Situated on California’s scenic Big Sur Coast, about 55 miles south of Monterey, Limekiln State Park has weathered its fair share of hardships. It began in the late 1800s, when the Rockland Lime and Lumber Co. began stripping the limestone out of the canyon for use as building materials for the burgeoning San Francisco area. At the time, the redwood forest covering these coastal slopes was almost entirely clearcut. Nearly a century later, after recovering, the area was almost clearcut again, but conservation groups intervened. It finally became a state park in 1995. Since then, a portion of the park burned in 2008, then it was threatened with closure in 2012, due to state budget shortfalls. The park was saved once again when the Save the Redwoods League stepped in to assist with funding and maintenance needs.
The small campground in Limekiln State Park offers 29 campsites in two areas along Limekiln Creek. About half are in an open area near the highway, with beach access; the other half are located upslope, under a canopy of shady redwoods. Sites are small and can only accommodate trailers up to 15 feet, and RVs up to 24 feet; each site is equipped with picnic tables and fire rings. Both upper and lower camp areas have drinking water, restrooms, showers and picnic areas. Firewood gathering is not permitted in the park, and dogs must remain leashed at all times. Visitors should keep in mind that this is a rugged coastal environment, and exercise caution around cliffs and near the ocean; climbing on the cliffs is not permitted. Campsite rates are $35/night.
The main attraction at Limekiln State Park is the old lime kilns that still sit at the base of the hillside, more than a century since their last use. These giant furnaces were used to purify the limestone being mined out of the canyon, before it was shipped north for construction uses. The kilns can be seen via a 0.5-mile trail from the upper camp area. A short side trail on the way to the kilns leads to 100-foot Limekiln Falls. Watch out for poison oak while hiking. The park is also a great place for wildlife watching. Keep your eyes peeled for bobcats, foxes and ringtails on shore, and otters and gray whales in the ocean. More than 200 species of birds are known to inhabit the area, including pelicans, peregrine falcons and California condors.
This spot is a favorite in Big Sur's magical beachside forest. Books up well in advance, so last-minute reservations are quite the long-shot. Lower sites are more exposed, but get the benefit of the ocean sounds and rocky beach proximity. Upper sites are tucked back into redwoods, with a little stream nearby.
Hike to the kilns! It's fun to see them still standing, and the CCC keeps the trail in fantastic condition!
We, unfortunately, stayed a very short time in this campground, but I found it very nice and would love to return. There are several sites, almost on the beach, but under the highway, several compact sites next to the creek and several more closer to the trail head. There appeared to be a permanent camp host, and the bathrooms were clean and well maintained. Reservations are a must. We were there the week before xmas 2016, and the campground was full.
I love limekiln state park. It is a little south of big sur, and may be difficult to drive to from hwy 1 south with the bridge construction. That being said, if you are able to head here I highly recommend it! You can camp near the beach or in the redwoods. There are a couple of short trails to both a waterfall and the limekilns. I absolutely love this park!
Small enchanting Campground in the middle of the big sur coastline. Sites in the redwoods and sites on the beach. Both are wonderful. Great short hike along the creek, to the limekilns or to 2 waterfalls. Sites are in close proximity to your neighbor but people are generally too in awe of the natural beauty to party it up. Remains a fairly serene and peaceful environment. It's special really. A must at least once in your life. Dogs ok in the camp but not on the trails. No swimming in the ocean currents and waves are too strong but you can get your feet wet!
Limekiln was one of the first places my wife and I camped. It will be forever known in our family as the "swollen head" camp as we setup camp at the one spot really close to the creek and our bodies were on a grade with our heads downhill. The next morning I woke up with a head about double its size. Fortunately, there were other memorable experiences from that weekend. We had a wonderful time hiking through the primordial redwood forests ripe with giant ferns and an old stone kiln built by Native Americans.This campground is also positioned in a beautiful ocean cove on one of the best stretches of Pacific Coast. It's sort of a magical place with generous campsites.
Enjoyed this campground. The park features breathtaking views of the Big Sur Coast, the beauty of the redwoods, the rugged coast and the cultural history of limekilns. The park is small with 24 campsites and they are booked 6 moths ahead so will will have to plan in advance. Waterfall is pretty and runs to the ocean.
While you can find other campgrounds with big views, they are up off the beach and toasty toasty in the summer. Limekiln is amazing because it’s a mix of the redwoods AND the beach. The campsites are nestled back into the redwood forest; therefore you don’t roast in the sun all day! You can walk about 500 feet out and under a gorgeous bridge to this isolated beach. It really is a magical place. If you’re lucky snag a campsite off the creek!
This is an AMAZING camping location! The site run along the little river from the beach up into the giant trees. The sites are all along the dirt drive. Sites are not overly secluded. This is a great place to stay when exploring Big Sur area, or a place to stay put at and relax. There are 3 main hiking trails as well as camping and the beach area. Highly recommended!