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Highway 1 to Cone Peak

Start from sea level and summit the highest coastal mountain in the contiguous 48 states.
Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 22 miles
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  Cone Peak rises dramatically from the Pacific Ocean and offers great views of the Lucian range. Enjoy this 2-day backpacking trip... more »

Tips:  - A fire permit is required for both stoves and campfires. Permits are available at Big Sur Station.
- Water can be very scarce at... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

For those planning on making an extended trip reserving a campground at Kirk Creek Campground (http://campone.com/campsites/kirk-creek/) is a great way to secure parking. Otherwise, limited parking is available alongside Highway 1 at the trailhead.

Make sure to pack lots of water for this trip. The trip to Cone Peak does cross some major creeks... More

2. Espinosa Camp

Espinosa Camp is a small flat located alongside the trail. It is easy to miss so make sure to keep an eye out. There is a seasonal stream nearby, also along the trail.

This camp can fit about 2 tents. Vicente Flat, although more popular, is a better bet for overnight trips.

3. Vicente Flat

Vicente Flat is a great location to setup a basecamp for your Cone Peak ascent. Although it's popular there are several campsites, some complete with fire rings. Please note that a fire permit is required for both stoves and campfires and are available at Big Sur Station.

This campsite is a destination for some Boyscout troops so be prepared to... More

4. Seasonal Spring

This is your last chance to tank up before the summit! This spring is accessible by the San Antonio Trail. It is seasonal and can be difficult to access so make sure to always bring enough water for the full trip to Cone Peak and back.

As of June 2011, the trailhead to San Antonio Trail is obscured due to recent land slides and the work to... More

5. Cone Peak

At 5,155ft, Cone Peak is the highest coastal mountain in the contiguous 48 states. The views are spectacular from the fire lookout tower which also provides shade during hot afternoons.