Big Sur is a stunning region in the Central Coast located south of Carmel and north of Cambria. The Los Padres National Forest spans a large portion of the area and there are nine state parks. Big Sur's natural beauty truly is spectacular and makes it an extremely popular camping destination.
The Plaskett Creek Campground is nestled in a Monterrey pine forest and is situated just east of Highway 1. The Los Padres National Forest campground is in an ideal location and only a short walk away from the nearby Sand Dollar Beach and Jade Cove, top beach destinations in the Central Coast. The campsites at Plaskett Creek are spacious and many sites have ocean vista views. The campground accepts reservations for most sites, but also offers first-come first served campsites. Site 21 has the best ocean view and the closest beach access. Sites 35 and 23 are most private and shaded. The campground is favored by local surfers and is very popular on weekends year-round.
The best ocean view camping in Big Sur is located at the Kirk Creek Campground. Also located in the Los Padres National Forest, the campground is situated on a bluff overlooking the ocean and rugged coastline. Sites 9 and 10 are most popular for their unobstructed oceanfront location, but all campsites have ocean views and are in close proximity to hiking trails. Directly across the highway from the campground is the Vicente Flats Trailhead, which leads into the Ventana Wilderness.
Further north in the Big Sur region are state park campgrounds and a few private campgrounds located on the Big Sur River and in the Santa Lucia Mountains. There are just 24 campsites at Limekiln State Park, which is nestled in the Limekiln River canyon on the eastside of the Pacific Coast Highway.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns and Andrew Molera State Parks both have walk-in and environmental campsites, but no car camping or dogs are allowed at either of these parks. Andrew Molera walk-in campsites are first-come, first-served.
The largest of the Big Sur area campgrounds is at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park; 158 riverfront campsites are situated on the Big Sur River and surrounded by redwood, chaparral and oak trees. There are 8-miles of hiking trails within the park and 200-miles in the bordering Ventana Wilderness.