Big Sur Multi-Agency Visitor Center: (831) 667-3415 ext. I'm looking for a place that I'll be able to drive to and camp that overlooks Big Sur without any reservations. … Find a Free Campsite. Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? Monterey Ranger District Mt. Any time of the year you could find people camping along this road. Pinos Ranger District. Camping near big sur california. The southern part of the forest has some of the best camping in Big Sur, but some of the roads we most recommend are Los Burros Road, Plaskett Ridge Road, and Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. 33% Upvoted. Answer 1 of 2: Hi! It still remains a wild and in many way untamed landscape, where natural cycles often dictate the live's of those who call Big Sur home. Save the world, one backpack at a time. The beach is dog-friendly, as long as dogs are leashed and waste is picked up. Always use caution when crossing streams, and simply don’t risk it if you are in doubt. If you do intend to camp off a forest service road (which I will cover in a minute), ALWAYS be smart about where and how you go to the toilet (with no toilets). If you come in season (end of summer), you can pick wild blackberries to your heart’s content. Coastal ridge routes with amazing views. There are no hidden gems anymore." For this article, we followed a trail that took us to the very top of the mountain ridge. Write a Review Write a Note Share a Video Submit a Blog Post. Trails take hikers through steep ridges and low valleys. You might turn up on a Tuesday in late February only to find masses of people at every turn. As one local put it to me: "Big Sur is blown out. There are few places in the world where you can stroll through untamed redwood forests, tackle burly mountains, and stare longingly at the great Pacific Ocean all in one place (and often from the comfort of your car). Really these campsites are just flat spots off of the road where people have been setting up shop for decades. Hammock: Taking a tent backpacking is not always practical but hammocks are lightweight, cheap, strong, sexy (chicks dig hammocks) and allow you to pitch up for the night pretty much anywhere. So, if you park and walk into the bush more than 300 feet, in theory, this is allowed.Camp at your own risk. Does anyone have recommendations for other coastal dispersed camping locations, preferably within 3ish hours of the Bay Area? Finding Dispersed Campsites. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park in Big Sur, California: 12 reviews, 0 photos, & 1 tips from fellow RVers. Free camping -- boondocking. Limekiln is a small forested state park two miles south of Lucia. Big Sur has a variety of campgrounds. There are PLENTY of awesome hammock spots in Big Sur and along its beaches. By the end of this guide, you’ll be ready to hit the road (or the trail) in search of your perfect Big Sur camping spot. Close, EPIC Big Sur Camping Guide • Best Places and Hikes in 2020. I am looking for any spots to park overnight near Julia Pfeiffer or Andrew Molera. 0. Know Before You Go! Hi! Like all place in Big Sur, the secret is out when it comes to Los Burros. Beach . If you do choose to make a fire, never leave your fire unattended. I've seen good things about Willow Creek Road and Los Burros Road but haven't seen anyone talk about it since the landslide and the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road was closed for dispersed camping. Once you know your style, check out some of our other excellent gear posts! Apr 13, 2018 - California Camping, Primitive, Dispersed, Remote Camp Spots, California Campgrounds User account menu. Below are some of my favorite backcountry Big Sur camping spots…. Water sources can be far and few between. Answer 1 of 15: I'm used to the competition here in the Bay Area for everything, including campsites. Dispersed camping in Big Sur. As of 6 PM on 9/21/2020, Highway 1 is fully open along the Big Sur coast. 4. Hidden behind the veil of undeniable beauty are the dangers involved with camping around Big Sur, and really just visiting Big Sur in general. Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Bag. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Big Sur Station Multi-Agency Visitor Center (831) 667-2315 X 0 (open daily from 9-4) 47555 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920 . Whilst I do not 100% agree with that sentiment, in many ways it is true. Dispersed Camping Areas. Campfire permits are required for primitive camping (stoves & BBQ), but unfortunately much of the time camp fires are not even allowed in the backcountry due to extreme wildfire danger. Close. There are a series of excellent hiking trails, brilliant ocean views, and wildlife viewing opportunities. The trail itself is an undulating footpath (10 miles one way) that takes you away from the coast and into the rugged interior of the mountains. Free Camping at Big Sur. Campfire permits are required for primitive camping (stoves & BBQ), but unfortunately much of the time