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Big Sur, California

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

23 Miles Total - 5300 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Josiah Roe

Cone Peak is the most spectacular coastal mountain in the Lower 48 States. At 5,155' high and less than 3 miles from the ocean, the average gradient from summit to sea is 33%, which is steeper than Mt. Whitney to Owens Valley.

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 up Vicente Flat Trail (23 miles roundtrip). You can camp at Vicente Flat 5 miles in. Another 2.5 miles up and you'll connect with the Coast Ridge Road, take a left and then up the Cone Peak trail to the summit.

You can camp on the summit if you like, near the old fire lookout. Unless you're during the week or in winter, don't expect to be alone for the hike.

For current fire closures and conditions, check http://calfireinformation.weeb... and Illegally entering the area during closures can result in large fines.

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Easy Parking
Picnic Area


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Combine with Mountain Biking

I decided to make this a day hike and bike. Drove up to top of Nacimiento, then biked the 6 miles on Coastal Ridge Rd (dirt road) to the beginning of the Cone Peak trail and hiked the rest to the top. This made the relatively flat Coastal Ridge Rd much more fun. Also, do bring bug spray and something to cover your upper body and neck with... The bugs are brutal and all around you.


This hike is incredible. Be prepared for an additional ~2k ft vertical as the trail dips down about 1k ft. Also watch out for mountain lions! 🐯

Plan ahead and always go early

After driving 45 minutes through paved back roads through the hills, you'll find coast ridge road. The road is all dirt so AWD and high clearance is recommended. However, coast ridge road was closed the day we went so what intended to be a 4 mile round trip hike turned into a 12 mile hike. We never actually made it because the sun was setting and we had to turn back. Would definitely return though!

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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