Ragged Point is located at the south end of the Big Sur area. This trail is so, so tight. A truly unexpected gem. The area is a tourist stop, but most tourists just look at the views without taking the steep trip down to the cove below.
On Highway 1 there are signs for Ragged Point coming from either direction. Parking is at the Ragged Point Inn, which includes a hotel, restaurant, gift shop, and snack bar.
The trailhead is behind the bathrooms and snack bar. The trail looks treacherous as hell from the top; it’s a narrow, steep, dirt path that winds along the side of the coastal bluff to the beach below. You crawl under trees and across rocks to get to the cove and tide pools at the bottom. Total length is only slightly more than half of a mile each way, but it feels longer.
You’d typically hike right next to the base of Black Swift Falls, a 300-ft waterfall that falls from the cliff down to the beach, but it was dry this time since California is experiencing a severe drought this year. The rocky cliff side where it normally falls was still cool though.
This is an out and back trail, so the way down is the way up. Hiking up is easier, but a little slippery in some spots where the dirt is loose. The craziest part of this experience is that it was a perfectly sunny, clear day on the way down then completely shrouded in fog on the way up. This is the progression within a matter of minutes:
Some crazy ass shit.