camp fires are not even allowed in the backcountry due to extreme wildfire danger. Don’t let your used toilet paper blow hither and thither in the wind. They aren’t super large, about 8 feet in diameter. After much time in Big Sur, it became quickly apparent that Prewitt Ridge is the crown jewel of camping in the area. The best camping option is probably Lone Pine Camp, though you can wild camp in many other places should you choose to. A complete camping guide to Big Sur, 93920. The ridgeline trail begins along the north flank of Cone Peak and follows a craggy ridge with sweeping views of the coast and mountains. Kirk Creek is certainly one of the best places to camp in Big Sur. Bill had sailed the Atlantic as a cabin boy on The Brooklyn before he came ashore at Magdalena Bay with a friend. https://dot.ca.gov/ Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is temporarily closed until further notice. The Nacimiento-Ferguson Road was the classic free Big Sur camping spot. Big Sur provides some of the best camping experiences whether its at campgrounds, but for us we like dispersed camping sites. Ocean front views and redwood trees create the perfect “california-camping-vibes.” From Carmel to San Simeon, this region hosts over... Added: 8/7/2019. report. For more ideas on the essentials for outdoor adventures, check out our jumbo-sized roundup of the best gear to take backpacking. Outside of the obvious essentials (a tent, sleeping bag, and food), it’s these variables that are going to govern your packing. Andrew Molera State Park, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State park all have environmental campgrounds. Also, there is no ocean/beach access from within the park. There are only two goddamn campsites! Ocean front views and redwood trees create the perfect “california-camping-vibes.” From Carmel to San Simeon, this region … Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts . (NOTE: dispersed camping and many hiking trails were damaged in the Dolan Fire and are still closed in the portions of Big Sur that include Nacimiento, South Coast Ridge Rd., Prewitt, Plaskett Ridge Rd, and Los Burros/Willow Creek Rd., … VENTANA You need to be very “on it” if you have any hopes of securing a spot and reservations can only be made up to six months in advance. Camping at The Indians in Big Sur. r/camping: A subreddit for campers concerned more about the act of camping and less concerned about hiking long distances or light gear. Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we've got you covered. The pools can accommodate several adults (perfect for couples). Likewise, the opposite could be true. Before we talk about all the best places to camp in Big Sur, let’s answer the burning question…. The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! These locations are ideal (especially if you’re going on a less-crowded weekend) because they typically have a few more amenities: like toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings (although, honestly, those toilets are far worse than just taking a nature-poo in my option). Los Padres National Forest current conditions, Allstays Santa Lucia Memorial Campground link. Obviously, the summer is crazy busy up and down the coast. Here is what the Forest Service said in their statement: "A violation of these prohibitions is punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization or imprisonment for not more than six months or both.". I hope this track opens soon! 100% — 4 Reviews. On a sunny day, few things in life are better than sitting between two pine trees overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean. The park contains four lime kilns from an 1887–1890 lime-calcining operation. For this article, we followed a trail that took us to the very top of the mountain ridge. The only catch? Invest in an eco-friendly travel backpack for 2021 and let's put an end to environmentally damaging products. A native of Connecticut, he was the son of a retired sea captain, and was himself in love with the sea. Environmental campgrounds are walk-in campgrounds. The Indians Ranch area in Big Sur’s Ventana Wilderness is a great place for dispersed camping. r/camping. The hike itself is only 5 miles (one way) and should take no more than three hours to complete. Contact the local Forest Service office to see if any restrictions (especially fire restrictions) are in place. Big Sur; Death Valley; Northern California; Sierra Nevada; Oregon; Flora & fauna; Mines & ghost towns; Misadventures; The Indians camping. Los Padres National Forest. Staying safe in America's nature can be a lot more than most people bargain for. Creek crossings found on the hike can be difficult if the water flow happens to be particularly fierce. https://www.thebrokebackpacker.com/guide-to-big-sur-camping Go early in order to snag the best spots. You’ll need to hike for couple hundred meters to reach the campsites, so be prepared to make the short trek (> 7 minutes). Chris Lininger is a writer, photographer, and