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Big Sur Camping – 15 Campgrounds in Big Sur for Your Next Trip


Big Sur is without doubt one of the finest locations to go to in California, and it is filled with wonderful seashores and mountain climbing trails. You’ll additionally discover redwood bushes galore, so if you wish to rise up near the tallest bushes in the world, then Big Sur is a should-go to spot. Big Sur is full of nature and is a perfect vacation spot for a vacation spent outside.

We’ve established you must undoubtedly go to Big Sur, however what about going tenting in Big Sur? What do it’s good to know, and the place must you keep? Whether you’re keen on glamping, staying in an RV, or hike-in tenting, Big Sur State Park has a whole lot of choices. This Big Sur tenting information will cowl all the perfect campgrounds, together with some further important particulars. Ready? Let’s get began.

Best Camping in Big Sur

Big Sur has many motels and locations to remain from luxurious motels to boutique lodging, nevertheless it additionally has loads of campgrounds to select from. We breakdown the perfect Big Sur campground to swimsuit each want.

1. Ventana Campground

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Inside our Glamping Tent at Ventana Resort, Big Sur.

Ventana Campground is without doubt one of the most stunning campgrounds in Big Sur and we extremely suggest staying right here. We cherished exploring the Big Sur coast from Ventana because it gave quick access to most of the high points of interest. The campground is located on 40 acres of redwood grove and is well accessible off of the Cabrillo Highway. And the primary draw? Ventana Campground has unbelievable glamping amenities. If you fancy a glamping expertise, Ventana’s tent cabins are the most effective locations to remain in Big Sur. The lodging is safari-model and a romantic approach to spend an evening beneath the redwoods. See evaluations on TripAdvisor

Ventana Campground has many facilities, together with two bathhouses, sizzling showers, picnic tables, a fireplace ring, and proximity (strolling distance) to cafes, eating places, and reward retailers. Guests have quick access to Big Sur and its neighborhood. Ventana Campground additionally has some extra upscale amenities, resembling swimming swimming pools, health studios, and eating venues. You might also like: The Complete Guide to Visiting Redwood National Park

Big Sur Campgrounds: Hike-In Campsites

If you need a tent-solely campground, hike-in campsites are an incredible choice. These websites additionally supply tent tenting that’s accessible after only a quick stroll, in contrast to backcountry tenting which requires lengthy hikes to achieve every website. Hike-in campsites are a incredible compromise.

Hike-in campsites have so many advantages. You’ll be extra secluded, have extra wildlife sightings, and sometimes gorgeous views of the Big Sur Coast. This part is devoted fully to hike-in tenting alternatives. We’ll cowl the highest three hike-in campsites, excellent for tenting in and round Big Sur State Park.

2. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is definitely a area fairly than a campsite. It is situated 12 miles south of Big Sur State Park. The park is famend for its coastal surroundings, with granite cliffs and dramatic ocean views, and forests of redwood bushes that develop all the way in which to the cliff edges. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is really a sight to behold and a very good base from which to discover the coast.

The park options two hike-in environmental campsites on the west aspect of Highway 1. Saddle Rock and South Gardens Environmental Campgrounds are only a quick stroll from the Cabrillo Highway. Don’t fear about being marathon-match, however be ready to hold every part you carry, as there is no such thing as a automobile entry to both website.

The campsites function fireplace rings, a picnic desk, and restrooms. You might want to carry your personal water and firewood; cease by at a water station or retailers beforehand. Speaking of outlets, as a result of there are restricted native retailers, it’s best to plan a buying journey earlier than coming into Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

So, why keep right here? In quick, the incredible surroundings and site. From Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park’s campgrounds, you may spot migrating grey whales, hike gorgeous trails like Ewoldsen Trail, and take a look at waterfalls like Mcway Falls (extra on that later). You’ll have a central location to discover the perfect of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and be shut sufficient to expertise all that Big Sur provides. Read: The Ultimate California Road Trip Itinerary

3. Vicente Flat Camp

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Vincente Flat Camp is a bit more remoted and situated on the junction of the Stone Ridge and Vincente Flat Trails. It is roughly 5 miles from Vicente Trailhead, so enable round two hours to achieve the campground and pack accordingly because you’ll have to hold all of your gear. The campground is ready in an atmospheric forest canyon. It is just a brief stroll from the panoramas of the Californian shoreline.

