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Sykes Hot Springs Trail Head at Big Sur Forest Service Station: Sykes, One of Big Sur's Best Wilderness Hike-In Only Camping Spots.

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Beautiful Landscape Big Sur River shot from the Pine Ridge Trail hike to Sykes Hot Springs Campground: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of of the beautiful Big Sur River in the Ventana Wilderness; a Sykes Big Sur hot springs backcountry adventure photograph. Click to enlarge this pretty Big Sur River picture.
Tent Campsite Photo: Campsite right next to the Big Sur River at Sykes Hot Springs Campground: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of the river side tent campsite. Click to enlarge this campsite photo from Sykes Hot Springs Campground in the Big Sur Ventana Wilderness backcountry.
Tent Campsite Photo: Campsite right next to the Big Sur River at Sykes Hot Springs Campground: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of the river side tent campsite. Click to enlarge this campsite photo from Sykes Hot Springs Campground in the Big Sur Ventana Wilderness backcountry.
Sykes hot spring pool next to the Big Sur River just up from Sykes Hot Springs Campground in the Ventana Wilderness backcountry: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of of the hot springs pool; a Sykes Big Sur hot springs backcountry adventure photograph. Click to enlarge this pool at Sykes Hot Springs picture.
Sykes hot spring pool next to the Big Sur River just up from Sykes Hot Springs Campground in the Ventana Wilderness backcountry: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of of the hot springs pool; a Sykes Big Sur hot springs backcountry adventure photograph. Click to enlarge this pool at Sykes Hot Springs picture.
Sykes hot spring pool next to the Big Sur River just up from Sykes Hot Springs Campground in the Ventana Wilderness backcountry: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of of the hot springs pool; a Sykes Big Sur hot springs backcountry adventure photograph. Click to enlarge this pool at Sykes Hot Springs picture.
Sykes hot spring pool next to the Big Sur River just up from Sykes Hot Springs Campground in the Ventana Wilderness backcountry: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of of the hot springs pool; a Sykes Big Sur hot springs backcountry adventure photograph. Click to enlarge this pool at Sykes Hot Springs picture.

Activities Points of Interest
Custom Big Sur California Area Google Map: Locate Andrew Molera California State Park Trail Camp and area visitor points of interest and nearby camper tourist activities with this map: Camping Big Sur California;
Camp, Picnic, Hike and enjoy campgrounds on or reached from the scenic Pacific Coast Highway 1 near Big Sur California 93920, including information on all campgrounds, day-use picnic areas beaches, hiking trails, tourist attractions and visitor activities near Big Sur campgrounds.
Camp Picnic Hike Explore Map


USDA Forest Service Map
Online topographical map Los Padres National Forest: Locate this campground  and other places to camp, picnic and hike near Big Sur and driving hiking camping tourist visitor Pacific Coast Highway 1 and Los Padres National Forest Ventana Wilderness and Silverpeak Wilderness Santa Lucia Coastal Mountains points of interest using this USDA Forest Service online topographical map of the Los Padres National Forest.
Los Padres National Forest

Big Sur Station (Califonia State Park/ U.S. Forestry Ranger Station and California Higway Department combined Big Sur offices)Photograph of the Big Sur Station sign by the Pacific Coast Highway 1 incicates the trail head for Pine Ridge Trail that leads to the campground, Sykes Hot Springs Campground.
The Trailhead for Sykes Trail is at Big Sur Station,
Look for this sign on Pacific Coast Highway 1.

Sykes Hot Springs Campground Trail is Good!

