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작성자  꿈으로 가득 작성일  2015.08.13 13:11 조회수 944 추천 0
 Big Sur Pine Ridge Trail to Sykes Hot Springs  
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Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, California, United States

Pine Ridge Trail to Sykes Hot Springs

A popular 10-mile hike through the Big Sur wilderness with a relaxing finish

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Difficulty: Difficult
Length: 20 miles / 32 km
Duration: Multiple days
Dog Friendly
Overview: Big Sur has many great destinations, but Sykes Hot Springs is definitely near the top of the list for anyone who has been there. It is roughly 9-10 miles to the Skyes campground, and limited climbing after the first 2 hours (which can be steep at times, and tiring in the direct sun). It is possible to treat it as a day hike, but it is recommended to take some time for the hike, as there are rolling green hills, several waterfalls, and wildflowers throughout the trail, none of which should be missed.

The hot springs is about 8 feet across and a couple of feet deep--about the size for 4 adults, and it stays around 100 degrees depending on rain.

Start by parking at the Ventana Wilderness area ranger station and heading towards the back parking lot.

Tips: Parking is now $5/day and campfires are not allowed during summer months, even with a fire permit (this may change depending on the season). 
The ranger station wants you to have a campfire permit even for stove and lantern use.

Points of Interest

Trail Head

Park in the parking lot near the ranger station (parking is $4/day, just fill out an envelope with some cash in it. There is a trail map at the start of the trail for reference, but its pretty difficult to take a wrong turn, as there are only one or two forks during the entire hike. 

You will start with a slight ascent parallel to the river, which you will eventually cross within about 0.5 miles.

Crossing Post Creek

After you cross the creek, the climb continues as you hike along the side of the hills, which offer some great views of the hills across the valley carved out by the river. If you are hiking in Spring, you will see some beautiful wildflowers along the trail, especially after the rainy season.

Ridges and Valleys

The climb lasts about 2.5 miles total, and then the trail flattens out as you walk along the side of the hill. Most of this section of the trail is exposed, so be sure to bring sunscreen if you are hiking during Summer. You will have some great views of the higher hills across the valley carved out by the river, after a couple of miles you will enter more tree cover.


A little while after you have entered the tree-covered area you will arrive at a bend in the trail. Make sure to keep your head up, because (depending on the season), there will be a waterfall to your right.

This section of the trail is significantly more damp than the ridge because it is covered by the trees. If you are hiking after a recent rainstorm dont let the views distract you too much or you may step on a banana slug.


Several miles later you will come across an even bigger (and more impressive) waterfall, which will be difficult to miss. Feel bad if you want to stay for a while; Sykes campground isnt too much further

More Waterfalls

Hopefully you arent tired of waterfalls by now, because this one you shouldnt miss. The waterfall is in two sections, with a smaller section next to, and higher than, the trail, and a longer section below the trail (but if you are adventurous, you can take off you pack and climb down the dry rock for a better look).

Crossing the River

Depending on the season, this could be very tricky. After heavy rains, the water level will be much higher than normal, making the river dangerous to cross. It is recommended to bring a rope in this situation, and first walking across with out your backpack to secure the rope on the other side.

In any case, be smart: try to walk upstream or downstream along the shore until you find a wider section (which means it shouldnt be as deep). Rivers can be deceivingly powerful, and often times people dont realize just how powerful until too late.

Sykes Campground

Since the hike is about 9 miles each direction, and you will want time to relax in the hot-springs you likely brought camping gear with you (if not, you are in for an exhausting hike back). There are several campsites with firepits after you cross the river, just along the bank. There are also signs for bathrooms.

Skyes Hot Springs

The hot springs are pretty hidden, and there are two ways to reach them. The easier and more popular way requires a walk downstream (with some wading) until you reach the bend in the river, the hot springs will be visible soon, after about 15 minutes of walkling along the river. 

A more difficult way is to cross back across the river (the side you came from), there should be a sign pointing towards it. You may have to scramble through some steep terrain, but you will soon be rewarded with a nice relaxing soak.
Pictures in this guide taken by: chrisoruwuRedTailTrails
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