Cliffside Trail

The Ragged Point Inn and Resort is located at the northernmost corner of San Luis Obispo County, 18 miles north of Hearst Castle on Highway 1, at the base of the Big Sur National Scenic Byway. Besides having one of the few gas stations on this portion of Route 1, it is also a fully loaded resort, with stunning ocean-view rooms, classy restaurant, gift shop, coffee bar, and one of the most epic hikes in SLO County. It’s short but stiff, and you feel like a champion when you’ve completed it. One of the interesting things about this hike is that you start at the top and walk to the bottom of a 300+ foot cliff. There are steps, but the slip factor is pretty high, especially after a rain. When you finally get to the bottom, the reward is a waterfall you can’t see from above. The black sand beach is warm on a sunny day, and often there’s no one but the shorebirds to witness your arrival. Be sure to check the tide height, wave activity, and put on sunscreen before you go. On a warm Spring day, the wildflowers are popping up everywhere, and the blue-belly lizards are doing push-ups to impress each other.  It’s worth stopping for a ‘view check’ to look around and enjoy where you are.