Limekiln State Park in Big Sur

Limekiln State Park is found in the southern portion of the exquisitely beautiful Big Sur coast. It is available for day use and camping. Activities include enjoying one of Big Sur's beaches and hiking through redwoods to a 100' tall waterfall.

The abandoned eponymous limekilns at Limekiln State Park on the Big Sur Coast
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Located about 79 miles north of San Luis Obispo and 52 miles south of Carmel along Highway 1, the park is named for the large limekilns which were built here in the late nineteenth century.

The naturally occurring Limestone was heated to very high temperatures which created lime. Lime is still used today in concrete and other building uses. The Rockland Lime and Lumber Company then packed the lime into barrels which were transferred to waiting ships from Rockland Landing.

The limestone and the redwood used for barrels and heat ran out in a few years. Fortunately, the redwoods grew back and are still here to enjoy.

Limekiln Canyon is reportedly one of the steepest coastal canyons in the United States, going from sea level to over 5000' at Cone Peak in less than 4 miles.

That's not to say that the trails at this park to the kilns or the waterfall are brutal, they are not. It would get rougher however, if you proceed out of the redwood section of the trail and proceed further up.

The trail to the kilns and the one to the Limekiln Creek waterfall are only about 1/2 mile from the campground to their destinations. Easily done for most.

Redwoods guard the trail at Limekiln State Park on the Big Sur coast
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Limekiln State Park Quick Facts:

Location: California Highway 1 (Cabrillo Highway), Big Sur Coast. Two miles south of Lucia. 63025 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA 93920; Mile marker 20.95, Monterey County

GPS Coordinates: 36.00860, -121.51816

Agency: California Department of Parks and Recreation

Phone: 805/434-1996 (Park Office)

Operation: 0800 hours to sunset. Available for camping and day use. The gates are locked at sunset.

Camping: 29 sites: 12 ocean view; 17 among the redwoods. Maximum camper or RV length is 24'. Maximum trailer length is 15'. This is a highly desirable campground and reservations well in advance are usually required. (As of this writing [10/18/2013] there are no vacancies for the coming weekend nor for two weekends out.)

Dogs: Leashed dogs are allowed in the campground and on the beach but not on the trails with the exception of service dogs.

Size: 716 acres, surrounded by the Ventana Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest landward and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Activities: Hiking, beach activities and whale watching in season. Surf fishing is allowed, but difficult. No stream fishing.

Accessibility: Unfortunately, there are no wheelchair accessible facilities available at this state park.

More information and reservations: Parks and Recreation Limekiln State Park page (opens in a new tab)


Limekiln Creek meets the ocean
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The beach at Limekiln

The waterfall on Limekiln Creek at Limekiln State Park
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Hikes are rewarded with a view of a beautiful 100' waterfall

View of the firebox of a limekiln at Limekiln State Park
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Interior view of one of the four huge kilns (view original)

Sorrel along the trail through the redwoods at Limekiln State Park
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Smaller rewards along the trail

Hare Creek at Limekiln State Park
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Hare Creek

Banana slug at Limekiln State Park
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Banana slug, one of the interesting bits of wildlife found at the park


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Big Sur Beaches from Limekiln State Park

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Limekiln Creek
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