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Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

Maryland
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Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

Hello Forum,

After spending 4 1/2 days in San Francisco we'll be driving down to Big Sur. We have 3 1/2 days to drive roundtrip as we're flying out of SFO.

Since there's a lot of ground to cover in our 3 days I'd like to find some good short hikes with dramatic scenery/ wildlife. I've read that Ano Nuevo State Reserve, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (waterfall), and Point Lobos State Reserve are all recommended.

Do you recommend other areas or any specific hike suggestions that would get us great views, potential for wildlife, etc without a long out and back??

I thought I'd start here but may also contact the individual parks to get their take.

Thank you! Kelley

Pacific Grove...
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for Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove, Monterey County
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1. Re: Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

There are many trails at Point Lobos that are short enough to suit your needs. My favorite is Cypress Grove. There are some wonderful spots that overlook the ocean and often allow you to see ocean life. Lately, people have mentioned seeing otters and dolphins. This trail also has a grove of cypress trees (thus the name) that are covered in bright orange algae. It's a sight to behold! When I first saw it, I thought it was rust. A docent at the end of the trail explained that it's actually algae. Take your camera! Here's a photo to whet your appetite: http://www.pointlobos.org/CypressGrove.html

Edited: 09 September 2010, 16:50
Maryland
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2. Re: Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

wow- the photos are beautiful! Point Lobos seems like a great fit for what we're looking for. Maybe I'll plan a full day leaving from Monterey area with Point Lobos in the morning, lunch at Nepenthe or River Inn, and an afternoon driving Big Sur and hiking at Julia Pfeiffer.

Pacific Grove...
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3. Re: Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

Sounds like a great plan!

Maryland
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4. Re: Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

Thanks PG! I'll probably post soon on my whole drive itinerary to get opinions if it's doable and logistics suggestions. You've been most helpful.

Monterey Peninsula...
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5. Re: Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

The Monterey Peninsula is loaded with hiking opportunities at all levels of difficulty. One favorite, but lesser known spot is Jacks Peak County Park, which is on the ridgeline just south of the Monterey Airport. At the west end of the park (turn right after you enter the gate and go to the parking lot at the end) there is a fairly easy and not too long nature trail loop. It runs through a Monterey Pine forest and the views are spectacular. On the north side of the ridge is a panoramic view of Monterey, then it works around to the south side with a panoramic view of Carmel Valley. www.co.monterey.ca.us/parks/jackspeak.html

I have a fairly extensive list of other walking trails here www.montereypeninsula.info/guide/walking.htm

And here's a great site for Big Sur hiking spots http://www.hikinginbigsur.com/

-Mr.. Toy

www.montereypeninsula.info

Maryland
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6. Re: Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

The walking suggestions look great- I'll print it and take it on the trip. Thanks Mr. Toy!

Washington DC...
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7. Re: Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

What a timely thread - great information.

I will be traveling solo - are there any wildlife to be leery of when hiking alone? Are there any trails that would be more safe (from a popularity perspective, or not so long/a loop, etc) for a solo hiker? I find hiking exhilarating but don't want to be stupid.

Thank you.

8. Re: Best Short Hikes for trip from SF to Big Sur?

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