World class ocean views from coastal ridges that at times, seem about as close to heaven as you've ever been. Hilly grasslands filled with California Poppies, Lupine and Owl's Clover fill your senses. Fog creeping in, then out, creating layer upon layer of coastal hills. This is truly one of the finest escape routes I've ever taken.
Notes From Jason (verbatim):
Notes From Sandi
- 7.75 miles, 5 hours, 3,000 foot elevation change. Fantastic
views of the dramatic coastline and Lime Kiln Canyon make this
steady & pleasant descent from the ridge to the ocean worth
remembering. Preparation: Recommended day hike for dry
weather & road conditions. Bring plenty of water, sturdy
hiking shoes, long pants and warm clothes. Poison oak is prominent
near the trail, making long pants a good idea.
4 miles round trip, 1,155 elevation change from trail head to
peak. Fantastic views from 5,155 ft. Cone Peak
These trail descriptions are from the Trail Guide to Los Padres National Forest- Northern Section:
Pine Ridge Trail One of the most popular portals to the Ventana Wilderness - (Big Sur to China Camp- via Sykes Hot Springs) From the Big Sur Forst Service Station parking lot just off Hwy one south of the State Park entrance, stay on the main trail. 4.3 miles to Ventana Camp, 5.5 miles to Terrace Creek Trail, 6.7 miles to Logwood Creek, 6.9 miles to Barlow Flat Camp (good place to spend the night, if you are going in Friday), 9.8 miles to Sykes Camp and hot springs. The hot springs have been improved and there are 3 good springs at the camp. You can continue for the entire 23 mile loop or just enjoy the hot springs and the countryside for a weekend trek by returning the way you came.Be prepared for primitive camping.
Ventana Double Cone 29 miles, starts at Bottcher's Gap Campground at the eastern end of Palo Colorado Trail.
Salmon Creek Trail 11.4 miles round trip to Coast Ridge and back. starts on the east side of the highway on the south side of the stream. The trail gains 100 feet in elevation then becomes more level and follows a contour along the south slope of the canyon, sometimes in woods, sometimes on open slope covered by a profusion of wildflowers in the spring. There are spacious views down the canyon to the ocean. There are two camp spots along the trail at Spruce Creek & Estrella Creek. A strenouous but spectacular loop trip can be made from the Cruikshank Trail to the Coast Ridge and back to Hwy 1 via Salmon Creek Trail. The total distance is 12.7 miles and a car shuttle can eliminate 4 miles of highway walking.
Lime Kiln Trail - 1.8 miles, 1 hr - hike to a gorgeaous redwood forest and the lime kilns used to make limestone bricks and cement in the 1880's. The highlight is the 100' Limekiln Falls that drop over a limestone face. Found on an unmarked spur trail immediately after the second bridge. ( The first bridge is near the campground.) Some boulder hopping required to get to the falls.
Hunting & Fishing Information: California Department of Fish & Game - (831) 649-2870.
.Pick up a topo map for more detail.