Limekiln State Park

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About Limekiln State Park

Along the spectacular Big Sur coast lies Limekiln State Park. As you can imagine, here you can get epic views of the Big Sur Coast as well as the grandeur of the redwoods. Although the park is small, this rugged coastal park offers up a beach, a redwood forest and 100-foot waterfall and is rich in historical significance. Sometimes big things come in small packages!

Campgrounds in Limekiln

Limekiln Campground

1. Limekiln Campground

100% Recommend (21 Campers)

This coastal campground has two main loops: one that winds along the redwoods along Limekiln Creek, and one that perches on cliffs overlooking the...

David
David: The area is beautiful. My review is specific to the camping context. Looking at the photos, the sites look amazing, but...
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Limekiln
hipcamper
April 27th, 2016
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April 4th, 2015
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April 27th, 2016
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November 17th, 2016
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26 Reviews

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Hipcamper David

The area is beautiful. My review is specific to the camping context.

Looking at the photos, the sites look amazing, but they're actually quite cramped. While our site (#27) looked private on the reservation site, it was not. This was true of several other sites nearby as well. No one in the vicinity had any privacy. The map on the reservation site is *very* deceptive. The yellow is not a road: it's the boundary of the campsite, with most of the area inside the boundary being a road. I've camped many places, and I doubt I'll return to this campground. Also, be aware that a 2nd car requires a $10 extra per night charge, which we didn't learn until we arrived, despite having registered two vehicles for our site during the reservation.

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Hipcamper Matthew

Limekiln was a last resort for finding a campsite in Big Sur, Didn't make reservations and it was summertime (stupid I know) the camp hosts were super chill and gave us what they said was the best site in the campground. Site 16: Redwoods/secluded/creekside

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Hipcamper Tiana

As of September 2015, reservations are site specific.

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Hipcamper Sydney

If you're looking for beach + secluded forest + great (short) trails in one place, Limekiln has it all.

From the top of the redwoods loop (near sites 23/24) down to the beach is maybe a 5 minute walk, but feels like two totally different worlds. The creek behind the campsites is crystal clear (and cold) water, which is wildly refreshing after spending some time on the beach, even in late September. When we visited earlier this week, the creek was flowing nicely and gave the perfect soundtrack for the best night's sleep on our trip.

Plenty of wildlife - we saw deer, Steller's Jays, and sea lions bobbing in the ocean at sunset. Absolutely beautiful park. We'll definitely be back!

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Hipcamper Kim

Camp host is amazing and very friendly. Showers/bathrooms are great and close by. Campsites are very close together so you will hear if anyone is having a party at night. Overall, it's a beautiful campsite and great alternative if you cannot get a spot in Big Sur. You can drive and hike Pfeiffer during the day, there was even a family next to us who would surf during the days. We booked 1 week prior and got a spot no problem.

Hipcamper Josef

Haven't been to confirm, but it looks like all the sites are non-specific meaning you will be assigned a site on arrival and might not get the spot you had originally reserved.

Hipcamper A
A

There’s less crowds here and...it’s awesome.

Hipcamper A
A

You can select between three stunning settings for camp; beach, river or mountain.

Hipcamper A
A

We hear the best water-side sites are 22, 23, 21 and the best hillside are 25, 26, 24, and 29.

Hipcamper A
A

We also hear that there’s some good fishing. You can catch lingcods, reds, and brown rockfish.

Hipcamper Matthew

Limekiln was a last resort for finding a campsite in Big Sur, Didn't make reservations and it was summertime (stupid I know) the camp hosts were super chill and gave us what they said was the best site in the campground. Site 16: Redwoods/secluded/creekside

Hipcamper Matthew

Also keep a eye on your little ones and pets, there were two mountain lions stalking a family while we stayed there. This shouldn't keep you from staying here though, its super rare for that to happen. This is one of my favorite spots in Big Sur for sure.

Hipcamper Helen

Quite possibly one of my most favorite campsites in Big Sur. It's a small park with lots to offer :) My friends went hiking in the redwood forest during the day and stargazed on the beach by night. It was one of the highlights from our summer PCH road trip!

Hipcamper Helen

Quite possibly one of my most favorite campsites in Big Sur. It's a small park with lots to offer :) My friends went hiking in the redwood forest during the day and stargazed on the beach by night. It was one of the highlights from our summer PCH road trip!

Hipcamper Helen

Quite possibly one of my most favorite campsites in Big Sur. It's a small park with lots to offer :) My friends went hiking in the redwood forest during the day and stargazed on the beach by night. It was one of the highlights from our summer PCH road trip!

