Limekilns Waterfall

“Another glo­ri­ous day, the air as deli­cious to the lungs as nec­tar to the tongue.” -John Muir




Limekiln Falls Trail

Big Sur, CA 93920

36.014144, -121.516879 




The Hike

Once you've parked, head east away from the ocean along the paved road through the campsites under the tall redwoods. Up ahead you'll see a bridge and the kiosk marking the start of the trail.

Limekiln Waterfall

 Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

The Limekiln trail has three branches each a half mile or less long and all worth exploring. I recommend taking the Hare Creek branch first, followed by the Falls branch and finally the Limekilns branch.

All of the these trails are kid-friendly, but of the three, the branch to the waterfalls is the most challenging and can involve scrambling across running creeks. Expect some wet shoes.

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

A short distance after crossing the first bridge is the first fork in the trail with the path to the limekilns and waterfall to the left and Hare Creek to the right.

The .3 mile trail through Hare Canyon is well-groomed and easy, sporting some of the oldest and largest redwood trees in Big Sur. The trail follows along the creek in a magnificent and photogenic setting until you reach an "End of Trail" sign near a mini waterfall at the base of a huge rock wall. Turn around here and head back to the fork.

There is camping available here:

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

At the fork, take a right towards the limekilns and waterfall. The path meanders under the redwoods above Limekiln Creek, which you cross on a large wooden bridge and eventually reach the next fork with branches heading either to the limekilns or waterfall. Take a right for the falls, and be prepared to traverse the first of 5 tricky stream crossings. The trail deadends with a stunning view of the 100 foot waterfall cascading down a huge limestone face.

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Turn around and head back to the fork, this time taking a right for the trail out to the limekilns. The four enormous kilns were built near the turn of the century and are largely intact.

The Rockland Lime and Lumber Company would load the towers of the kilns with limestone and use redwood lumber to stoke fires at their bases to purify the rock before it was hauled out of the canyon and down to the coast where ships were waiting. The lime was eventually used in cement and other products.

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

It's a pretty nice waterfall.  I couldn't get a good shot of it unfortunately.  Judging from photos on other websites, this waterfall can get far larger than it is here.  Go after a good rainfall.

Limekiln Waterfall

Personal Experience:  Like all of the trails in Big Sur, you can expect some of the freshest air you'll probably ever experience, lush redwood trees, canopies of shade and what feels like an elfin/fairy land.  Everything is just so beautiful.  Take your time.  Try to spend several days AT LEAST in Big Sur if you can to really soak up the experience.

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall

Limekiln Waterfall



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