Ridge Trail, Panorama Trail & Bluff Trail at the Andrew Molera State Park- Big Sur, California
Hike the scenic views of the Pacific and soak in the beauty of the best trails in the Big Sur Area
The stunning views of California coast along Highway One is an open secret, the beauty is mesmerizing across all seasons and all times of the day. The coast stands proud of being one of the most photographed. The tribe has visited the Big Sur area quite a few times, but this was our first to venture at the Andrew Molera State Park (Location:- 45500 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920).
Meadows, wildlife, beaches, sand, wildflowers, bluffs, hillsides and the Big Sur River - experience the incredible California Coastline
Just off Highway One is the Andrew Molera State Park, one of the largest in Big Sur. There is a parking fee to be paid hence good to carry cash. Once we were parked we headed North towards the trail, passing by a creek on our right, few yards ahead we realized that this was leading towards the trail camp and the tribe was in the wrong direction. Retracting back we came to the creek that points towards the beach 'Creamery Meadows trail to the beach', this was the right one. The interesting part is that right at the beginning of the hike we had to lace shoes off and get our feet wet in order to cross the Big Sur River. With no foot bridge, bare feet waded through the freezing water, turning the feet numb. Carefully maneuvering the stones and the chill tribe crossed the river and took a quick break to get sensation back in the feet. One of us had brought a hand towel, that surely was a good idea.
Once you have crossed the river its about a mile of rather flat walk across the park, you come across a junction leading towards the River Trail on the left, while if you continue straight it will lead you towards the beach. Tribe took the River Trail along a ascent to arrive at another junction which runs on the left to the Ridge Trail and on the right towards the Bluff Trail. Tribe would recommend to take the Ridge Trail and go clockwise on this loop. This is a wide steep trail all the way, almost feels like an endless incline. Ridge Trail is where almost all of the elevation gain is, it has portions of climb, some tapering and climbs again. As you continue along this trail and take a look behind on your breaks there will be great views of the Pacific Ocean, but wait until you hit the Bluff Trail.
You know its the end of the Ridge Trail, when you are past the forest of some oak trees and redwoods that open to 180 degree view of the might Pacific blue, take a right along the Panorama Trail towards the Bluff Trail. Soak in the expansive coastline and enjoy the air. The stunning views are all along from here till the end of your hike. Photo opportunities galore, tribe was luck to be out on a very clear day.
Its important to keep eyes on the ground as a lot of it is uneven and eroded. Along the Bluff Trail there are access points to some of the most stunning beaches, untouched and serene. Recommend to pay attention to signage that may be posted for your safety and continue to enjoy the beauty of the coast. Tribe could only imagine the beauty of this place in spring with all the wildflower in bloom.
Tribe noticed that there were some ticks to take care off from the vegetation that got onto our clothes and backpacks apart from some poison ivy along the way. Back down on the beach trail there was the Big Sur river to cross again, this time wading through the cold water felt like therapy to the tired feet. It was another memorable day for the tribe in the beautiful outdoors.
Not to be missed, one that has something for everyone - Best Hiking Trail in the Big Sur Area
Learning's from the tribe - Reminder that the day's are shorter in the winter, so its good to get an early start so the hike can be finished in daylight. Never underestimate nature and be prepared for weather changes.