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Kirk Creek Trail #4E17

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (10)

A singletrack dirt trail along the California Coast in Big Sur.


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Map Key

5.0

Miles

8.1

KM

83%

Runnable

1,859' 567 m

High

190' 58 m

Low

1,772' 540 m

Up

334' 102 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

30%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Runner Notes

Relatively flat hard-packed dirt. Some switchbacks early on.

Description

Starting across Highway 1 from the Kirk Creek Campground, this trail offers the amazing traditional views of Big Sur. The first couple miles are exposed along the hillside with a complete 180-degree view of the coastline. If done during the day in the warmer months, make sure to pack plenty of water and wear sunblock. It is a grassy area, so be mindful of ticks and poison oak. The first mile is all incline and switchbacks on dirt with grass to either side. It definitely sets the tone and warms your legs up. After the first mile, you're a good way up the side of the hill and it flattens out mostly. Right around the third mile or so, the trail ditches the coast and makes its way into the hills. It is at this point that the tree cover begins to take over.

We did not venture that deep into the trees... we made it to the Vicente Flat campground which is 6 miles in on the trail, and then decided to go back to the third mile where there was a nice wide open grassy area with a ridiculous view of the coast and outgoing sunset.

From our campsite, if you continued to follow the Kirk Creek Trail to the campground, it takes you into the canyon covered by trees the whole way, where the Vicente Flat campground branches off to the left. The trail continues on past Vicente Flat deep into the Los Padres National Forest. We had one day to do this really, hence our decision to set up shop on the hillside overlooking the coast.

Flora & Fauna

Coastal shrubs and grasses, poison oak, and oak trees.

Contacts

Shared By:

Willie Virgen with improvements by Tilman Giese

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 10 votes

#646

Overall
  4.7 from 10 votes
5 Star
70%
4 Star
30%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Trail Rankings

#81

in California

#646

Overall
18 Views Last Month
4,557 Since Nov 10, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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30%
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70%
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Photos

Sunset on the hillside at about the midpoint of the Vicente Flat Trail.
Nov 10, 2015 near King City, CA
Starting early on the trail, the views of the Pacific Ocean get pretty amazing.
Nov 10, 2015 near King City, CA
The view from our campsite.
Nov 10, 2015 near King City, CA
Ocean view from the ascent on Kirk Creek Trail
Nov 18, 2019 near King City, CA
Low hanging clouds on Kirk Creek Trail
Nov 18, 2019 near King City, CA
Cliffs along the Pacific Coast
Nov 18, 2019 near King City, CA

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Check-Ins

Feb 19, 2020
Sophia T
11mi out and back
Apr 15, 2019
Dan Blakely
Ran the trail in and out. Views are amazballs and the trail is in primo condition. This is s must do trail if you're in the area. 9.7mi — 2h 20m