guide from California. Note: For more adventure inspiration in California and the rest of America, check out our post on the most amazing hikes in the USA. Free Dispersed camping in the Bureau of Land Management Hollister District. Close. Free and dispersed camping is allowed. What you’re going to want to take is going to very much depend on your style. There is a water spring at the camp that should be flowing any time of year, however, packing a filtered water bottle for hiking is always a recommendation, even in highly-developed nations. Helpful 0. In the past, some folks even parked here semi-permanently, though I think law enforcement has put an end to long-term camping here. Enjoy dispersed camping in the Los Padres National Forest. Learn what Leave No Trace Principles are and use them! Camping out in the wilderness areas is the best way to escape the crowds, hands down. Every time I have gone to Big Sur in the off-season - I have visited at all times of the year) - there has never been a consistent pattern of when it's busy and when it's not. In fact, I would keep RV’s off of all of the free Big Sur camping spots I cover. Home » North America » USA » EPIC Big Sur Camping Guide • Best Places and Hikes in 2020. The truth is Big Sur can be super busy any time of the year. Take advantage of our research and testing the best camping apps and map links to find great boondock campsites. 90% of the time, the only dog restriction when you are dispersed camping is that they need to be under your control at all times. WEBSITE BY LAUGH EAT LEARN. Prewitt Ridge offers up indescribable Big Sur coastline from above. Get out there and experience it for yourself. I'm looking for a place that I'll be able to drive to and camp that overlooks Big Sur without any reservations. The hike begins at the Ventana Wilderness ranger station parking lot. If you do somehow manage a reservation, hopefully, you will get to see some whales, dolphins, or other amazing sea creatures! Mt. Cabin/Campground. Will Creek Road to Los Burros Road Dispersed Camping near Big Sur. Campgrounds in Big Sur California: Campendium has 58 reviews of Big Sur RV parks, state parks and national parks making it your best Big Sur RV camping resource. No facilities. Santa Barbara Ranger District. The campsites are located in beautiful places, often with stunning views of the Pacific ocean, forest, or mountains. This site is just a pull out along a forestry road. You'll find every style of camping in Big Sur. Having a pleasant camping and trekking experience begins and ends with having the right gear. Any recommendations? The marker is in a general … 1 video. All campers must camp within the designated campgrounds along the Big Sur Coastal region. The water temperature seems to consistently be at or near 100° F. This place is the essence of what makes Big Sur camping so magical. Free camping in Big Sur is a contentious issue. Are you…. Big Sur Camping & State Parks . Santa Lucia Ranger District. Big Sur is a hell of a dreamy place - certainly one of  the most magical places in the USA to visit - and there are a lot of cool camping opportunities to be found here. Dispersed Camping Rules of the Road. share. Don’t let that put you off! This ultimate guide to camping Big Sur is the result of my experiences getting to know this beautiful and wild stretch of coast. Please remember to pack all of your trash out. 14 comments. I really hope I don’t have to explain the necessity of a headlamp for camping in Big Sur. If you do camp I think it best to depart the campsite at first light. Most of all, have the time of your life and experience as many Big Sur camping spots as possible! Primitive dispersed camping is allowed, but campfires are limited to local fire restrictions. Free camping in Big Sur can be found on dirt back roads: DISPERSED CAMP: No charge camp sites means dirt road access, tighter camp fire restrictions & no facilities (table, bathrooms, fire pits). Even if you only end up using it once, a decent head torch could save your life. #5 Best Value of 6 Camping in Big Sur. The weather is mild with a potential for fewer people to be around, and the grey whales are migrating to the Arctic from March-April! Dispersed Camping Rules of the Road. Your support helps me keep the site going. Check out the full list of backpacks HERE! Start early and avoid the heat of the day. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (not to be confused with Julia Pfieffer State Park) offers up all of the best aspects of Big Sur. Whitefish, Montana April 12, 2020 - 6:56 pm Posted by 1 year ago. The Plaskett Ridge Road is far more rugged than the Nacimiento-Ferguson road, thus it does not see the same amount of traffic. 