PLEASE DON’T EXPLORE OR HIKE ON THE PRIVATE ROAD..THERE ARE SOME NEIGHBORS WHO ARE VERY JEALOUS OF THEIR PRIVACY AND DON’T ENJOY “STRANGERS” WANDERING ABOUT…I ONLY BRING FOLKS WHO I CONSIDER PART OF MY EXTENDED FAMILY TO SOBRE SUR GRANDE, BUT I NEED TO RESPECT THEIR WISHES…MANY THANKS
Since I’m biased towards my own ‘hood’ at Sobre Sur Grande, let’s assume you want to stay near home, hang out on the deck but explore a bit. The perfect combination of exercise and indulgence is yours if you walk down from the house back to the Coast. When you reach Highway One, turn right for a ¼ mile to Rocky Point Restaurant. Pick a day when the sun is shining and sit on the deck, have a snack or a drink, then hike back up to the house. Or if you don’t want to eat, you can turn left at Highway 1, and walk less than a mile down to Rocky Creek bridge or on the iconic Bixby Bridge. 6-7 miles total
There are couple of great hikes only a short drive away, but still near the house. Going back to the fire station and mail boxes, turn left and walk or drive about a mile to “The Hoist,” a remnant of the block and tackle used to hoist tan bark out of the steep canyon for transfer by wagons out to the coast at what was then known as Notley’s Landing. Just opposite the Hoist is a trail that leads you out to a promontory and a great view.
Or continue on (probably with your car) to the Mill Creek Redwood Preserve. You’ll need to get an on line permit to post on your car when you park at the turn out for the preserve. The walk is easy and takes you through a stand of redwoods then out to a promontory. The whole walk is 2 ½ miles each way maximum. Mill Creek is part of Monterey County Regional Parks. This is a great group of hikes in areas much less traveled than the state parks. If you’re up for a longer hike, or even an overnight backpack, continue up the road to Bottcher’s Gap. This is one of the best reasons to stay at Sobre Sur Grande if you’re a hiker. Bottcher’s Gap is the deepest access point into the Ventana Wilderness. You can park here and just explore close by or hike to your heart’s content. The road ends here (though you can continue walking down a private spur to Camp Pico Blanco Boy Scout camp along the Little Sur River. There are many wonderful hikes that begin at Bottcher’s Gap, including one to Cone Peak. At over 5000 feet, it is the highest point in the coast range, and yet only 3 miles from the Pacific… On a clear day, indescribable views. Take plenty of water, don’t be afraid to turn around if it’s too hard, and bring your binoculars. Again the web will give you all the details you need.
Bottcher’s Gap was the staging area for firefighter’s response to the massive Basin Complex fire of 2008. I was home at the time and each day brought the risk of evacuation. Even though the sky glowed each evening for over a week, the fire was held to the back country, even sparing Camp Pico Blanco, though it did raze a nearby ranger’s cabin. They cut fire breaks from here, and managed to hold the fire in the back country where it continued to burn for months.