Sykes Hot Springs, Big Sur
Other titles I considered using for this blog post:
The Heaven and Hell Trail
Rise and Shine or You'll Bake and Burn
The Trail of Sweat, Pain and Almost Tears
Here I am fresh, cheerful and ready to take on the ten miles uphill in the brutal heat with a backpack that is too heavy (but someone has to carry the bacon!).
My friend and I were headed for Sykes Camp which is where you can find natural hot springs, making it a popular Big Sur destination. Luckily, the ten mile hike weeds out a lot of tourists.
The Pine Ridge Trail is a beautiful windy trail that even I couldn't get lost on. There are only about two forks in the trail during the entire trip.
Here we are still being cheerful and full of life. Playing with the tall grass and spring flowers.
The views were plentiful and the weather was cooperating. We started the hike early enough where there were still pockets of shade now and again. Be warned, this hike should not be attempted after 10am.
This sign (above) was tempting us to set up camp at the seven mile marker, but we decided to stick with it. Let me just say, the next three miles were loooooong.
But, finally, we arrived at Sykes Camp - dirty, sweaty, exhausted, and bruised from carrying our backpacks. Did I mention dirty?
The Sykes campground is amazing and made every step worth it. Clear water flowed through shaded trees and we practically threw our shoes off to go splash around.
We set up the tent, changed into our bathing suits, and followed the cairns towards the hot springs.
The springs were smaller than I expected, fitting only about four people at a time (and really, only two comfortably). Only a handful of others had survived the journey to the springs though, so we had the place mostly to ourselves.
We waded through the water back to camp, enjoying the cold on our feet.
Dinner was next on the agenda - and you guessed it - cous cous and veggies (as always). Followed by chocolate which was devoured too quickly to even snap a photo of.
Staying awake until a decent hour was the second hardest part of the trip. Our bodies wanted to sleep at 5pm, but we knew better. We managed to stay awake until 7pm, thanks to the entertainment of my selfie stick.
Now, my favourite part - brekky! There is nothing quite like coffee, bacon and eggs after a night in the tent.
Here we are right before our ten miles back to the parking lot. We're feeling optimistic knowing that our packs are a bit lighter and its all downhill from here...
But then, this is how I looked when we finally made it to car park. Turns out going downhill isn't so easy either.
Keywords: Big Sur, Sykes, backpacking, california, explore, hiking, hot springs, outdoors, pine ridge trail
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