• Pico Blanco Public Camp Falls: A falls not flashy or tall, but considered one of the most beautiful in the Ventana with pool set amidst surrounding redwoods.
• Last Chance Falls Dramatic vertical drop over cliff with overhang.
Pat Spring Camp:
Nice view of iconic Ventana mountains (Ventana Double Cone, Kandlbinder, The Window) from ridgeline, where can
camp if not windy. If hiked from Bottchers Gap, route includes many
Ventana Double Cone:
Iconic view into the heart of the Ventana Wilderness. Last trail section brushy, connection to other routes via Puerto Suelo Trail
is very brushy. Backpackers doing a large loop should consider staying
at Lone Pine Camp and day packing to the peak.
Carmel River Trail:
Hiking along (and in, for its many crossings), an iconic Big Sur stream. Hot in summer.
Meadowed valley with pines and rocks. A favorite with many due to its relatively easy access from Tassajara Road.
Isolated large meadowed valley. For those seeking more solitude than Pine Valley.
Sykes Hot Spring:
The iconic redwood hot spring, but often overcrowded so not a "wilderness experience".
See Sykes Camp info.
Sculpted sandstone along southern end of Church Creek Trail.
Arroyo Seco Gorge:
Deep canyon narrows in gorge, worth a short backtrack if on a long loop hike.
Sandstone formation around Santa Lucia Memorial Campground.
Nicely viewed from Arroyo Seco or Rodeo Flat Trails.
(Not to be confused with similar "The Rocks" formation in inaccessable eastern end of Ventana Wilderness.)
Stone Ridge Trail:
Contouring above ocean amid redwoods with iconic Big Sur ocean views.
Steepest rise from ocean to mountaintop on Pacific Coast. Accessable via: Cone Peak Road (shortest, closed during rainy season) ┉ Vicente Flat Camp (for redwood experience) ┉ Stone Ridge direct, via "Sea-to-Sky" Route (off-trail, steep!)
Silver Peak Wilderness
Many camps and trails lie within a redwood forest, iconic to the Big Sur coast.
Mill Creek Trail
Mansfield Ravine Trail
Villa Creek Camp
Ridge views of Big Sur coastline:
Any trail which climbs steeply upward from CA Route 1.
Prewitt Ridge Usetrail
County Line Road and Ridge Usetrail
Baldwin Ranch Road (dirt, gated)
Prewitt Ridge Campground:
Fabulous views of coast plus iconic Stone Ridge with Cone Peak and Twin Peak (considered the steepest mountain slope to an ocean in the US)
Salmon Creek Falls:
Split falls with a large flow (and many visitors since it is close to a highway).
Salmon Creek Trail:
Hiking along a river with several falls/rapids in addition to Salmon Creek Falls
Large grassy meadow - pear and peach trees at Dutra homestead site (but unpleasant when cattle present)
Photos from from Jack Glendening, Paul Danielson, Maria Ferdin, Betsy MacGowan, Jim Ringland, Leor Pantilat, Hillary Trout, Paul David Tuff, Nathan Kistler, Amanda Sevall, Perry Way, and others (anonymous, from the web).
Jim Ringland's photos are under the CC BY-NC-4 license.