06/30/15 PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: We've recently heard that this campground is trashed. If you plan to come up here, please please please clean up after yourselves. Don't leave toilet paper / poop all over the grounds. If you see someone had left trash everywhere and just left, please pick it up & dispose of it properly. I know we are all in the state of mind of "that's not ours, not our problem", but this amazing place will suffer if we only think of ourselves. Please do your part in helping to keep this place amazing for all future visitors.
If you refuse to pick up after yourselves, can't handle having water or a toilet, its really simple: don't come up here! Go to one of the other amazing campgrounds on the coast that has facilities that can accommodate you & your crew.
- end rant - Continue onto the post!
...ANNNNND WE'RE BACCKK! This weekend was packed with adventure as we headed back to our favorite Big Sur campground, Prewitt Ridge. We enjoyed it so much last time that we brought a ton of new friends with us, totaling in 19 people (crazy!).
Salmon Creek Falls
Our first and last stop of the weekend. The waterfalls was a great little side trip and helped kept us cool. The first day we went, they were actually filming a music video there! Pretty crazy. You have to climb the rocks a little bit to get to the main waterfall, so be careful! Some people in our group decided to go around and they discovered a little cave (too dark for me, I stayed away haha). If you want to cross the water, there's this metal bendy thing that you can use to cross. There's also this rope, as long as you lean backwards and keep the rope tight, you will be fine. It was actually really funny watching everyone's different ways of cross the metal pipes. Thankfully, we only had one person fall in (she was okay!)
Once we got to the waterfall, some of the boys decided to climb underneath the waterfall. Pretty fun :)
How to get there: If you're travelling north, its approximately 3.7 miles or 10 minutes North of Ragged Point Inn. It's located on the inside of a very large bend. There will be a large pull out and you'll probably see a lot of cars parked there. Just follow the trail and stick to the left side. It's about a 10 min walk to the falls.
Kirk Creek Campground
We spent out first night at Kirk Creek Campground. If you havn't been, you should! The only thing is its a very popular campground, so be forewarned. There are around 2-3 walk-in sites but you have to get there AT LEAST by 7:30 AM to try and claim it. We weren't able to get it last time which is why we headed up to Prewitt. This time, I reserved 6 months in advance to claim two spots.
We stayed in site #11 & 7. But we actually just parked all of our cars (2 cars per site) at #7 and then we all slept and cooked at #11. Right between Site #11 and #10 is a trail that runs to the beach (pictured below). It's a 20 minute hike down and the trail is a bit overgrown ( POISON IVY!) so make sure to wear long pants! We went down when it was still foggy, and the view was gorgeous! Some people did a little bit of climbing as well ;)
Tips & Notes
Restrooms: Yes! Toilets, but not flushable. Bring a light with you at night.
Water: Bring your own
Amenities: Campfire ring, Picnic table in each site. You can also buy firewood from the camphost (8$/stack).
Hazards: Lots of poison ivy on site. Parents beware. Pack your food into your cars at night since there were many raccoons. We left a big bag of potato chips at night and by morning, it was gone!
Gas: 20 minutes South is Gorda Gas station. You can also fill up approximately 30-40 minutes North at Big Sur Bakery.
Parking: 2 cars per site
Fee: 25$ / Night
The next day we joined up with the rest of our group and went over to..
Big Sur River Gorge
So many near death experiences here!!! But it was most definitely my favorite highlight from our trip. It's about a 0.5 mile hike in from the parking lot and this gets you to this broader river area, but to get to the most interesting parts, you'll have to start climbing! Trust me, the view is worth it.
We just took our shoes off and left it on the river bed (probably not the greatest idea, I definitely wished I had some sort of webbed, waterproof shoes to climb onto the rocks). We climbed through rocks, wadded through water, climbed down giant tree logs, and tiptoed on mini pebbles to get to the swimming hole. Make sure to bring your swimsuits because you will definitely get wet!
(I couldn't bring my camera through because I was scared of it dropping into the water, so I'll post some images from Google for this section, sorry!)
Once you get to the swimming hole (pictured below) you can swim to the big rock in the middle. The water looks very calm in the picture, but there is actually strong river currents right in front of the rock. So be careful! The best way is to swim at half energy until you feel the currents, and then go 100% to get to the rock. Try to stick to the left side or you'll get slammed onto the rocks on the right.
Once you get to across, you can scale the rock from behind and then there's only one thing left to do: JUMP!
It was a ton of fun! But do be careful. I almost slipped on the rocks, some other people I knew almost drowned, almost got swept in the currents, slipped on the rocks while they were trying to jump from one rock to another (don't do that!), stubbed their feet when they jumped from another rock (please always make sure that the water is deep enough or you will get injured!). Overall.. a lot of 'almost' accidents haha.
How to get there: Its located in Big Sur State Park. Park in Day Use Lot #3 and follow the trail to the river gorge. Can't get any easier :)
My dad read this blog post and said that my writing encouraged people to swim across the currents. Please don't die out there!!! :O
We headed straight to Prewitt Ridge Campground after, and got there just for sunset. It was an amazing view but left us scrambling to set up tent & dinner. Good thing there's so many of us! I especially liked watching everyone work together to get things done.
It was still great to be back up there.
Tips & Notes
Restrooms: None! Bring a poop shovel and make sure to bury that stuff 8" deep in a hole.. away from any water source and away from your campground
Showers: None! Bring some baby wipes to wipe down.
Hazards: We saw tarantulas and someone in our group saw a scorpion climb underneath last time. Thankfully, no small creatures were found to be roaming through our food.
Amenities: Some sites (very few) have a picnic table & camp-ring. The rest of them are on open plains. It does get pretty windy on the open plains so make sure to watch your campfires carefully.
Gas: Its a 40 minute drive up from Kirk Creek. Stay fueled up, you don't want to get stuck
Campfires: When we went last weekend (March 2015), campfires were allowed--EXCITING. But be sure to check on fire restrictions when you go. Also bring a copy of a fire permit!
Fee: None. But try to get there early to snag a spot. When we went up this weekend, all the spots were almost full. Pretty crazy since the last time we went, we basically had the whole mountain to ourselves. I guess its getting more popular? ;)
And of course, this post wouldn't be complete without some night photos. I was disappointed since there was a half moon out, meaning less stars for me to photograph!
The third day, half the group went down the mountain to go to McWay Falls. I stayed behind with 8 others to just chill on the mountain :) It was great having time to just wander around and get to know our amazing campsite a little more. Last time, we went up and down the mountain 6 times within three days! I have to say after wandering the fields that our campsite is HOT HOT HOT! No shade at all ahaha I got major sunburn. But the views are amazingg. It was a silly day with silly adventures. I felt like a kid again.
Silly Things I Witnessed:
- Roll down the hill
- Throw bottles of water on the ground
- Do Tai-Chi on top of a large rock
- "Watch TV" from said rock
- Pretend to be a sloth
- Pretend to be a kaola accompanying the sloth
- See the world up sides down
- Follow an eagle for an hour
The other group returned to campsite just in time to catch sunset together. The timing was perfect.
Overall, being in nature always reminds me of how small we are in this big, big world. We should do more to take care of it ^__^.
Big shoutout to this cool guy for always rallying the troops & being an amazing co-host. Cheers to all our future adventures together :)