You’ll discover a freshwater stream (pack a water filter) and a fireplace pit on the campground. However, don’t anticipate another important amenities. Vicente Flat Camp is good for those that wish to ‘rough it’ somewhat, and it’s a enjoyable spot to check your wilderness limits.

So, why keep in Vicente Flat Camp? The journey. If you need the fun of a barely longer hike-in expertise, the campground is an thrilling place to remain and the most effective stroll-in campsites. You gained’t discover restrooms or perhaps a picnic desk or dump station. But it’s the excellent campground to channel your interior Bear Grylls.

3. Andrew Molera Trail Camp

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Andrew Molera State Park

Andrew Molera State Park is a way more undeveloped state park situated simply north of Big Sur State Park. It is known for its distant and various mountain climbing and seaside entry. If you need a base simply outdoors of Big Sur, Andrew Molera Trail Camp is a incredible selection. Campers simply park in the car parking zone after which hike round 0.25 miles to achieve the campground. It is a handy hike-in campground and never as strenuous as reaching Vincente Flat.

The camp has fireplace pits, a meals storage locker, picnic tables, water, and restrooms. You’ll should do with no bathe, however the campground’s facilities are useful for just a few nights. The campground has simply 22 normal tent websites and two hike-and-bike websites (24 tent websites in complete), so be sure that to e-book in advance.

Andrew Molera Trail Camp is incredible if you wish to keep off the overwhelmed monitor and expertise a much less-developed a part of the area. At the identical time, the campground additionally provides among the finest amenities – a win-win in the event you ask us. You can discover close by points of interest like Highbridge Falls and Cooper Cabin or drive simply ten minutes down the highway. The selection is yours.

Big Sur Campgrounds: Car Camping and Glamping

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Not so eager on hike-in campsites? Perhaps you need a spot with tent and RV websites. RV tenting is a well-liked approach to discover the US wilderness, and Big Sur has many incredible places the place you may pull up for the evening. RV and tent tenting each have their advantages.

Of course, you might have considered trying extra luxurious than a fundamental tent or RV tenting. In that case, maintain your eyes peeled for the glamping campgrounds in this part. Some of those glamping websites even include a sizzling tub or two.

This part will cowl the perfect Big Sur campgrounds for RV tenting and glamping. Let’s dive straight in. You might also like: Top 10 Best Places to Camp in California

4. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park South Camp

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This Big Sur campground is without doubt one of the finest on this checklist. It is situated inside the boundaries of Big Sur State Park – ultimate if you need a central location. South Camp is a large, spacious campground with over 100 tent websites. It is well accessed off Pfeiffer Big Sur Road and has loads of facilities. Yet, it is usually vastly standard with wildlife, and even deer wander onto the location. It doesn’t get significantly better for RV and tent tenting.

You can eat breakfast at a picnic desk after your morning bathe, unwinding with a morning espresso created from the campground’s water provide. South Camp is Big Sur tenting made simple – what’s to not love? Big Sur State Park South Camp is the best choice for anybody wanting a central location contained in the park and loads of amenities and facilities for a straightforward tenting expertise. Read: 24 Of The Best Beaches in California

5. Prewitt Ridge Campground

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Prewitt Ridge is without doubt one of the most gorgeous campsites round Big Sur. Set excessive upon a ridge, you’ll fall asleep and get up overlooking the most effective views in the park. Prewitt Ridge has unbelievable views of Los Padres National Forest and the Pacific Ocean. For ocean-view tent campsites and RV tenting, look no additional.

Getting there may be simple, and also you simply drive to the location on Prewitt Road. The monitor is somewhat tough in sections, so a 4WD is advisable. Just take your time although, and also you’ll be high quality. In phrases of facilities, be ready to tough it. Prewitt Ridge has no restrooms, showers, water, or dump station, so carry every part you want.

The better part about Prewitt Ridge Campground is, by far, the views. It is somewhat farther from the middle of Big Sur (enable round an hour and twenty minutes resulting from windy roads). Still, if you’re planning a highway journey, it’s effectively price basing your self at Prewitt Ridge for an evening.

