Big Sur, CA 93920
Hike: 1/4 mile 1-way Level: Easy
Dog-Friendly: No Kid-Friendly: Yes
Jade Cove is a pretty simple hike but is just bursting with beauty from every angle. I would have guessed that this spot got its name from the jade-colored cliffs but it turns out there are actual jade stones which can be found along the shore! Do not be fooled into thinking that serpentine, which is another green stone in this area, is jade. The two are similar in color but jade is heavier and of much higher value. The jade stones are few and far between thanks to decades of prospecting.
The best times to visit are at low tides, especially soon after a winter storm. There are special regulations which govern the collection of jade. They are as follows:
* Only loose jade from submerged lands may be collected.
* Collect your jade from below the mean tide level.
* No tools may be used except a hand tool to maneuver and lift the jade or scratch its surface to determine if it is jade.
* For divers, lift bags may be used with a combined capacity of no more than 200 pounds.
* Each person may collect only what that person individually carries.
Caution: As in most places along the coast, the surf here is dangerous and those searching for jade should never turn their back on the ocean. Rogue waves can appear unannounced and sweep unwary visitors off the shore.
This is the entrance:
This sign is how you know you’re on the right path:
The trail is very faint at some points with thick brush all around. I love these types of trails, but beware, with thick brush and flowers come bees which may scare some people.
The cove is a beautiful jade green, hence the name: