Pine Ridge Trail In Washington

Here is everything you need to know about the Pine Ridge Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Washington
  • Length: 2.6 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: United States Forest Service
  • Permit Required?: Yes.
  • Website:

The Pine Ridge Trail, located in the scenic Big Sur region of California, has a rich history that dates back centuries. The area was originally inhabited by the indigenous Esselen and Ohlone tribes, who lived off the land and had a deep spiritual connection to the surrounding mountains and forests. These tribes used the trail as a means of travel and trade, navigating through the rugged terrain to reach neighboring communities.

During the Spanish colonization of California in the 18th century, the trail became an important route for Spanish missionaries and explorers. Spanish Franciscan friars established a network of missions along the California coast, and the Pine Ridge Trail served as a vital link between these missions. The trail allowed for the transportation of supplies, communication between the missions, and the spread of Christianity to the native populations.

In the mid-19th century, the California Gold Rush brought a wave of settlers to the region, and the Pine Ridge Trail played a significant role in their migration. Prospectors and settlers used the trail to access the gold-rich areas of the Santa Lucia Mountains, hoping to strike it rich. The trail also facilitated the establishment of small communities and mining camps along its route, contributing to the growth and development of the region.

Over time, the Pine Ridge Trail evolved from a means of transportation and trade to a recreational trail, attracting hikers, backpackers, and nature enthusiasts. Today, it remains a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who seek to explore the stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and rich history of the Big Sur region.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Sykes Hot Springs Trailhead: This is the most popular access point for the Pine Ridge Trail. It is located in the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest and offers a 10-mile hike to reach the hot springs.

2. Big Sur Station: Located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, this trailhead provides access to the Pine Ridge Trail. It is a starting point for various hikes, including the popular 19-mile loop to Sykes Hot Springs.

3. China Camp: Situated in the Ventana Wilderness, China Camp is another access point for the Pine Ridge Trail. It offers a shorter hike compared to the Sykes Hot Springs Trailhead, making it a good option for day hikes.

4. Bottcher’s Gap: This trailhead is located in the northern part of the Ventana Wilderness and provides access to the Pine Ridge Trail. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and is a starting point for longer backpacking trips.

5. Terrace Creek Campground: Situated in the Los Padres National Forest, Terrace Creek Campground is a popular starting point for hikes along the Pine Ridge Trail. It offers camping facilities and is a good option for overnight trips.

6. Pine Valley: Located in the Ventana Wilderness, Pine Valley is an access point for the Pine Ridge Trail. It offers a scenic starting point for hikes and backpacking trips in the area.

7. Redwood Camp: Situated in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Redwood Camp is another access point for the Pine Ridge Trail. It offers camping facilities and is a good option for starting or ending a hike along the trail.

8. Barlow Flat: This trailhead is located in the Ventana Wilderness and provides access to the Pine Ridge Trail. It is a starting point for various hikes and backpacking trips in the area.

9. Pine Ridge Campground: Situated in the Los Padres National Forest, Pine Ridge Campground is a popular access point for the Pine Ridge Trail. It offers camping facilities and is a good option for overnight trips.

10. Ventana Campground: Located in the Ventana Wilderness, Ventana Campground is another access point for the Pine Ridge Trail. It offers camping facilities and is a starting point for hikes and backpacking trips in the area.

Transportation Available

1. Pine Ridge Trail Shuttle – Shuttle service specifically for Pine Ridge Trail hikers.
2. Local Taxi – Taxi service available for transportation in the area.
3. Ride Share – Ride-sharing service offering convenient transportation options.
4. Bus Service – Local bus service providing transportation to various destinations.
5. Rental Car – Car rental service for independent transportation.
6. Bike Rental – Rental service for bicycles, ideal for exploring the area.
7. Trailhead Parking – Parking facilities available for those with personal vehicles.
8. Hiking Group Transportation – Group transportation service for organized hiking trips.
9. Airport Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from the nearest airport.
10. Train Station – Nearby train station for regional transportation.


The amenities available at the Pine Ridge Trail may vary depending on the specific location or trailhead. However, here are some common amenities that you may find along the Pine Ridge Trail:

1. Restrooms: Some trailheads or camping areas along the Pine Ridge Trail may have restroom facilities available. These can include flush toilets or pit toilets.

2. Parking: Most trailheads along the Pine Ridge Trail will have designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: There are designated camping sites along the Pine Ridge Trail where visitors can set up their tents or campers. These sites may have amenities such as fire rings, picnic tables, and access to water sources.

4. Picnic Areas: Some areas along the trail may have designated picnic areas with tables and benches where visitors can enjoy meals or snacks.

5. Water Sources: Depending on the specific location, there may be natural water sources such as rivers, streams, or lakes along the Pine Ridge Trail. However, it is always recommended to carry your own water or purify water from natural sources before consuming.

6. Trail Markers and Signage: The trail may have markers or signs to guide hikers and ensure they stay on the designated path.

