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Camping/Exploration Trip: Cambria to Big Sur Corridor

Join us during President Day's week-end as we hike, explore, and do a bit of sightseeing along the California coast from Cambria to Big Sur. I will be heading over on Friday the 15th from Bakersfield to camp for three nights at Hearst San Simeon State Park which is located a couple of miles from Cambria. It is my understanding that you cannot reserve campsites at the particular State Park until the middle of March so it is on a first come basis...but...I don't anticipate any problems because it is a large State Park with overflow and more primitive campsites available in the park. If you would prefer not to camp out there are numerous hotels in the Cambria/San Simeon area including a Motel 6 in San Simeon.

Tentative Schedule: I use the word tentative and am including numerous options because of the conditions of the trails due to winter storms this time of the year. Sometimes, the trails in this area can be very muddy or closed due to storm activity so I suggest we be flexible this week-end. Also, there are a couple of other hiking possibilities which are not listed here that we might also check out if the trail conditions become a problem.

Saturday and Sunday: We will travel north to hike and stop at the places up as far north as Big Sur. I've included some of the places I intend to hike and visit along the way. We won't be able to go to all the places listed below but I do hope to as much as possible during the two days.

Monday: We will do a bit of sightseeing and perhaps go on a short hike near Cambria before we pack up and drive back home Monday afternoon sometime probably around 1:00.

Saturday and Sunday "potential tentative” hiking and sightseeing schedule:

Ewoldsen Trail to Canyon Falls and Overlook: Five mile loop hike with an elevation gain of 1600 feet near Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

McWay Falls: less than a mile loop hike to the famous waterfall which is featured in numerous nature related calendars of California. McWay falls is one of only two waterfalls on the west coast which drops directly onto the beach.

Preiffer Beach: Preiffer Beach is one of the most spectacular rugged, primitive beaches in California. Sometimes this beach is closed in the winter due to flooding but if it is open I would like to go here just to see the incredible site of the crashing waves against the rocks at the beach.

Vincent Flat Hike/Kirk Creek Trail: This is a 10.6 mile round trip hike with an elevation gain of 1700 feet. My guidebook has this to say about the hike, “This is one of the most scenic and diverse hikes in the Ventana Wilderness. There are sweeping views from the ocean to Cone Peak and as well as forested canyons which travels into wood-shaded ravines and meadowlands which reach the Hare Creek under a canopy of towering redwoods”.

Limekilns State Park and Falls: This is a 2.4 mile “easy” round trip hike to four massive stone and steel kilns used to purify quarried limestone into powered lime in the 1880’s”. This is my personal favorite hike on the Big Sur coastline and involves hiking along a creek which “flows under the shade of towering coastal redwoods with a lush mix of sycamores, oaks, and maples”. The last time I was in the area last year this hike was closed due to trail maintenance therefore I will need to check to make sure this trail is currently accessible.

Andrew Molera State Park: Andrew Molera is a beautiful State Park located just north of Big Sur. There is a ridge trail we could hike which will provide us with views of the Pacific ocean..

View of Molera State Park from the ridge trail

Important Notes: Because the campground is located just a couple of miles from Cambria those who are interested may choose to eat out rather than cook. There are many fine restaurants, café’s, bakeries, and a few inexpensive places to eat. I intend to eat dinner in Cambria each evening. Also, this trip will be cancelled if it is raining this week-end. Last year we had to cancel this trip but if it is cancelled I hope to reschedule in April.

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  • Mike

    Bill,Thank you for sharing an amazing journey. The views from Vincent Flat Trail were breathtaking.

    February 19, 2013

  • Jerry G.

    I will be going over to San Simion Friday afternoon and staying in a motel. Where and when will me meet up Sat. morning?

    February 14, 2013

    • Belinda R.

      Jerry, I don't know if you saw Bill

      February 14, 2013

    • Belinda R.

      Dang! I don't if you saw Bill's last post. He says to meet up by 7:45 Sat morning at campsite 113. And if you get there early enough Friday evening to come by for the campfire. I'm not sure if he will get your message due to the cell phone issue.

      February 14, 2013

  • Gisa W.

    Sounds like a great trip. I won't be able to leave Bako before 5:30 pm and will be looking for a hotel. Does catching up with you at the camping site between 7:00 - 8:00 am sound about right?

    February 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm not camping, but is everyone leaving cars at campsite? I'd like to catch up wih the group sat am. :)

    February 14, 2013

  • Alan M.

    I'm over at the coast now San Simeon State Park I'm in space 113.... it's a very large area with lots of big campsites.... as of today there are plenty of campsites available over here.... my site is real close to the bathrooms and showers.... showers take orders 25 cents for 3 minutes up to a dollar for 12 minutes..... the weather is beautiful over here... I do not have cell phone reception down in the campgrounds however a quarter mile up the road to the park entrance you can get cell phone reception.... No Reservations accepted first come first serve... San Simeon Creek sites are 35 dollars a night... Washburn sites are 20 dollars a night... 10 dollars a night for each additional vehicle... seniors with golden pass bear pass is 2 dollars off at night... disabled with dd card is half of campsite prices... hope this helps everyone

    February 14, 2013

    • Alan M.

      okay jerry is over here now to he's in camping spot 115 that is right next to my spot 113.... jerry can split the camping cost with 7 other people he said... and so far it looks like I can split the cost with 5 more people

      February 14, 2013

    • Alan M.

      so he can have 2 more cars parked in his spot and I can have 2 more cars parked in my spot

      February 14, 2013

  • Larry W.

    I would like to leave Bako around noon on Friday so as to get a campsite set up before dark, etc. Is there anyone who would like to go over with me and share the campsite? there should be room for 2 tents. Or separate sites. I can drive or ride. would like to follow Bill's schedule, but flexible on when to return: Sunday or Monday

    February 14, 2013

  • Alan M.

    I'm heading over Thursday

    February 12, 2013

  • Belinda R.

    Hope to go for at least one night!

    February 9, 2013

  • Jerry G.

    Yes I would like to attend this trip

    January 28, 2013

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