Hipcamper Helen

Quite possibly one of my most favorite campsites in Big Sur. It's a small park with lots to offer :) My friends went hiking in the redwood forest during the day and stargazed on the beach by night. It was one of the highlights from our summer PCH road trip!

Hipcamper Andrew

Highly recommend this camp ground for both small and large groups. If you're in a large group be sure to pay the extra and get two camp spots for the car parking. Sites #24 and #25 are the ones we had. #24 is the largest we had and next to trail head. Others seemed very small but good for two people / small tents. Site #29 has a really cool three-tiered element to it that allows you to park at the bottom, cook on a 2nd flat section, and put your tents on a 3rd flat area. I'll probably try to book that one next time. Awesome trails nearby that are short and beginner friendly but also have access to the CA Coastal Trail from the camp ground.
Had to take Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd due to closures on HWY 1. Good alternate route though.

Hipcamper Sofia

Need to book well in advance! We had a site up the back near the redwoods, which was great

Hipcamper Nathan

Hike the the kilns, Try to get campground #1! Its very private and you have an ocean view.

Hipcamper Briana

What an incredible place. Friendly staff, clean restrooms and showers, and no reception. We stayed in the little section of four sites along the river (site 15 to be specific) at the end of January and loved it. Nice and secluded, compared to the sites up in the Redwoods; sites above seemed rather exposed and close to neighbors.

Definitely book far, far in advance as this place books up quick! We felt lucky to have the campground to ourselves (mudslides caused the HWY 1 to close down from both directions; a camp host text us letting us know and gave us an alternate route).

The walkable beach access was amazing, and the contrast of the woods and the beach was magical.

We will be back!

Hipcamper Dana

My favorite place to camp. Waterfall, beach, ruins, redwoods, absolute perfection. Securing a weekend campsite in the summer is nearly impossible though.

Hipcamper Mark

Do all the hikes at the site, absolutely gorgeous. There's one hike where you can eventually find a natural pool

Hipcamper Mark

Do all the hikes at the site, absolutely gorgeous. There's one hike where you can eventually find a natural pool

Hipcamper Amber

I grew up in a small town just south of Limekiln, and camped here frequently as a young person. I went back with my husband on a recent trip and while it was as beautiful as I remember, it was also very cramped. Being people who like to have privacy and often find out-of-the-way spots, this campground does not offer that. We got the last site and it was on the beach. It's not private at all, but you are right next to the ocean, so it was ok. The vibe was very friendly and the walk through the redwoods is worth the expensive night (40-ish bucks) for camping. Site 29 is by far the best spot in the whole place. Because I camped here as a kid, it will always be magical to me!

Hipcamper Kathleen

Great place to go for walk in winter camping!

History of Limekiln State Park

Archaeological evidence suggests that the ancestors of today’s Salinan, Esselen and Ohlone people inhabited the Big Sur coast for thousands of years, adapting their lifeways to the area’s climatic and environmental changes. Native groups traveled from the coast to the interior valleys, following the marine and terrestrial resources that sustained them. They gathered fish, shellfish and various grasses and seeds, and hunted small and large game and birds. They traded with other groups for items they could not produce themselves.

The incursion of the Spanish, Mexicans and Americans brought changes that drastically affected the lives of the people. Taken into the mission system, the people struggled with diseases to which they had no immunity. Pestilence, violence and broken promises all took their toll; seemingly well-intentioned treaties with the Indians were not sent to federal offices for ratification. Within a few generations, the native people’s traditional lands had been taken over by the settlers.

At the end of the mission era, some of the native people were employed in agriculture, fishing
and other industries. Today, descendants of the Salinan, Esselen and Ohlone people are working to revive their cultural traditions and to pass them on to the next generations.

Beginning in 1887, the Rockland Lime and Lumber Company extracted, processed and exported thousands of barrels of lime from Limekiln Canyon. Four stone and iron furnaces were built at the base of a large talus slope eroding from a limestone deposit. Limestone rocks were loaded into the kilns, where very hot wood fires burned for long periods to purify the lime.

The lime was packed into barrels, hauled by wagon to Rockland Landing on the coast, and loaded onto ships that carried it to northern ports for use in concrete.

After only three years, the limestone deposit was all but depleted, as was the redwood forest that had been nearly clear-cut to use for lumber and fuel.

Today the four kilns, some stone walls and bridge abutments are the only remains of the thriving lime industry that existed here.