Carmel/Big Sur Hiking: Garrapata State Park

Big Sur Hiking - Garrapata State Park

Big Sur Hiking - Garrapata State Park

Looking for a real good workout? Try this hike. Located along Carmel/Big Sur’s breathtaking coastline, Garrapata State Park offers a 7 mile, 1,200 foot elevation gain loop for all the world to enjoy. It’s called the Rocky Ridge Trail & Soberanes Canyon Loop. Not going to lie, this is quite strenuous and the hills getting pretty steep. And by pretty, I mean like, definitely-not-for-a-beginner-steep. But the scenery at the top is SO worth it!

The backstory in these pics: it was my 25th birthday weekend after a very long night of drinking (#unhealthybex). For me personally, exercise is my top hangover cure, and it was my birthday and I thought a little sweat might help the others as well. I might have failed to communicate just how hard this hike might actually be, and there’s a good chance my friends wanted to kill me at one point. The hike started out good; everyone hurting just a little, but still feeling confident nonetheless. All was smiles, fun and games. Then we reached the start of the climb. Needless to say, I am so grateful that this crew put themselves though hot, sweaty, hangover misery just to make me happy on my birthday! They all survived and fell in love with the view at the top (I hope), and I am forever thankful that these babies bit the bullet for me on my birthday, all while being miserably hungover. #blessed!

So, how do you get there? Drive along Highway 1 (northern side of Big Sur) until you reach a distinctive grove of cypress trees lining the highway. Park your car near the trees and the trailhead is a gated dirt road that leads to an abandoned tin barn. Continue on the Soberanes Canyon Trail, where the initial climb is fairly comfortable (this is the part when everyone still felt confident and cheerful; fun and games). After about 1.7 miles, you’ll begin to feel the steep incline. About a half mile later, you’ll start sweating. Like, a lot (this is the part when I realized maybe we bit off more than we could chew). Keep trekking along, and I promise the view at the top is worth it. Once you get to the top, the panoramic views of the Big Sur coastline are off-tha-chains-unreal. #allisforgiven. Loop back down the hill on the Rocky Ridge Trail, all while enjoying some of the most gorgeous views in the entire world!




One thought on “Carmel/Big Sur Hiking: Garrapata State Park

  1. Zach Luechauer says:

    Very well put and accurately described. Although I do recall a fat boy scout falling down the mountain. Oh! and a couple of people lost their cookies as well. Overall very well worth it and a great reminder of how old I am #turningthirty. Can’t wait to maybe do it again next year!

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