Every camping trip we've ever taken always offers its own unique experiences, lasting memories, and fun times. Even though it had been over a year since our last outdoor adventure, our camping trip a couple of weeks ago was no different. The exception being that this time we decided to head down south to Big Sur, California.
It had been years since we last made a trek to this part of the state, and we had forgotten how beautiful this area is. It truly is a special and magnificent place where the mountains of the west and rugged coastline abruptly meet the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Rocky outcroppings, pristine beaches, sheer drop-offs, enormous bluffs -- there are breathtaking views and blue waters everywhere you look. And let's not forget all the marine mammal sightings!
Kirk Creek Campground, Los Padres National Forest, Big Sur
Our destination: Kirk Creek Campground. Listed by Sunset Magazine as the 6th best campground in California, we were not disappointed! We pitched our tent on the coveted Site #22 which offered amazing views of the ocean to the west, the rugged coastline to our north, and the steep Los Padres Mountains to our east. Our campsite was a stone's throw from the edge of a bluff dropping off 100 feet to the ocean...literally. Seriously.
At dusk, we had a front-seat view to the setting sun and its changing colors; at night, we watched the display of stars on a completely black canvas, then drifted off with the waves of the Pacific Ocean lulling us to sleep. The morning view wasn't bad either: we spotted sea lions basking on a nearby rock outcropping and saw a school of dolphins swim by as we sipped our coffee.
Other Highlights from Big Sur
We definitely spent a lot of time just relaxing together and taking in all the views our amazing campsite had to offer. We also set out on a few adventures so we could explore some of the surrounding areas:
1. A long hike through the Ventana Wilderness and Los Padres National Forest. The constant incline of the trail was hard work, but we were rewarded with incredible bird's eye views of the rugged coastline, the ocean, the adjoining mountains, and even our campsite off in the distance!
2. Beach time at Sand Dollar Beach. Our dog, Bear, especially enjoyed this outing as he got to splash around in the ocean and play an endless game of fetch!
3. A visit to McWay Falls in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Tucked away in a picturesque lagoon, the waterfall drops 80 feet from a cliff to the beach, and is the only coastal waterfall in California.
Yes, sir -- Big Sur is a very special place, and all the better when you can pitch your tent right on the water's edge!