Exploring Big Sur

Date: 11/20/2015
Type: Hiking, Exploring
Who went - Jim, Ben, Therry, Gaby, Megan, and Max

Friday Afternoon - Ben and I hiked up Mt. Manuel (4  miles and 3400' of elevation). Now some would say we got a little lost, but as I always say, I think we just weren't where we wanted to be at certain points and times. Let's just say there was a lot of bush-whacking to get back to the trail before sunset. Once again I found myself saying - "I sure am glad I brought my headlamp!". Well, we got back on trail (with a few scratches) and got back to camp just a little after sunset.

Saturday (What a full day!) - Hiked up to Pfeiffer falls from our campground. After reaching the falls, we noticed a little side trail that headed up above the falls. Now, some would say that we went off-trail, or maybe we went up a trail that was "labeled" dangerous, but I like to think that everything is relative and up for debate. But all went well and everyone returned intact and happy for the experience!

While searching for Pfeiffer State Beach we ended up a ways down Highway 1 (way past the beach - in all fairness, the road is absolutely not marked). 

**Side note - Just a heads up, if you find yourself in the Big Sur area, many of the very popular things to do and places to visit are not marked very well. Actually, in some cases, they aren't marked at all. 

We ended up at Partington Cove. We did a couple little jumps off the rocks into the water (which was very cold, but not Zion cold), then we saw some locals jumping off the big jump. Now, this jump was a little over 30 feet, but the kinda crazy part was that you had to clear the rocks below which jutted out at least 10 to 12 feet, then also clear the first 3 feet of water that was shallow. So, when you are standing there and your brain is contemplating the jump, no matter how much you tell yourself that you can clear those rocks, you're not going to slip when you push off, and the water is surely deep enough, you're body has some different ideas. So as I was deep in thought and wishing that Dan was here to jump first, Gaby decides to take on Dan's role and goes for the jump. Then after a little more thinking, I convinced my objecting muscles to do the jump as well.

In hindsight, I can't help but picture the scene when the Grinch is at the top of Mount Crumpet with all the stolen Christmas gifts, then his heart grows three sizes and he decides to return the Christmas gifts to the Whos. Well, on this day my ego shrunk three sizes. But, it is returning to full size and I am thankful that Gaby went and took the lead.

On to McWay Falls. Now, I thought we would be able hike down to the falls and get wet, but come to find out, we can't do that. The only way to get down to the beach is either scramble down the cliff on a very unmaintained trail, and possibly end up in cuffs on our return, or to paddle in. So, this gave us a great idea! A wonderfully, Grinchy idea (sorry my mind is still on Dr. Seuss)! I am already planning our SUP/Kayak trip to Big Sur. We are calling it SUPpacking or Kayakpacking. We will check out the Big Sur coast via SUPs and Kayaks. Then we will have the McWay beach to ourselves!

We finished the day by finding Pfeiffer State Beach just in time for the sunset. Well, actually we just missed it, but it was still incredible. This is an awesome beach that must be visited, but it also looks like a great launch spot for our upcoming SUP-packing trip.

In conclusion, this was a great place to explore. My experience with forests is that they are usually in the mountains which means they are pretty cold at night and in the morning. This was not the case in Big Sur, even in November.


Tips and Tricks
  • At Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground, the campsites from 62 - 71 are located directly under a Redwood forest canopy. The campsites along the river seem to be the most sought-after, but I don't think they are the best (IMHO).
  • TBA

See you out there!