Big Sur Camping

Mar 22nd, 2007, 01:38 PM
Posts: n/a
Big Sur Camping

Confused by all the campgrounds. Anyone have info on the nicest campgrounds around the Big Sur/Cental Coast area. Plan on doing lots of hikes and beach outings. There will be 4 of us. Would everything be booked already for this August? Thanks
Mar 22nd, 2007, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,459
We have camped at Limekiln State Park several times. Itís about in the middle of this list:

There is a nice creek through the campgrounds and an arms-throw to the beach (although a bit rocky). You are surrounded by redwoods and a nice waterfall a short hike away.

The trail up to the limekilns is lined with ferns, and there are a couple of other hiking trails attached.

It has a unique combination of creek, redwoods, scenic trails, waterfall and beach.
bear900 is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 06:58 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 20,921
Pfeiffer-Big Sur State Park is nice; I would consider a good base for day trips. Molera is a walk-in on a bluff over the ocean and tends to be extremely windy.
Michael is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2007, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 302
Molera campground is not on bluff above the ocean, it's in a field about a mile and a half from the ocean. It's in a state park with lots of hiking including five miles on the bluffs above the beach. It's first come first served, so you have to get there early. Used to be unlimited free for all camping, just find a spot and set up, but now it's limited to 24 established sites.

Big Sur Campground and Cabins, Riverside, and Fernwood are in the river valley away from the ocean, there may be trails out from these private, sort of "downscale" resorts, but it'd be a looooong hike to the ocean. Fernwood has a rep as a party place, live bands in the bar, people drinking late into the night, etc. Some people I know used to book it for all night dance parties a while back.

Pfeiffer-Big Sur is the largest campground in Big Sur, a typical tent and RV place with hundreds of sites, back in a second growth redwood forest, again not near the ocean. There are trails up to views of the ocean, but not to the ocean itself.

Ventana is an upscale resort with a nice campground attached, in a small redwood canyon, with trails down into the Big Sur river valley.

Julia Pfeiffer-Burns has two walk in sites (about a quarter mile from parking) high above the ocean, and just above the famous McWay Falls, though you don't see the falls from the sites. These are booked months in advance, probably long ago booked for August by now.

Julia Pfeiffer-Burns, Limekiln, Kirk Creek, and Plaskett Creek are further south, away from the "social center" of Big Sur, but still within the dramatic natural setting of oceanside mountains.

Limekiln has been covered, Kirk Creek is the campground on bluffs just above the ocean, with all the chilly wind and fog that that entails. Plaskett Creek is on the inland side of the highway in a large oak strewn field with stealthy raccoons.

Treebones is not a campground, it's a resort with yurts.

Bottcher's Gap, Nacimiento and Ponderosa are more primitive campgrounds, way up in the hills far above the ocean.

Most of the "beaches" in the area are short, rocky, and chilly. Surfcombing, not sunbathing.

sequoia370 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
We too like Limekiln a lot. We camped there 3 nights in June and it was really great. One day we explored the park and the next day we drove south and checked out San Dollar Beach and some other places. The campground only has about 30 sites, so even though it was full one of the nights we were there, it wasn't overwhelming at all. Still very peaceful.
J_Correa is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 151
Running water/showers a priority for your stay? Then, Molera and Pfeiffer are your best options. How about the Yurts at Treebone Resort? What's a yurt?
Check it:

Armani_Rugpilot is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2007, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 151
FWIW, the entire coved beach at Molera is sandy, not so much rocky like the others. Use the free online tool
"Windows Live" to see aerial photos of the beaches. Click on Maps.

Be careful how loudly you yell "Paradise!" as all the other fools will foul it up soon after.

Armani_Rugpilot is offline  
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