Cabezo Prieto Ridge
11.2 miles     4300 ft
18 Feb 2012
Summary

A classic Big Sur hike from Andrew Molera State Park to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Location: Andrew Molera State ParkPfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» National Geographic Map by a Meetup Group: A high quality map outlining the entire ridge trail.

» Official Trail Map for Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: A part of the hike is in Pfeiffer Big Sur. This is a moderate quality showing various trails close to Park HQ. Elevation profile and trail segment lengths are missing.

» Redwood Hikes Map: An excellent map by Dave Baselt. Thanks, Dave!

Route

Route in brief: Follow Cabezo Prieto Ridge Trail all the way to Post Summit and then to Manuel Peak (also known as Mount Manuel). Continue along Manuel Peak Trail to reach Pfeiffer Big Sur Park. Finally, walk along roads inside the park to reach the parking lot on CA-1 (see Pfeiffer Big Sur trail map for details).

Notes: The last one mile to Post Summit is exceptionally steep. Beyond Post Peak, a good trail map and route finding skills are necessary for some sections. A significantly long section (about 0.7 miles long) was highly overgrown in Feb 2012. We had to wade through bushes that were about eight feet high. So attempt this hike only if you are confident of being able to track the Cabezo Prieto Ridge trail using GPS or map and compass. The hike from Manual Peak to Pfeiffer Big Sur was along a well maintained trail, easy to follow. It provides awesome views of the Pacific. Check Ventana Wilderness Trail Conditions Reports for planning this hike.

Trailhead

Start Location

Location: Along CA-1, a quarter mile south of Andrew Molera park entrance . No street address. Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions: Andrew Molera is along CA-1 in Big Sur, 21.5 south of the shopping complex in Carmel at the intersection of Rio Road and CA-1. The trailhead for Cabezo Prieto Ridge is a quarter mile south of the park entrance. Going south, you would see sign like this. Going north, you would see sign like this.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: February 2012)

Capacity: A few cars may be parked on the west side of CA-1 next to the trailhead. More roadside parking is available to the north.

Latitude: 36.284888     Longitude: -121.840332

End Location

Location: Along CA-1, 25.9 miles south of Carmel shopping complex on Rio Road . No street address. Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is along CA-1 in Big Sur, 25.9 miles south of the shopping complex in Carmel at the intersection of Rio Road and CA-1.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: Not known (last visited: March 2012)

Capacity: Dozens of cars may be parked inside the park. Limited street parking for free outside the park

Latitude: 36.252848     Longitude: -121.787267

To Post Summit

From the trail head to Post Summit along the ridge trail, there was one particularly steep section.

Post Summit to Manuel Peak

This section of the ridge trail was unmaintained and overgrown in Feb 2012. We were in over eight feet of brush at one point.

Manuel Peak Trail

Very well mainained trail with plenty of wildflowers.

© Copyright 2008—2020, Gurmeet Manku.