San Carpoforo Creek Beach – San Simeon, CA — Flying Dawn Marie | Travel blog, guides & itineraries for adventurous travellers

Welcome to Carpoforo San Creek Beach! I’ve been enjoying this secluded and one-of-a-kind beach spot for over a decade. Today, I’m sharing a blog post from my very first week of blogging. If you follow my blog from the beginning, you’ll see that I am a girl from Southern California who loves the beach. Thank you for your amazing support!




It is important to stay on the trail because there are large amounts of poison oak growing in this area. You will see a large gate and a sign on the coastal side of Highway 1 marking the entrance and parking area. Once you walk past the gate, you will see a cleared dirt trail that turns into fine sand leading down to the ocean. Along the 1/3 mile path, you will come across a beautiful 40-foot cypress tree marking the halfway point.




You can either cross over the rocks at the northern end of the lagoon or wade through the lagoon itself to reach the ocean. The creek is blocked by a substantial sandbar, which is present for most of the year, creating a large lagoon. San Carpoforo Creek starts at an elevation of 2200 feet near Three Peaks in Los Padres National Forest and flows down the mountain, crossing under Highway 1 and towards the ocean, following the path carved by early Spanish explorers and a Roman Christian soldier named Saint Carpophorus, who was executed around AD 300.



The Beach.

I absolutely adore this wide sandy beach because it is not heavily trafficked, and during the summer months, it is often cool and windy. Surprisingly, this beach is an exception to the norm, as it is not filled with dense fog early in the morning. The sky here is beautifully moody and slightly eerie, which only adds to the overall beauty of the beach.

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North End.

The Big Sur coastline reveals its grandeur as you gaze northward, with cliffs and mountains cascading directly into the ocean. During low tide, you can spot sea caves in this area, while the northern section of the beach transitions into expansive rocky cliffs.


South End.

I absolutely adore the southern end of this beach. If you visit during low tide, you can explore a smaller secondary beach called Ragged Point and pass by the massive rocks. This hidden beach is perfectly secluded, offering unobstructed views of Ragged Point. Additionally, you will also discover a sea cave that is more easily accessible during low tide compared to the northern caves. However, it is important to note that it is only safe to visit during very low tides, as rogue waves can crash in with the tides at either end of the park. So, whether you decide to visit the southern or northern end of this beach, make sure to check the tide charts.




You can view them here seasonally from October to March, before they make the journey south for winter. Many swallows make their homes on the high rocks in the southern end of the beach, located in the large cliffs. You can often see these little birds near the edge of the waters and this portion of the beach is protected and restricted as a nesting area for snowy plovers. You can easily see whales migrating up and down the coast as well as dolphins from the shoreline. San Carpoforo Beach is truly a wonderful place to experience a wide array of wildlife in central California’s coastal area.

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Familiarize yourself before you travel:

Ensure that you bring along all your significant possessions. Therefore, incidents of items being stolen from vehicles in parking areas and along trail heads have been reported throughout the years, although this region is considered to be highly secure. It is advised not to leave any valuable items inside your vehicle anywhere in Big Sur.

😉 Whether you decide to leave or not, make sure to remember that there are three leaves to see. Stay on the trail so that you can go to the beach. The oak poison is very common off the trail.

Dispose of litter and food waste, ensuring to maintain cleanliness and responsibility with your personal items. During my recent visit, I was delighted to find the area in a pristine and picturesque state. Several years ago, this beach was burdened with a significant quantity of trash, plastic, and glass bottles as a result of unauthorized camping. Remember to carry in and carry out your belongings.

• Please be thoughtful of the Leave no Trace Principles to assist in maintaining the wild and stunning nature of this location.


In Recap & Behind the Blog Video.

Thank you for joining me in discovering the hidden treasures of Central California’s Coast in the next week, where you can find hope, encouragement, and adventure. Watch the video blog below to learn more.

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