Big Sur's Stunning Hikes

The weather's nice-ing up. Where will you backpack to next?

A THEORY: If you've been to Big Sur, you know, pretty much, hands down, assumptions made, that every walk you take is pretty spectacular. Honestly, you can walk from your car into a store to get a snack and find it to be more enjoyable than 90% of the strolls you take back at home. So when it comes to the spots cited as most hike-able in the coastal paradise, the wow-ness increases tenfold. With the weather getting nicer, or trying to, let's saunter along some coastline and into the redwoods.

GARLAND RANCH REGIONAL PARK: This was recommended by the Monterey visitors peeps as a great with-your-dog hike, but note that the trails are quite steep. There is a waterfall along the way, and views of Monterey Bay, so if your pup can handle the ups and downs, and you can do, get there.

JULIA PFEIFFER BURNS STATE PARK: A much easier, more doable hike. It's not even a mile, meaning if you're just passing through the area, but need some nature-soaking-upping, this one's for you. Bonus: redwoods!

PINNACLES NATIONAL MONUMENT: In a word, rocks. In another word, birds. In another word, caves. There are a lot of other words about this dramatic locale, including "26,000 acres" and "30 miles of trails." 

LIMEKILN STATE PARK: Beyond rocking a rather poetic name, this treesy spot has this interesting designation: "steepest coastal canyon in the continental United States." Yep, we said treesy, so look for the redwoods here (they won't be hard to miss).

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