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Unlock the Wonders of Big Sur: A Complete Guide to Camping

Unlock the Wonders of Big Sur: A Complete Guide to Camping

Camping in Big Sur provides the perfect opportunity to unwind and reconnect with nature. Nestled along the breathtaking Pacific coastline, this is an iconic destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Experience the ultimate adventure with the best spots for camping. Let us discover the magic of camping in Big Sur and create memories to last.

Top 10 Spots to Camp in Big Sur

  1. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Campground

This campground offers a serene retreat surrounded by towering redwoods. It is found at the heart of Big Sur. Enjoy the tranquil sounds of the nearby Big Sur River and explore scenic trails that lead to magical waterfalls.

  1. Andrew Molera State Park Campground

This campsite is a paradise for ocean lovers since it is located near the beach. Wake up to breathtaking views of the coastline and spend your days exploring the sandy shores or hiking along the coastal trails.

  1. Kirk Creek Campground

Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Kirk Creek Campground boasts awe-inspiring views and unforgettable sunsets. Fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves and wake up to a picturesque coastal panorama.

  1. Limekiln State Park Campground

Experience a unique camping adventure amidst a coastal redwood forest and alongside a beautiful beach. Take a dip in Limekiln Creek's refreshing swimming holes or hike the trails leading to historic lime kilns.

  1. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Campground

This scenic campground offers stunning vistas of McWay Falls, one of Big Sur's iconic landmarks. Camp among coastal chaparral and redwoods, and hike the park's trails to discover hidden coves and panoramic vistas.

  1. Plaskett Creek Campground

Set amidst a lush forest, Plaskett Creek Campground is a nature lover's haven. Explore nearby Sand Dollar Beach, indulge in tide pool exploration, or simply relax in the peaceful surroundings.

  1. Ventana Campground

Tucked away in the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains, Ventana Campground is an idyllic retreat. Enjoy a tranquil atmosphere, hike through ancient forests, and stargaze under the clear night sky.

  1. Ponderosa Campground

Escape the crowds at this campground nestled in a serene redwood grove. With easy access to nearby trails and streams, Ponderosa Campground is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

  1. Riverside Campground & Cabins

Situated along the Big Sur River, this camping site offers a mix of tent and cabin accommodations. Relax by the riverside, go fishing, or take a dip in the refreshing waters.

  1. Fernwood Campground & Resort

Combining rustic charm with modern amenities, Fernwood Campground & Resort is a perfect base for exploring Big Sur. Enjoy live music, dine at the on-site restaurant, and unwind in a peaceful woodland setting.

Camping in Big Sur Essentials

When preparing for camping in Big Sur, it's essential to have a few key items to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Here are the essentials to pack and prepare:

  1. Portable Power Equipment

Portable power equipment such as power banks, solar chargers, and portable power stations can help you stay connected and prepared during camping trips. They can charge electronic devices, provide lighting, cook food, and offer emergency power. Having reliable power sources can make your camping experience more enjoyable, convenient, and safe. The Anker SOLIX F1200 and Anker SOLIX Generator 767 are two high-quality power stations that can be paired with solar panels to generate electricity even in the most remote areas. With their massive 1229Wh and 2048Wh capacity, these portable power stations offer a convenient power solution for nearly any camping devices, including electric drills, drones, air pumps and more. They provide longer charging times, allows for extended adventures, and provides limitless power options off the grid.

  1. Tent and Sleeping Gear

Bring a sturdy tent that can withstand the elements, along with waterproof groundsheet. Don't forget warm sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and pillows for a cozy night's rest.

  1. Camping Supplies

Pack a camping stove, cooking utensils, and pots for preparing meals. Don't forget to bring a cooler with ice to keep your perishable food fresh. Remember to bring reusable plates, cups, and utensils to minimize waste.

  1. Clothing

The weather in Big Sur is unpredictable, so pack layered clothing for varying temperatures. Include warm jackets, rain gear, comfortable hiking shoes, and extra socks. Be prepared for both sunny days and cool nights.

  1. Food and Water

Plan your meals and bring non-perishable food items that are easy to cook. Stock up on snacks, granola bars, and plenty of drinking water.

  1. Lighting

A crucial part of any outdoor excursion is ensuring that you have proper equipment to navigate in the dark. Whether it's a flashlight to illuminate your path, a headlamp to keep your hands free, or a lantern to brighten up your campsite, having a reliable and effective light source can make all the difference in ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.  

  1. Personal Essentials

Don't forget essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, toiletries, and a first aid kit. Carry a map or guidebook to explore the area's hiking trails and attractions.

Camping in Big Sur Tips

When venturing out for a camping trip in Big Sur, it's helpful to keep a few tips in mind to make the most of your experience:

  1. Plan and reserve in advance.

Big Sur is a popular camping destination, so it's advisable to plan your trip and make campground reservations well in advance to secure your preferred spot.

  1. Pack for varied weather.

Since Big Sur's weather can be unpredictable, you may experience cool mornings, sunny afternoons, and chilly nights. Pack layers, including warm clothing, rain gear, and extra blankets to stay comfortable throughout the day.

  1. Respect nature.

The pristine environment in Big Sur deserves our utmost respect. Follow ‘Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, being mindful of campfire safety, and respecting wildlife and vegetation.

  1. Stay hydrated.

Big Sur's outdoor activities can be physically demanding, so it's important to stay hydrated. Carry plenty of water and refill whenever possible to ensure you're well-equipped during your adventures.

  1. Explore beyond the campground.

Take the time to explore beyond your campground and discover hidden gems like hiking trails, clean beaches, and scenic viewpoints.


Big Sur is a haven for campers and outdoor lovers. Each campground provides a unique experience, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the region's natural beauty. Whether you prefer beachside bliss, riverside tranquility, or mountain seclusion, camping in Big Sur promises unforgettable moments to cherish.

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