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Big Sur, California

Explore Salmon Creek Falls

0.25 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Angela Penza

This is a short hike situated off the Highway 1 which leads to a breathtaking 120 foot waterfall. 

The trailhead to Salmon Creek Falls is located along a pullout just 45 miles south of Pfieffer Burns State Park on the Highway 1. The falls are only about .25 miles from the trailhead, perfect for a quick visit if you are already driving through Big Sur. Though the Salmon Creek Trail continues on, the amazing views of these 120 foot falls are a worthwhile stop for a swim in the pools, some photos, or to simply behold the beauty their beauty. About 300 feet from the road, when the Salmon Creek Trail veers to the right, turn left and follow the beaten path through boulders toward the sound of rushing water. In order to swim in the pool beneath the falls, a bit of rock scrambling might be necessary.  

There is no fee or permit required. Coordinates of the trailhead are: 35.81573, -121.35879 (35° 48′ 56.62″N 121° 21′ 31.64″W) 

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Easy Parking
Swimming Hole


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Overall rating: 


Can have a lot of people on busy weekends and is a little dirty. People don't carry out their trash, but nonetheless it's a great place, a fun and easy adventure for everyone! Look out lots of poison oak!


This waterfall is incredible. You can make it a short trip, 15-20 minutes, or you could spend a few hours there eating lunch and swimming in the water. The rocks can be slippery though and the water is cold!

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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