6. Saddle Mountain Ranch, RV, and Campground

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Saddle Mountain Ranch blends every part collectively – RV and tent tenting and glamping. It is well accessed off Carmel Valley Road and is only a forty-minute drive north of Big Sur. If you wish to keep close by Big Sur, Saddle Mountain Ranch is fantastically situated in the serene Carmel Valley. You’ll spend your downtime amongst Monterey pines and redwoods. See availability and extra evaluations on TripAdvisor

Saddle Mountain Ranch has unbelievable amenities, together with a big outside swimming pool. It additionally has heated showers, restrooms, wi-fi, and a playground. Whether you need glamping or RV tenting, it’s a incredible luxurious base and is conveniently situated close to Big Sur. Read extra: Things to do in Carmel by the Sea, California

7. Arroyo Seco

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Arroyo Seco is without doubt one of the finest Big Sur campgrounds. Described as ‘semi rustic’, the campsite provides RV and tent tenting and is well accessed off Arroyo Seco Road. Arroyo Seco is situated inland, and entry is somewhat restricted. Be ready to drive almost two hours since you need to drive all the way in which across the park to re-enter the east. It is a particular spot although, and the serenity of Arroyo Seco will likely be price it. The campground is surrounded by lakes, forests, and mountains – the proper recipe for an escape to the nice outside.

Each campsite in the campground has its personal fireplace ring, grill, and picnic desk. The campground additionally has accessible flush bathrooms, consuming water, and showers. Arroyo Seco has hike and seaside entry. It is situated proper subsequent to Arroyo Seco Trailhead and The Lakes Beach (a small seaside space on the shores of a freshwater lake). You can fish, swim, hike, and even go horseback driving whenever you aren’t exploring Big Sur.

Arroyo Seco is a incredible place to remain in inland Big Sur State Park. You don’t should miss out on water-aspect tenting since The Lakes are proper subsequent to the campground.

8. Kirk Creek Campground

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RVs can park in Kir Creek Campground

Kirk Creek Campground is round a fifty-minute drive from Big Sur. It is situated off Cabrillo Highway, simply south of Lucia. Kirk Creek Campground is a surprising spot with ocean views and direct seaside entry. Kirk Creek Campground must be on the high of your checklist if you need a campground for RV tenting with ocean views.

Kirk Creek Campground has a mixture of tent and RV tenting spots. The campground has a fireplace ring, vault bathrooms, BBQ amenities, and firewood for sale. There’s no consuming water or showers, so maintain that in thoughts when packing. The campground is finest for those that wish to be close to a seaside and surrounded by nature – it’s not unusual to identify mountain lions and deer simply outdoors the campground. See charges and availability on TripAdvisor

10. Riverside Campground and Cabins

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Riverside Campground and Cabins is without doubt one of the finest spots for RV tenting and glamping. It is situated simply south of Big Sur, off the Cabrillo Highway. The campground provides rooms, cabins, and RV websites with electrical energy and water hookups. You can ‘glamp’ in model with stunning wood cabins that includes snug queen-sized beds and elective personal decks. Otherwise, park your RV and cool down amongst all of the campground facilities.

Riverside Campground and Cabins has fireplace pits, picnic tables, restrooms, sizzling showers, and laundry amenities. As its title suggests, you even have entry to the river. You can benefit from the campground’s tube leases to drift down the river – appreciating the surroundings as you go. Right on the riverside, you even have unmatched seasonal fishing to get pleasure from.

This campground is nice if you wish to be near the river and the middle of Big Sur. You aren’t removed from the neighborhood ambiance, retailers, and hospitality venues. However, Riverside Campground and Cabins nonetheless have a secluded, peaceable really feel. See charges and availability on TripAdvisor

11. Treebones Resort

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Fancy a very upscale and weird glamping expertise? Treebones Resort is the place to remain. Treebones Resort is situated an hour south of Big Sur, close to the hamlet of Gorda. The resort provides a collection of oceanfront yurts, the place you camp in luxurious with gorgeous views over the Pacific Ocean. Guests even obtain a complimentary breakfast and yoga.

The amenities embrace an out of doors swimming pool with additional ocean views and a number of on-website eating places. Each yurt comes with complimentary wi-fi, and you may benefit from the vary of resort actions that Treebones provides. Treebones is finest for those that need the comfiest, most luxurious tenting expertise accessible. See extra on TripAdvisor

12. Limekiln Campground

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Limekiln State Park is a forty five-minute drive south of Big Sur and can be located alongside the Californian coast. Limekiln Campground is the park’s most important lodging choice and provides tent and RV websites. Limekiln Campground is well reached off the Cabrillo Highway and has a big parking space.

