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About San Carpoforo Creek Beach in San Simeon, California

The San Carpoforo Creek Beach Access is the northernmost portion of the state-owned properties in Hearst San Simeon State Park. A portion of this beach is also in Los Padres National Forest and it’s signed that way at the trailhead.

This is a wide beach that doesn’t get a lot of visitors so it has a wild and remote feel. The surface is a mix of sand and rocks and has a lot of driftwood scattered around. Looking back from the beach you can see that the valley is surrounded by the typical high hills of the Big Sur coast. It’s a stunning place.

The creek pools up behind the beach, sometimes breaching the sand and connecting to the ocean. During the wet times of the year the creek (or the pool is deep) you’ll have to walk out to the end of it to reach the ocean.

This is a fun beach to explore, especially when the tide is out. On the other side of a large rock at the south end of this beach there’s another hidden beach next to Ragged Point (not to be confused with the beach at Ragged Point Inn). Access to Ragged Point is challenging so read up on it if you want to go there.

Camping is allowed at San Carpoforo Beach, but overuse has led to a restriction on camping recently. This was done because of trash and human waste accumulating. Day-use is still allowed but visitors should keep their eyes open for snowy plover nests in the dunes and not bring dogs to the beach. Hopefully camping will be allowed again in the next few years.

Just north of the Highway 1 bridge at San Carpoforo Creek there is a small pull-out parking area with a fence and a gate. This is the San Carpoforo Creek Trailhead and it’s about eight miles north of Piedras Blancas Light Station and across from a house at the address 18550 Cabrillo Hwy, San Simeon, CA (use that address to map to). Beyond this gate is a trail that leads down to San Carpoforo Creek and eventually the beach.

About 1.5 miles north along the highway you’ll find Ragged Point Inn and Resort which has lodging, a restaurant, and gift shop. It’s a perfect place to stop at along this southern end of the Big Sur Highway.

18550 Cabrillo Hwy
San Simeon, CA 93452
Park Name
Hearst San Simeon State Park, Los Padres National Forest, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
Other Names
San Carpoforo Valley
State Park
Pet Details
No dogs allowed on the beach
Free parking along the shoulder of Highway 1
Surfing, Beachcombing, Fishing, Beach Exploration, Beach Camping
Stream, Driftwood, Dunes, Sea Stacks, No Facilities
Map of San Carpoforo Creek Beach
Cambria, US
6:46 am, June 17, 2024
temperature icon 57°F
L: 56° H: 67°
Feels like 55.29 °F clear sky
Wind gusts: 4 m/s
UV Index: 0.38
Precipitation: 0 inch
Visibility: 10 km
Sunrise: 5:49 am
Sunset: 8:23 pm
Humidity 72 %
Pressure1010 mb
Wind 4 m/s

Nearby Beaches

Ragged Point Beach

0.3 miles away

Ragged Point Beach is a remote beach just north of Ragged Point which is about seven miles north of...

View beach

Nearby Attractions

Nearby Lodging


1 review(s)
Very good0%
March 19, 2024

Amazing beach that almost everyone drives by.

If you want to camp look at the campground next to Sand Dollar Beach or go back south to San Simeon SP near Cambria.

Note that the highway is closed north of here at Paul’s Slide.