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Hiking the Limekiln Falls Trail

Hiking the Limekiln Falls Trail in Big Sur

Day-tripping to Limekiln Falls

Hiking the Limekiln Falls Trail is like a walk through another world. It is dark — even on a cloudless day — and verdant green. The trail dives deep into the steepest coastal canyon in California, reaching an impressive 100 foot split waterfall. This is an easy hike, and worth a stop to stretch your legs and marvel at the towering redwoods as you make your way up the Big Sur coast.

Trail Details
Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation gain: 400 ft
Dogs: No
When to go: Year-round
Limekiln Falls State Park is located 94 miles north of San Luis Obispo and about 55 miles south of Carmel. There is a $6 day-use fee, and 33 campsites that require some planning to snag. Frankly, the sites are quite close together, so don’t expect much privacy. But it is a beautiful setting.

From the parking lot, we followed the path past the campsites and alongside Limekiln Creek.

Verdant Green on the Limekiln Falls Trail

You are immediately struck by how dark the trail seems, even on a bright and sunny day. The steep canyon walls are lined with towering redwoods that soar impossibly high.

Towering Redwoods in Limekiln State Park

Just beyond the campsites, the trail crosses Hare Creek on a wooden bridge, the cuts north to follow Limekiln Creek.

Limekiln Creek

At about 0.25 miles in you reach a junction with the Kiln Trail. Bear right to the Falls Trail.

Junction to the Limekiln Falls

You’ll criss-cross the creek several times on small wooden bridges until you finally hear the falls.

Near the base of Limekiln Falls

Limekiln Falls

The trail turns around at this point — so take some time to enjoy the falls.

The Limekiln Falls Trail is short but very photogenic. It’s a great place for kids to enjoy while you stretch your legs and relax.


Limekiln Falls Trail Map

Download file: limekiln-falls-trail.gpx

Photo Gallery

Click on any photo to view a larger version. You can also leave comments on any photo.

Limekiln Falls Tips

  • Take your time. This hike really is a “walk in the woods.” Enjoy the sounds, the sights and the scents.
  • Take photos. Limekiln Falls and the creeks are extremely photogenic.
  • Take your kids (or just remember what it was like to be one). Creek crossings, waterfalls, and giant trees? Yes please!

More Big Sur Resources

Limekiln Falls State Park Weather Forecast

[forecast width=”100%” location=”93920″]

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