Facility-wise, the campground has restrooms and showers. It is fundamental however snug, and you might be inside driving distance of outlets for emergency provides. When it involves close by points of interest, your choices are even higher. You can take one of many mountain climbing trails to Limekiln Falls or Old Limekiln Ruins, nearly straight from the campground. There’s even seaside entry.

Limekiln Campground is a spectacular place to remain. It is superb if you wish to be close to a seaside, have nice mountain climbing trails, and never be too removed from Big Sur. Check out: 15 Best Hikes in California – Inspiration to Get Outdoors

13. Ponderosa Campground

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Ponderosa Campground is located proper in the center of the Los Padres National Forest amongst the mountains of Big Sur. It is round an hour and twenty-minute drive from the middle of Big Sur. It is good for those that wish to expertise RV tenting on a extra mountainous aspect of the area.

Ponderosa Campground is handed by the Nacimiento River, offering swimming and freshwater alternatives. Drinking water can be offered (in the event you don’t have a filter), plus a dump station, vault bathrooms, and a fireplace ring at every website. Ponderosa Campground has every part you possibly can want for a brief keep, and it’s the excellent base to wander, bike, or trip across the dramatic surrounding panorama.

14. Fernwood Campground and Resort

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Coffee by the fireplace. Best approach to begin the day

Fernwood Campground and Resort is the final word glamping keep in Big Sur. Situated in the center of Big Sur Valley, you might be only a twenty-minute stroll or two-minute drive into the middle of Big Sur. Fernwood includes a combination of cabins and canvas, safari-model ‘tent cabins’, and ‘adventure cabins’. If you need a glamping expertise, we’d suggest the journey cabins, basically upgrades from normal canvas tent cabins. These choices function electrical energy, a heat mattress, recent linens, and heating – bliss.

Each cabin comes with its personal fireplace ring and picnic desk. Fernwood Campground and Resort additionally includes a common retailer and espresso cafe. These are excellent on-website choices for a leisurely morning fairly than having to move into Big Sur. Fernwood is a handy glamping choice with a super location.

15. Plaskett Creek Campground

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Plaskett Creek Campground is a lovely RV tenting choice and is only a quick stroll from Sand Dollar Beach, the biggest seaside in Big Sur. It is only a fifty-minute drive from Big Sur and simply accessed off the Cabrillo Highway.

The campground is likened by many to a park, and it’s a spacious, household-pleasant place to remain in Big Sur. The campground has RV and tent websites, plus restrooms, picnic tables, and a fireplace ring in every particular person campsite. Plaskett Creek Campground is a wonderful selection for these wanting nice amenities, a lot of area, and lodging close to Sand Dollar Beach. It is filled with open inexperienced area and proper subsequent to the ocean. Check charges on TripAdvisor

Big Sur FAQs

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Now that we’ve lined the perfect locations for tenting in Big Sur State Park, we’ve some important particulars for you. If you haven’t been tenting earlier than, it could actually really feel somewhat daunting to organize. And apart from, even if you’re a professional-camper, a little bit of vacation spot-particular info is at all times important.

This part is every part it’s good to learn about tenting in Big Sur State Park.

What to pack for a Big Sur tenting journey?

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You can view our final tenting guidelines right here, however we’ll present a fast transient on what to pack for a Big Sur tenting journey.

First, if you’re tent tenting, you’ll want a water-proof three-season tent, floor sheet, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, and all of the tent-associated emergency gear doable (suppose further poles and a tent restore package). You’ll additionally need just a few luxuries like fold-up tenting chairs, photo voltaic lanterns, and a camp desk. After all, whenever you discover a lovely view in Big Sur you need to have the ability to sit outdoors comfortably to get pleasure from it.

Don’t overlook your tenting range and cooking gear both. Of course, relying on which campground you select, you gained’t want some gear – so verify your campground amenities forward of time. 25 Of The Most Useful Camping Tips and Hacks

Kit-wise, you want a robust pair of mountain climbing boots (plus a primary assist package with moleskin for blisters), fast dry layers, a raincoat, and a hat. A filter water bottle, flashlight, sunscreen, and bug spray may also come in useful.

