Monday, 29 July 2013

Big Sur Northern California

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The most spectacular coast of Northern California, Big Sur is peaceful and inspiring. With beautiful beaches, mountains and redwoods, Big Sur is 50 one Geographic Traveler Places of a Lifetime. Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway and experience the natural beauty of Big Sur - Cliffs melting into the ocean to beaches and coves.

 Hike along tree-lined valleys overlooking the Pacific. The trip through the Santa Lucia Mountains, Ventana Forest and Andrew Molera State Park, where you'll find miles of beautiful hiking trails and horseback riding.

Big Sur is also one of the most difficult parts of the redwood coast to hike. The steep mountains also make practically every hike a challenging climb. 

Every trail gets overgrown with poison oak, to the point where some trails are surrounded by 6-foot-tall walls of the plant. The chaparral is crawling with ticks in the spring, and you can easily pick up a hundred ticks on a single day hike (as Analise Eliot points out in her indispensible Big Sur hiking guide, "Garrapata State Park" translates to "Tick State Park"). 

Clouds of flies may surround and bite you, undeterred by insect repellent. Rattlesnakes, black bears, and mountain lions also live in the area. Big Sur has two types of trails. All but one of the trails featured here are in the relatively easy-to-hike Big Sur state parks. There's also an extensive network of wilderness hiking routes that are often poorly maintained and a lot more challenging.

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