7. Information Boards: Some trailheads or camping areas may have information boards providing details about the trail, safety guidelines, and any specific regulations.

8. Trash Receptacles: To maintain the cleanliness of the trail, you may find trash receptacles at certain points along the Pine Ridge Trail. It is important to pack out any trash you generate during your visit.

It is advisable to check with local authorities or park management for specific amenities available at the Pine Ridge Trail, as they may vary depending on the location and current conditions.

Nearby Services

1. Pine Ridge Campground – A scenic campground offering tent and RV sites near the trailhead.
2. Big Sur Lodge – Rustic lodge nestled in the redwoods, providing comfortable accommodations and a restaurant.
3. Ventana Campground – Campground with stunning views, offering tent and RV sites.
4. Ripplewood Resort – Cozy cabins and a restaurant located in a peaceful forest setting.
5. Fernwood Resort – Riverside cabins and campground with a restaurant and general store.
6. Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn – Historic inn offering unique rooms and a renowned restaurant.
7. Big Sur River Inn – Riverside inn with a restaurant, bar, and outdoor seating.
8. Nepenthe – Iconic cliffside restaurant with breathtaking ocean views.
9. Lucia Lodge – Cliffside lodge with cozy rooms and a restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
10. Esalen Institute – Retreat center offering accommodations, hot springs, and organic meals.
11. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park – Campground with tent and RV sites, located near the trail.
12. Big Sur Taphouse – Casual eatery serving craft beer and pub-style food.
13. Big Sur Deli – Deli offering sandwiches, salads, and snacks for hikers on the go.
14. Big Sur Bakery – Charming bakery and café serving fresh pastries, bread, and coffee.
15. Big Sur Roadhouse – Farm-to-table restaurant featuring local ingredients and a cozy atmosphere.
16. Big Sur Health Center – Medical clinic providing emergency services and healthcare to the community.

Pine Ridge Trail Difficulty Notes

The Pine Ridge Trail, located in Big Sur, California, offers a moderate to challenging level of difficulty for hikers. Spanning approximately 19 miles, this trail presents a variety of terrains and elevation changes, making it suitable for experienced hikers seeking a more strenuous adventure. The trail features steep ascents and descents, narrow paths, and rocky sections, requiring careful footing and endurance. Additionally, hikers may encounter fallen trees and overgrown vegetation, adding to the challenge. However, the breathtaking views of the rugged coastline, towering redwoods, and cascading waterfalls make the effort worthwhile, rewarding hikers with a memorable and fulfilling experience.

Features And Attractions

The Pine Ridge Trail is a popular hiking trail located in the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest in California. Along this trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable points of interest along the Pine Ridge Trail:

1. Sykes Hot Springs: A natural hot spring located approximately 10 miles from the trailhead. It offers a relaxing soak in a beautiful wilderness setting.

2. Pine Ridge: The trail follows the scenic Pine Ridge, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

3. Ventana Cone: A prominent peak along the trail, providing panoramic views of the Ventana Wilderness and the Big Sur coastline.

4. Redwood Groves: The trail passes through sections of old-growth redwood forests, allowing hikers to experience the majestic beauty of these ancient trees.

5. The Window: A unique rock formation resembling a window, offering a picturesque viewpoint of the surrounding landscape.

6. Tin House: A historic cabin built in the early 1900s, which served as a shelter for early settlers and loggers. It is now a designated historic site.

7. Pine Falls: A beautiful waterfall along the trail, especially impressive during the rainy season.

8. Bear Basin: A scenic meadow surrounded by towering peaks, providing a peaceful and picturesque camping spot.

9. The Ventana Wilderness: The entire trail is located within this designated wilderness area, offering pristine and untouched natural beauty.

10. Wildlife: The Pine Ridge Trail is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, black bears, mountain lions, and a wide range of bird species. Keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures during your hike.

These are just a few examples of the many scenic and historical points of interest along the Pine Ridge Trail. Exploring this trail will provide you with a memorable experience in the heart of the Ventana Wilderness.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Pine Ridge Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Camping is only permitted in designated camping areas along the trail.
3. Campfires are only allowed in designated fire rings or fire pits.
4. Littering is strictly prohibited. Please pack out all trash and leave no trace.
5. Hunting or trapping is not allowed on the trail.
6. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trail.
7. Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during fire season or wildlife mating seasons.
8. Follow all posted signs and regulations.
9. Fishing is allowed in designated areas, but a valid fishing license is required.
10. Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted or private areas.
11. Do not disturb or harm wildlife or plant life along the trail.
12. Be mindful of other hikers and maintain a respectful distance.
13. Overnight camping may require a permit or reservation, depending on the specific area.
14. Check for any additional rules or guidelines specific to the Pine Ridge Trail before your visit.

Seasonal Information

The Pine Ridge Trail, located in the stunning Big Sur region of California, offers breathtaking views of the Santa Lucia Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. While this trail is accessible year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting, as well as some seasonal closures to be aware of.

One of the best times to visit the Pine Ridge Trail is during the spring season, from March to May. During this time, the trail is adorned with vibrant wildflowers, creating a picturesque landscape. The weather is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to 70s Fahrenheit (15-25 degrees Celsius), making it ideal for hiking. Additionally, the waterfalls along the trail are at their fullest during this time, adding to the beauty of the surroundings.

Another great time to explore the Pine Ridge Trail is in the fall, from September to November. The summer crowds have dissipated, and the weather is still pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the 60s to 80s Fahrenheit (15-30 degrees Celsius). The autumn foliage paints the landscape with warm hues, creating a stunning backdrop for hikers. It is also a great time for wildlife spotting, as many animals are active during this season.

It is important to note that the Pine Ridge Trail may have seasonal closures due to weather conditions or maintenance work. Winter, from December to February, can bring heavy rainfall and occasional storms, leading to trail closures for safety reasons. It is advisable to check with local authorities or the Ventana Wilderness Alliance for any closures or trail conditions before planning your visit.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Pine Ridge Trail are during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the scenery is at its most beautiful. However, it is essential to stay informed about any seasonal closures or trail conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Pine Ridge Trail offers limited wheelchair accessibility, with some sections being paved or packed gravel, allowing for easier navigation.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available at the trailhead, providing convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are located at the trailhead, equipped with features such as grab bars and wider doorways to accommodate wheelchair users.
4. Trail Surface: The trail surface consists of a mix of packed dirt, gravel, and occasional rocky sections, which may pose challenges for wheelchair users but can be navigated with assistance.
5. Trail Width: The trail width varies throughout the Pine Ridge Trail, with some sections being wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs, while others may be narrower, requiring caution and assistance.
6. Trail Grade: The trail features varying grades, including some steeper sections, which may require additional effort and assistance for wheelchair users.
7. Benches and Rest Areas: Several benches and rest areas are available along the trail, providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
8. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the Pine Ridge Trail, offering support and assistance to individuals with disabilities.
9. Informational Signage: The trail features informational signage with braille and large print options, ensuring accessibility for individuals with visual impairments.
10. Accessibility Guidelines: The Pine Ridge Trail follows ADA accessibility guidelines to the best extent possible, aiming to provide an inclusive outdoor experience for all visitors.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Pine Ridge Trail is a moderately difficult trail with steep sections and uneven terrain, requiring proper hiking skills and physical fitness.
2. Weather Conditions: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as temperatures can vary significantly throughout the day, and sudden storms are possible.
3. Water Availability: Carry enough water as there are limited water sources along the trail, and treat any water found in streams or lakes before drinking.
4. Wildlife Awareness: Be cautious of encounters with wildlife, including bears and mountain lions, and follow proper safety protocols such as storing food securely and making noise while hiking.
5. Trail Markings: Pay attention to trail markers and signs to avoid getting lost, as some sections of the trail may be less defined.
6. Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays, as shade may be limited on the trail.
7. Hiking Gear: Wear appropriate footwear with good traction, carry a map, compass, and a fully charged cell phone for emergencies, and pack essential items like a first aid kit and extra layers of clothing.
8. Trail Etiquette: Respect other hikers and trail users by yielding to uphill hikers, keeping noise levels low, and leaving no trace by properly disposing of waste.
9. Emergency Preparedness: Inform someone about your hiking plans, including your expected return time, and be prepared for emergencies by knowing the nearest emergency services and carrying a whistle or signaling device.
10. Physical Limitations: Assess your physical abilities and limitations before attempting the trail, as it covers a considerable distance and elevation gain, requiring stamina and endurance.

Conservation Notes

The Pine Ridge Trail, located in the Big Sur region of California, is considered to have a relatively stable conservation status. The trail traverses through the Ventana Wilderness, which is managed by the Los Padres National Forest. As a designated wilderness area, the Ventana Wilderness is protected under the Wilderness Act of 1964, ensuring its preservation and minimal human impact.

The conservation efforts for the Pine Ridge Trail primarily focus on maintaining the natural integrity of the surrounding ecosystem. The trail passes through diverse habitats, including oak woodlands, chaparral, and redwood forests, which are home to a variety of plant and animal species. Preservation of these habitats is crucial to maintaining the biodiversity of the area.

To protect the fragile ecosystems along the Pine Ridge Trail, certain regulations are in place. These include restrictions on camping and campfires, as well as guidelines for waste disposal and minimizing human disturbance. Additionally, the trail is regularly monitored by park rangers and volunteers to ensure compliance with these regulations and to address any potential threats to the conservation status of the area.

Overall, the conservation status of the Pine Ridge Trail is considered to be in good condition. The efforts to protect and preserve the surrounding wilderness have helped maintain the natural beauty and ecological balance of the area. However, ongoing monitoring and continued adherence to conservation guidelines are essential to ensure the long-term sustainability of this scenic trail.

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