Virtual Guidebook to Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur and Central Coast
Cone Peak Above the Big Sur Coast
Los Padres National Forest California


Cone Peak is a very special place. The Big Sur coastal ridge reaches its highest point here, 5158 feet (1572 meters) above sea level, and only three miles (5 km) from the coast, the highest coastal slope in the 48 states. There is a vast environmental range from the redwood forests at its base, through chaparral and grasslands on the mid slopes, to a coniferous forest at the top. The rare Santa Lucia fir grows abundantly around the peak.

A somewhat rough road leads north along the coastal ridge to the Cone Peak trailhead. The well-constructed trail leads up to a lookout building with an incomparable view - north and south along the coast, straight down to the Limekiln Creek Bridge on Highway One, and into the interior of the rugged Santa Lucia Range. I have made this summit hike more than ten times and it has always been worth the effort.



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On the trail to Cone Peak above the Big Sur coast

(October 21, 2006)


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Looking southwest from Cone Peak

(October 21, 2006)


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On the south side of Cone Peak in the Santa Lucia Mountains

(October 21, 2006)


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Looking north from Cone Peak

(October 21, 2006)


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At the northeast corner of the fire lookout on Cone Peak

(October 21, 2006)


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Looking southwest from the historic Cone Peak Lookout

(November 30, -0001)


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Looking north from Cone Peak

(October 21, 2006)


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