Cone Peak is the highpoint of the Big Sur coastline in Monterey County. Cone Peak rises to 5155 feet in less then 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean making it the steepest and tallest mountain escarpment in the lower 48 states. Cone Peak is the second highest point in the Santa Lucia Mountains one of the most rugged mountain ranges in the state. Cone Peak Road is actually called the Coast Ridge Road. It is a pretty well maintained dirt road that leads over six miles to the Cone Peak trailhead. This route is for the road only. The trailhead for this road starts at the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road saddle with Coast Ridge Road system. There is plenty of California State Beaches to camp in Big Sur. Also along the Coast Ridge Road, north and south, there is plenty of places to car camp with little risk of being bothered. My personal favorite place to stay is Treebones, a yurt resort with hot tub and pool.
Trail DescriptionFrom the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road saddle ride up the signed Coast Ridge Road towards Cone Peak due north. The fireroad basically roller coaster climbs for over six miles. Beautiful views are to be seen around most corners.
To reach the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road take Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast, about 60 miles south of Monterey or 60 miles north of San Luis Obispo. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is a paved siwthcbacking road that ascends over 7 miles to the high saddle with the Coast Ridge Road. parking along the roadside.
It is also possible to reach this saddle by coming east through Fort Hunter-Liggett. Though this is a bit out of the way and little awkward because of the security checkpoints.
When to Bike & External LinksCheck Weather Underground for a current forecast.
The rainy season runs from November to March, during this time the Coast Road gate is closed. Which could make it nice because there will be no offroad vehicles to contend with. Highway 1 and Nacimiento-Fergusson Road are sometimes closed due occasional bad weather closures. The Cone Peak Road can receive slight amounts of snow in the winter months. Pay close attention to the weather forcast when planning outings to anywhere in Big Sur.
Los Padres National Forest
Big Sur Chamber of Commerce
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park