2.Travel Water Bottle: Always travel with a water bottle – it’ll save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. In my opinion, the best Big Sur campgrounds involves a trek or hike. $120/night. Will Creek Road to Los Burros Road Dispersed Camping near Big Sur. Camping at The Indians in Big Sur. After parking my truck at the visitors center and hiking 10 miles to the Sykes Hot Springs in the Ventana Wilderness, I found myself pitching my tent next to the Big Sur River with nobody in sight. Despite the tourist hordes, Big Sur is still one of my favorite sections of the coast I have explored - anywhere on earth. With zero facilities on offer, it is not a surprise that campers here have made a mess of things. Early spring is a great time to see the blooming wildflowers, majestic rock formations and rushing water in the rivers after the recent rains. Open for walk in visitation and phone calls. The USFS is ticketing people blocking the road or with campfires. Camping near Big Sur, California, United States. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is yet another totally magical Big Sur camping destination. If you are tired of staring at the inside of your tent night after night, you can book a hotel for a night or two. Camping in California is one of the best ways to experience everything the state has to offer, and emptier campgrounds during low season can be very enjoyable indeed. Many state and private campgrounds have RV hookups. Camping on public lands away from developed recreation facilities is referred to as dispersed camping. Most hotel rooms are at least $100/night at an absolute minimum. Cost: $25/night; $10 extra for firewood. Microfibre Towel: It’s always worth packing a proper towel. The official word from the Forest Service was that the camping along the road is forbidden until August 19th, 2020. You can easily escape the marine layer up here. If you do camp I think it best to depart the campsite at first light. Huge, legendary traffic jams occur nearly on a daily basis from June-August. Posted by 13 days ago. The park features the beauty of the redwoods, rugged coast, and cultural history of the limekilns. More information. Give some thought to this and how you’d like your Big Sur camping adventure served. Numerous recreational lakes and back roads that lead to secluded small campgrounds. log in sign up. free camping big sur. Contact us to update this listing. Big Sur; Death Valley; Northern California; Sierra Nevada; Oregon; Flora & fauna; Mines & ghost towns; Misadventures; The Indians camping. Alerts & Warnings. Big Sur provides some of the best camping experiences whether its at campgrounds, but for us we like dispersed camping sites. Dispersed camping in Big Sur. Your email address will not be published. Every awesome place has its downsides though. Because the hike is rather short, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to hike in with plenty of water on-hand too. There are numerous forest service roads running through or adjacent national forest land owned by the government that offer the best free camping spots in Big Sur. Bar/Lounge . Around holidays too, Highway 1 is totally nuts chockablock with holidayers driving the classic West Coast route. It's a very popular spot for surfing, fishing, swimming, exploring, sunbathing and more. Thanks! Excellent bird-watching and hiking. Do your part to help keep Big Sur's camping places awesome for the next group of travelers. Enjoy dispersed camping in the Los Padres National Forest. If you have realistic expectations of what Big Sur has become, in addition to possessing the motivation to get off the beaten path, you'll have an amazing time exploring and camping in Big Sur. The locals have forced their hand to patrol at night and look for offenders. Edit Blog Post Delete Blog Post. If you’re not facing the ocean, then you’ll be surrounded by stunning redwood trees, either way you can’t lose. Big Sur enjoys a mild, temperate coastal climate throughout the year. Fishing permits are required for anyone over age 16. Hi! Fitness center . Chris is also a founding member of. Dispersed Camping on Nacimiento Rd to be banned. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be. ANDREW MOLERA STATE PARK Where the Big Sur River meets the sea. Note: The Forest Service order says you can't camp within 300 feet of the road. Not trying to bother anyone with private property, and hopefully not get booted by any patrols. Posted by 13 days ago. In order to get the maximum level of enjoyment, I highly recommend that you visit Big Sur in the shoulder season (which is pretty much anytime that isn't the peak of summer). Any recommendations? Dispersed camping in Big Sur. is one of the best ways to experience everything the state has to offer, and emptier campgrounds during low season can be very enjoyable indeed. 240. Primary Sidebar . The majority of the interior region of Big Sur is part of the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, Silver Peak Wilderness and/or Fort Hunter Liggett— all of which are prime candidates for badass places to camp in Big Sur. Find it Fast. