Partington Cove

Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden California follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!

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Highway 1
Big Sur, CA 93920

36.174959, -121.696042

Hike: .9 miles 1-way   Level: moderate

Dog-Friendly: No    Kid-Friendly: Yes


**Check out our list of all hidden gems in Big Sur!**

About Partington Cove

Out of all the hikes I’ve taken in Big Sur, this is one of my favorites.  There aren’t nearly as many people hiking as this as McWay Falls and I prefer it that way.  It gives you more room to clear my head and truly enjoy my surroundings.

We found this spot the same way we found many trails to explore and that was just by stopping at the pull-outs and seeing if there were any trails.  Score! The first time I visited we didn’t know what to expect so we just followed the trails.

From the top of the hill we saw a tunnel and were set on getting to it, which turned out to be quite easy.   There are so many great scenic spots in this area and ahhh…..the air…..


In the late 1800’s John Partingon set up a business transporting tanbark to build ships on this land.  He built a tunnel through a rock promontory that was 100 ft. long and lead from the base of the ocean and up a 280 ft. incline.   Mules would haul the wagons down the canyon and through the tunnel to the cove.

During the prohibition era, the cove was rumored to be a favorite landing point for smuggling liquor and also served as an equipment drop during the construction of Highway 1. These days, a few bolts in the rocks and timbers are all that remain, along with a nice bench to enjoy the view.

What’s that?!

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One Response

  1. Laurie Lotus Miller
    January 31, 2024

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