Sykes Camp Trail - The Hot Springs Hike

#1 of 12 trails in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Sykes Camp Trail - The Hot Springs Hike is a 19.5 mile out and back trail located near Big Sur, CA that features hot springs and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

19.5 miles 2100 feet Out & Back
dog friendly camping hiking forest hot springs
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A 20-mile out-and-back trip to Sykes Hot Springs

Bob Takemura

3 Completed2 Reviews

Great place to go especially during the week when things are not so crowded. Tough hike up from the parking lot up to the first camp and there is a washout of the trail to work around but after that it is easier. It was generally dry along the trail with lots of poison oak and wild raspberry plants though were are a few spring runoffs down the trail as you approach Sykes. Congrats to the volunteers for trekking out the trash from the campground.

Mary Chacon

10 Completed6 Reviews

Steve Kwon

1 Completed1 Reviews

Great hike! Driving up through Big Sur was a treat. Hiking up to Sykes was tough in the middle of summer since the sunlight is hitting you throughout the trail. It gets easier after the ascent. I did Sykes and then went to the top of the meadows that overlooks the ocean and that was breathtaking. Hot springs was fairly crowded so go on a off day if possible to enjoy it as much as possible.

Josh Byrd

2 Completed1 Reviews

Tough accent. Amazing views. Awesome camping.

Ryan Navaroli

6 Completed5 Reviews

This is fantastic and I'd love to go back again with some friends. I did this alone during a road trip for my birthday and the hot springs were fantastic. The trail is odd as you seem to constantly be going between two ecological zones (near water in the gullies and sides of the mountains where it was dry). This corresponded to big Coastal Trees near water and dry scrubby stuff when not. The whole camp ground area by the hot springs is beautiful and moist with water so clear. When you get to the last stream you just have to follow it about 2/10 of a mile to the left to find the springs. I saw a lot of snakes which freaked me out because of my phobia and being alone but only one rattler.

Paul Bay

16 Completed6 Reviews

We loved Pfeiffer and this trail starts on the south end of the campground. Great hike with moderately strenuous elevation gains and terrain. Great waterfalls along the way and nice stop at Ventana Creek. Started a little late so we actually didn't make it all the way to Sykes. Nice camp in or day trip while staying at Pfeiffer!

Boom King

44 Completed47 Reviews

Great central coast hike. It is not isolated, you will see lots if people, and although you are not at altitude there are some good grades that you have to climb as you leave highway 1. A reviewer mentions concrete pools, I don't remember them so they must have been installed after I went there. Seems kind of strange considering the walk in. I do remember getting attacked by bees as I went to the pools (the higher you go the warmer they are). Also, don't park on highway 1 if you value your car.

Peter Fabela

10 Completed10 Reviews

This was an awesome backpacking trip, hiked to the hot springs on day one stayed and relaxed on day two and hiked back on day three is was a good trip. The hike there is a lot harder than the hike back. Plenty of water sources all through out. But bring bug spray cause there were so many flies on the trail. Definitely my favorite hike so far .

Mari Jane

25 Completed14 Reviews

This was the first time that I have ever hiked in and did an overnight backpacking trip, and I must say that it was awesome and this trail was just about perfect for a noob. There is a lot of going up and down the mountain but it is very manageable if you are in decent shape. There were some really nice views and have plenty of places to rest. You can camp at any of the stops along the trail; there are camps at 5 mi, 7mi, 10mi (actual Sykes stop) and 12mi. It also has ample opportunities for water along the way.

Jason Johnson

8 Completed1 Reviews

Great trail. You'll need a water filter or iodine tablets. There are plenty of water sources after you're 5 miles in. The red marker on the AllTrails map is just a mid point along the trail to the springs.