Discover The Adventure
Big Sur Backcountry Camping

Big Sur Backcountry Camping:
Let's Get Away From It All

Getting out into the wilderness by way of Big Sur backcountry camping gives your mind, body, and spirit a respite from the cares and stresses of our modern society.

Your boss can't reach you 'cuz there's no cell service.

You're out there all alone - or with a few friends or family members.

You're in control of your own destiny amidst the pines, meadows, canyons, and streams.

Everything you need is in the pack on your back.

You're free at long last!

According to the GORP (Great Outdoor Recreation Pages) website, "The Ventana Wilderness contains 167,323 acres straddling the Santa Lucia Mountain Range approximately 120 miles south of San Francisco and 90 miles north of San Luis Obispo. The wilderness is entirely within Monterey County and the Los Padres National Forest."

Big Sur Backcountry Camping: The Santa Lucia Mountains and Ventana Wilderness

Big Sur Coastline; Photo by Doug Dolde; PDBig Sur Coastline; Photo by Doug Dolde; PD

Santa Lucia Mountains in Big Sur include about 237 miles of trails for the intrepid backpacker to explore. They provide access to 55 designated Big Sur backcountry camping sites.

As you can imagine, these are not always easy to find - a detailed topographical map and/or a GPS device are must haves!

You'll be hiking through some of the most gorgeous countryside in the world, so you'll also want to bring your binoculars - and especially your camera!

Open stands of pines, meadows filled with wildflowers in the Spring...

Deep canyons, streams that sometimes have waterfalls and deep pools...

Coastal Redwoods, rocky outcrops and boulders...

And then that heartbreakingly beautiful view of the Big Sur coastline suddenly appears as you leave the forest and realize you're on a ridge looking down...

All of that - is why we go!

Big Sur Backcountry Camping: The Pros and Cons of Camping in the Backcountry

Banana Slugs; Photo by Andy Goryachev PD WikipediaBanana Slugs; Photo by Andy Goryachev PD Wikipedia

The pro of backcountry camping in Big Sur is you're alone with nature.

The con of backcountry camping in Big Sur is you're alone with nature.

There are coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, wild boar, raccoons - some of whom get hungry!

For some Critter Cam pics of Northern California wildlife see our Facebook Album.

There are no bears in Big Sur, but if you're camping in the backcountry, it's a good idea to follow the same precautions with food and the like that you would in bear country, so here's a web page that will give you some ideas: Keep Me Wild.

And pictured above is a pair of common critters you also might run into - they belong to the family called Big Sur Banana Slugs. Thought I'd give you a little warning in case you should come across one in the forest - they can be a little disconcerting, but trust me - they're totally harmless!

For plenty of adventurous Big Sur camping of all sorts, all you have to do is pick a campground grouping that appeals to you and discover the Big Sur campground of your camping dreams! Start making YOUR plans!

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