This California Campground Is A Spacious Paradise With Unparalleled Coastal Views

Located on the Central California Coast, Big Sur is a magical destination found on Highway 1, one of the most stunning and storied road trip routes. With redwood forests and immaculate beaches, this is one of the most beautiful places in the world and home to some of the best wedding venues in California. Without a doubt, it's a must-visit for the biggest of nature lovers. All that said, there is a downside. Many hotels in the area charge hundreds and even thousands of dollars a night for a stay. However, there's an affordable alternative: Big Sur's Kirk Creek Campground.

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Kirk Creek Campground is in Los Padres National Forest, about five hours from Los Angeles and San Francisco. It has 40 roomy campsites ideal for tents and RVs. Nevertheless, what sets it apart is its location. Kirk Creek Campground sits on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Simply put, the coastal views and tranquility found at Kirk Creek Campground are magnificent. One reviewer on Tripadvisor wrote, "Besides being breathtakingly beautiful, this place smells, sounds and feels remarkable. Sage and anise line the paths while bunnies and squirrels play on grass. Huge birds fly above while waves crash beneath the cliff."

At the time of this writing, prices for Kirk Creek Campground start at only $53 a night. Reservations are required and can be made online. But before you set up camp, you should know what camping at Kirk Creek Campground entails.

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Kirk Creek Campground is a no-frills campsite

Kirk Creek Campground can be likened to a primitive campsite. There is no water, cell phone service, or showers. However, there is a vault toilet, grills for cooking, and picnic tables. This means you must bring all your camping essentials, including water, food, firewood, and anything else you might need. No hookups or dump stations are available for those camping in RVs. In other words, expect to disconnect if you stay at Kirk Creek Campground. Given the astounding ocean views, this might be a small price.

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Keep in mind that the campsite is known to have poison ivy. Make sure to have a proper portable first-aid kit and Coritzone-10, an anti-itch cream, just in case disaster strikes. Additionally, raccoons are another nuisance campers will likely encounter. One reviewer on Tripadvisor stated, "They are very bold and will not be afraid to come up and grab whatever they can. Make sure you lock your food and other camping items in the car."

Some other things to note: Kirk Creek Campground is dog-friendly, but four-legged friends must be leashed. Furthermore, only eight people and two vehicles are allowed on one campsite. Campers can check in at 3:00 p.m., and on the day of their departure, they must check out by noon. Likewise, they can stay for at least two days and a maximum of 14 days.

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What to do during your stay at Kirk Creek Campground

Nature is the main attraction at Kirk Creek Campground and, of course, Big Sur. While there is a beach at the campsite, Sand Dollar Beach (pictured) is only an eight-minute drive away and ideal for those who want to swim in the ocean, go tide-pooling, and more. There is a $10 admission fee at Sand Dollar Beach, which is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. In addition, campers can hike the Vicente Flat Trail from Kirk Creek Campground. The 10-mile trail features out-of-this-world coastal and serene forest scenery.

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Reviewers on AllTrails rave about the heavenly ocean views but say the trail has poison ivy and ticks. Thus, if you do this hike, wear appropriate clothing and pack the proper gear. Limekiln State Park is only a 3-minute drive away from Kirk Creek Campground. A beach and several hiking trails are available. This includes Falls Trail, which features creeks and a waterfall. At the time of this writing, Limekiln State Park is closed due to the damage Highway 1 sustained from a landslide. Fortunately, the highway is set to reopen in Fall 2024.

If you need food or other items, Fernwood General Store is 41 minutes from Kirk Creek Campground. The store, which is also a cafe and ice cream parlor, is open from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. For another unique Big Sur destination, check out the California beach where you can see purple sand.

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