      Housed in Andrew Molera State Park, the East Molera Trail is easily accessible from Highway 1 with parking and restrooms available to hikers. A $10.00 entry fee is required but also provides entrance to Pfieffer Big Sur State Park just a few miles down the road.The trail head is located east of t...
      Read more