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The real draw is the redwood forest and 100-foot waterfall called Limekiln Falls. Prewitt Ridge offers up indescribable Big Sur coastline from above. Plentiful privately owned Big Sur campgrounds and rustic cottages dot the land. Though in the fall, winter, and spring, the flows can be epic. The only access is via the Pacific Coast Highway (known from here on as Highway 1). 33 campsites have their home here, with a number of them have stunning ocean views. Joseph D.’s Land. Once it opens though, it is a hike not to be missed! I have seen insane traffic pile-ups, congestion, and masses of humanity just outside some of the popular state parks. share . Camping is one thing, but hitting the road is another. Contact Us : Dispersed Camping. From within these state parks, one can experience the quintessential Big Sur Coast, epic day hikes, redwoods, waterfalls, and, of course, some of the best Big Sur campgrounds imaginable. Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse crap. Prewitt Ridge offers up indescribable Big Sur coastline from above. DO NOT bushwhack through the vegetation unless you are 100% sure there is no Poison Oak. Located a few miles south of the tiny town of Lucia, the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road is a windy, steep road dotted with a variety of small “campsites”. When using a dispersed camping area, the general rule is to be a minimum of at least 100-200 feet away from any road, trail or water source. Back when I worked at Big Sur Station, we had one tidbit of advice for people looking to do some last minute weekend camping during the summer months without a reservation: Don’t come down. There are plenty of trails you can take your overland or 4×4 vehicle to reach some of the most epic spots. For every AR bottle sold, we donate 10% to PlasticOceans.org – an initiative to reduce plastic in our oceans! The falls are, however, very seasonal. Up by Big Sur, the Ventana wilderness is a popular hiking destination, with 260 miles of hiking trails, making it a unique experience each and every time. However, the sad truth is that Big Sur has changed quite dramatically over the years. The drive up the road isn’t super long, though it can be very steep in some places. 5. The North Coast Trail hike to Cook Spring Camp is less committing than Sykes. There are some pieces of gear that are absolutely essential to staying comfortable, safe, and happy in the backcountry whilst experiencing camping in Big Sur for yourself. Still, Big Sur books up early, particularly in the summer months, so you’ll want to plan ahead. MikeJones. Be respectful to the environment, locals, and fellow campers. Tip: Try to get a campsite with a fire ring and picnic table! There are plenty of trails you can take your overland or 4×4 vehicle to reach some of the most epic spots. Even of those who do, fewer still do so with the intention to camp overnight. Try to get a campsite along the Big Sur River in the far back reaches of the campground. Gear we use and like. Pretty much anywhere you stay lets you swim in the Big Sur River, hit the hiking trails and catch a blazing sunset. Join me as I break down the best time of year to go camping in Big Sur, the best free campsites, top paid campsites, the best car camping spots, and maybe even a glamping spot or two. Dispersed camping in Big Sur. Big Sur is blessed with four beautiful state parks, and each has something special on offer. Dispersed camping is allowed in this forest district and along this road. Don’t drive through the gate, even if it is open! There are no more properties that match all of your filters. Certainly, in the winter there tend to be fewer people on the roads. Dispersed camping in Big Sur. Locals in Big Sur have had to endure a lot of shit from tourists (literally, in some cases). The point being, both the locals and the police have had enough of the disrespectful campers shitting everywhere and leaving behind piles of rubbish. Most other roads in the region are closed. From this campground, you can enjoy amazing views of the coastline and the clouds below from the mountain top. I've seen good things about Willow Creek Road and Los Burros Road but haven't seen anyone talk about it since the landslide and the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road was closed for dispersed camping. 240. Los Padres National Forest is just south of Big Sur, so there are a lot of great hikes in the area too! So, if you park and walk into the bush more than 300 feet, in theory, this is allowed. This is hands down the best way to hide your cash. Security Belt with Hidden Pocket: I never hit the road without my security belt. This campsite does not use a reservation system. In that case, perhaps you better consider some insurance before you go hunting backcountry places to camp in Big Sur. This route, however, is one of the best road trips in California. Archived. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Good luck, amigos! Ever since I checked out Prewitt Ridge a little over a year ago, I have wanted to go back to the Big Sur area in California and check out more of the off-road trails and campsites overlooking the Pacific ocean.