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Sykes Hot Springs, Big Sur, October 1999

I have read that this is most popular backpacking trail in Big Sur and I believe it.  After all, who wouldn't want to relax in natural hot springs after a long hike.  I wanted to, so I went in October of 1999, a few weeks before I was to start my new job at Ben C. Gerwick, Inc. in San Francisco.

At the time I was living with my parents in the Santa Cruz Mountains so I left early one morning and arrived at the trailhead after about 90 minutes, maybe 2 hours.  Although the first part of the hike is tough, you have great views, so the steep trail isn't so bad.

But then the trail changes and you spend the rest of the hike under the forest canopy.  Nothing is wrong with that, but those dramatic views sure were nice.

Left: Views towards to ocean at the start of the Sykes trail in Big Sur.  Center: On my trip I didn't take pictures.  I have no idea who these people are, but this picture gives you an idea of what 99% of the trail is like.  Right: When you finally reach the hot springs it may be full of people.  Luckily for me I had them to myself.  What's up dude!

I had planned on camping near the hot springs but after about an hour relaxing in them I started to walk back to the trailhead.  During this time I passed many people and it wasn't even a weekend.  I sure the springs must have been crowded when I left.  Before I could get back to my car it got dark so I camped about 5 miles out.  The next day I got a speeding ticket while driving home.

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