Check Pine Ridge Trail reports before you go... Pine Ridge Trail. Not a trip for little kids, old or out of shape folks: This Sykes Hot Springs Campground listing is only for the hardy and adventurous and physically fit hikers and campers; the other campgrounds on in this directory are on paved roads and can be easily reached by RV's or passenger cars; this is for those of you who like to backpack into the Big Sur wilderness. Sykes Hot springs hiking and camping is probably the most popular Big Sur backcountry trail camp adventure so if you are Big Sur wilderness backpacking for some solitude you may be disappointed but normally it is no problem finding a nice camp spot next to the Big Sur River and you could make some new friends. The hike is not an easy one; sometimes steep (400 ft elevation and hits a maximum of 1500 ft,), lots of ups and downs and dead falls, several water crossings and a 10+ mile one-way hike but you can soothe your weary bones in a beautiful natural hot spring pool right next to the river. The full hike takes most hikers four to six hours but there are other nice campgrounds along the way if you want to spread the hike out over a few days. Barlow Flats, Terrace and Ventana Camps offer great stop of points along the way, you may even find them so nice that you will postpone your trip to the often overcrowded Sykes. You can leave your car in the parking lot at the Big Sur Ranger Station, when I was there it was self serve $5 per night; the trailhead is at the far end of the parking lot of the station clearly discernible by an information board, bench, and drinking fountain.
Campground Facilities: When you get to the river campground don’t expect anything fancy, a small flat place for your tent, a rock rimed fire pit, and if you are lucky a log to sit on may be all you get; but the river and forest surroundings are wonderful. There are only a few official camp sites at Sykes but people have established there own and spread out; stay in already established sites don't further damage the environment by making your own.
There are pit toilets and campsites on both sides of the Big Sur River, I like to pick one on the far side of the river because there is less foot traffic; the hot (about 100°F) spring pools are on the side you come in on and so you get traffic from people going to the pools.
Finding the hot spring pools can be a bit tricky especially if you arrive after dark. To find the springs, follow the river down to your left about 3/10 of a mile from the trail till you get to a large steep side trail that will take you above the river, continue to follow the trail and you will descend back down to the river about 100 feet from the hot springs.
If off the beaten path camping is something that interests you should check out this forestry map (www.fs.fed.us...) which shows the locations of well over 50 Big Sur (Ventana or Silver Peak) wilderness campgrounds. If you e-mail me I will give you my favorite Big Sur back country camp but I won't publish the name and location of this hidden jewel of a Big Sur backcountry 4-wheel in escape campsite.

Click camper hiker review button for Sykes Big Sur campers and trail hikers reviews at YELP.com
Sykes Big Sur Campers and Trail Hikers Reviews at yelp.com

Pets & Misc. Regulations: Pets allowed pet friendly accommodations at this Big Sur campground. This is a U.S. Forestry Campground, dogs are allowed in the campground and on the trails.
Helpful Hints: The best time to visit this wonderful campground is in spring and early summer, pick your dates carefully in summer it can be hot, dusty and buggy sometimes late summer fall too. Temperatures can get over 100° in the summer. Much of the trail was spoiled by the 2008 firestorms and can be affected by winter rain problems... and you should call ahead to the Big Sur Ranger Station (831-667-2315) to make sure it's passable.  Also helps to check the internet blog entries of recent hikers and pre-procure your free fire permit online and you can print it from your computers printer. You are miles from any services so be sure and use a check list and don't forget anything. Be sure to bring water purification devices if you're camping.
Before you begin any Big Sur Hiking excursion you should check with the Ventana Wilderness Alliance Website

Other Recommended Weekend Ventana Wilderness Trips: Weekend hike loops are tricky in the Ventana Wilderness, they're possible, but often involve road hiking. If you plan to hike in it may be best to hike in and retrace your steps back out. Salmon Creek is my favorite trail, Estrella, Spruce, Dutra Flat, and Turkey Springs my favorite hike in camps.
3 to 5 day backpack wilderness outings: I favor Cruickshank or Salmon Creek trail hike, and the reachable camps along the way but another one of my favorites would be: - Botcher's Gap to Pat Springs - Pat Springs to Double Cone and Back - Pat Springs to Botcher's Gap; Ventana Double Cone trail is mostly high on the ridge offering sweeping scenic views of the Ventana Wilderness.