Most importantly, keep in mind your tenting reservations and any needed passes. It is important to analysis what paperwork you want forward of time and convey a paper model in case your cellphone dies.

What there may be to do in Big Sur

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So, when you’ve chosen an unbelievable campground and a few mountain climbing trails, what else is there to do in Big Sur? The reply to this can be a lot. Don’t be fooled by the state park’s comparatively small measurement. These are the perfect issues to do in Big Sur – excellent additions to your tenting itinerary. Read our full information: The Ultimate Big Sur Road Trip Itinerary and The Best Viewpoints

New Camaldoli Hermitage

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The New Camaldoli Hermitage is a Camaldolese Benedictine monastery perched on a mountainous vantage level overlooking the ocean. If you get pleasure from spiritual points of interest, visiting the monastery is without doubt one of the finest issues to do in Big Sur.

Hike Pfeiffer Falls Trail

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Pfeiffer Falls Trail is the perfect quick hike to see redwood bushes up shut. The route is lower than two miles return and is sweet and flat – making it a straightforward hike, appropriate for all forms of walkers. The largest redwood known as the Colonial Tree. Keep your eyes peeled for it.

See Bixby Bridge

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Bixby Bridge is an iconic spot alongside Highway 101, and the dramatic canyon crossing stands 85 meters tall. Bixby Bridge is a powerful architectural attraction and makes for a putting {photograph}. We suppose the perfect view is from Castle Rock Viewpoint, however we’ll allow you to determine.

Drive the Big Sur Coast on Highway 101

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The Big Sur coast is gorgeous. That’s no secret. Highway 101 is without doubt one of the hottest US highway journeys and runs round 1,500 miles from San Diego to the Olympic National Park in Washington. If you fancy a highway journey whereas visiting Big Sur, you may drive the stretch of the coastal freeway from San Francisco to Big Sur. This is effectively mixed with touring to Big Sur anyway because the park is finest accessed by flying into San Francisco and renting a automobile.

Swim at The Gorge

The Big Sur River is filled with swimming spots, however none are as well-known because the Big Sur River Gorge. The Gorge is thought for its crystal-clear waters and calm water circumstances. Be warned, the water may be freezing, so you may want a wetsuit in the event you go to in winter.

Visit Sand Dollar Beach

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Sand Dollar Beach is without doubt one of the largest seashores in Big Sur. It will get its title from sand {dollars} – tiny sea urchins with a novel shell- their endoskeleton. The shell is left behind when the urchin dies, and many individuals gather them as souvenirs. Apart from the actual fact you will discover shells, Sand Dollar Beach is magnificently stunning. A Sand Dollar Beach day must be on everybody’s itinerary.

Go mountain biking

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17 Mile Drive: California Road Trip

For journey sports activities lovers, mountain biking in Big Sur is without doubt one of the most fun issues to do in the world. Bring your personal bike, arrange bike leases, or e-book an organized mountain biking tour. You’ll be tackling difficult trails – egged on by the continual promise of gorgeous views and recent adrenaline.

Go horseback driving

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Going horseback driving is an thrilling approach to admire the outside. We suggest occurring a path trip to expertise Big Sur and its surrounding areas. Pebble Beach Equestrian Center is a well-liked choice and provides a particular picnic and seaside trip.

Visit Point Sur State Historic Park

Point Sur State Historic Park is a tiny would-be-island related to the mainland by a skinny sandbar. It is residence to Point Sur Lighthouse, which was constructed in 1889 and remained practical till 1974. You can go to the historic constructing, taking particular moonlight excursions if you’re fortunate.

Visit McWay Falls

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McWay Falls is a 24-meter waterfall situated in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The waterfall is without doubt one of the most dramatic pure points of interest close to Big Sur State Park. During excessive tide, the water falls straight into the ocean. You simply take a brief, mile-lengthy return hike alongside the cliffs to a scenic viewpoint to achieve the waterfall.

To Conclude

Hopefully, you are feeling good and ready after studying this Big Sur tenting information. Big Sur State Park is a lovely place to camp; it’s stuffed with pure magnificence and gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and native flora. Your days will likely be full of mountain climbing, redwood and ocean surroundings, and plenty of enjoyable outside actions. You are going to have a incredible time.

Got just a few extra questions? Check out our article on the final word tenting suggestions. You might even plan a large California highway journey – there are many wonderful tenting spots in California.

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