Before you venture into the Ventana or Silverpeak Wilderness Areas you should always check in with the forums at Ventana Wilderness Alliance to get the latest trail and wilderness campground reports.
Ventana Wilderness Aliance logo, click to visit Ventana Wilderness Aliance website.


Big Sur Campground Website Links:

Los Padres National Forest Interactive
Digital Map Pine Ridge Trail --www.hikelospadres.com/...


Pine Ridge Trail Hike Sykes Camping Photo Gallery 2010

Sykes Hike & Camp Information:
http://www.verber.com/mark/outdoors/destinations/sykes/

ATTENTION 03/11/17:
SORRY:( the Pine Ridge Trail which leads to Sykes Camp is still CLOSED!

You can check current conditions with the US Forest Service; after a winter closure the Pine Ridge Trail which leads to Ventana, Terrace Creek, Barlow Flat and Sykes Camp has been re-opened; USFS can be reached at 831-385-5434. The trail has been repaired and refurbished for spring: check the Trail Conditions pages at this site before you go." www.ventanawild.org
USDA TRAIL LINK

NOW REPAIRED 2015 WINTERphoto of trail damaged by the storms December 2014: Pine Ridge Trail is closed which leads to Ventana, Terrace Creek, Barlow Flat and Sykes Camp.
SYKES TRAIL DAMAGE
Pine Ridge Trail Head Picture: a group of Pine Ridge trail Big Sur backpack hikers celebrate after the long hike back from Sykes Hot Springs Campground, back where they started from at the Big Sur Ranger Station Pine Ridge Trail head; a Sykes Big Sur hot springs backcountry adventure photograph. Click to enlarge these glad to be back to the Big Sur Station Pine Ridge Trail head hikers from a Sykes Hot Springs hiking camping trip picture.
Pine Ridge Trail Head Sign Photograph: sign on the Pine Ridge Trail just leaving the Big Sur Station reads: 5 miles to Ventana Campground, 6 miles to Barlow Flat Campground, 10 miles to Sykes Hot Springs Campground and 12 miles hike to Redwood Camp; click to enlarge this Pine Ridge Trail Head mileage to the various Ventana Wilderness Big Sur camps along the trail photo.
Big Sur Ventana Wilderness Map:locate the Pine Ridge Trail hike to Sykes Hot Springs Campground, landmarks, camps and more...  Click to enlarge this Ventana Wilderness Map.
Google Earth Graphic showing the Pine Ridge Trail hike to Sykes Hot Springs Campground;  Click to enlarge this graphic topigraphical representation of the Pine Ridge Trail leading to the Sykes Hot Springs Campground.
Beautiful landscape picture from the Pine Ridge Trail hike to Sykes Hot Springs Campground: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of forest and distant mountains panorama; a Sykes Big Sur hot springs backcountry adventure photograph. Click to enlarge this beautiful Ventana Wilderness landscape photo taken along the Pine Ridge Trail hike on the Sykes Hot Springs trip.
Fire damage picture from the Pine Ridge Trail hike to Sykes Hot Springs Campground: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of dead trees from the 2008 wildfire; a Sykes Big Sur hot springs backcountry adventure photograph. Click to enlarge this damaged forest on the Pine Ridge trail on the hike to Sykes Hot Springs campground picture.
Wild Wilderness River to Cross picture from the Pine Ridge Trail hike to Sykes Hot Springs Campground: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo one of water crossings that must be made on the hike to Sykes Big Sur hot springs campground. Click to enlarge this beautiful river on the way to Sykes Hot Springs in the Ventana wilderness.
Poison Oak on the trail photo: bright red in the fall picture from the Pine Ridge Trail hike to Sykes Hot Springs Campground: Big Sur wilderness backpacking hiking and camping trip photo of pretty poison oak. Click to enlarge this poison oak on the trail to Sykes Hot Springs trip picture.



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