We just returned back to Wisconsin after a 3-day experience in Big Sur, anchored at Kirk Creek. We had a great experience, besides my girlfriend's mysterious contraction of poison oak (more on that later).
Kirk Creek is clearly Big Sur's campground jewel. There are a handful of other places (we saw them all) to pitch a tent along Highway 1, but none of them match the feeling of being somewhere special as much as Kirk Creek does. Sure, the CA park service recently pulled the plug on their (shaky) water supply, but this did not hinder us as we knew of this prior to our visit and brought along 4 gallon jugs of fresh water. This isn't rocket science. Sure, there are no showers as Kirk Creek is a National Forest land...not a CA State Park. This is clearly posted. We just popped 2 minutes up the road and paid the $10 day-use fee to use Limekiln's hot showers as much as we wanted, per day. A bit spendy for long stays, yes...but we were on vacation and had prepared for it. No biggie!
KIrk Creek has recently completed installation of two brand new and CLEAN pit toilet houses. These were a very nice surprise, as we had prepared ourselves for the dilapitated existing "nasty" (as some have said) pits. Not the case!
Firewood is available for $8 in big log form (we had a problem keeping it lit without kindling) and each site has a standing charcoal grill.
We had shoreline site #19 with it's sweeping mountain and ocean views to the north. It was a head-shaking, disbelief view. Falling asleep to the crashing Pacific is something to behold. As many have said, the raccoons were omnipresent after dark. There seems to be at least a trio of them, with a male and a female being the main duo. One hobbles with a limp, almost on three legs only. As soon as the sun set, here they came into our site as we were preparing dinner. They had ZERO fear of humans, and I had to clap and and holler and chase them away time after time. The 'coons soon realized we were no easy target, so they moved on to the site above us, #17. We soon heard a woman's shriek, followed by a screaming "oh my god!!"...then pounding on the outside walls of their Mercedes motorhome. Pretty sure both raccoons had jumped up INSIDE of the motorhome as the people weren't paying attention. We soon heard clapping and yelling across the road from us, then soon heard the trash cans near us being raided (successfully...Kirk Creek needs better trash logistics badly). We were on high alert, with almost a laughable tone...as we knew they wouldn't be hurting anyone. They were just a nuisance. We also saw them engaging in "raccoony-style" intercourse...crossed something off the list there! After a while we went to bed...and both nights had the raccoons pawing at our tent, with muddy paw-print evidence on the rainfly and on our picnic tablecloth in the morning. Just be aware. Obviously too many foolish campers have fed the little cuties (and yes, they are adoreable)...so shame on you! We are experienced "Bear Aware" campers and treat all camping as if we are in grizzly territory. Many of you could learn a lesson here!
Many have mentioned the poison oak on the path down to the shoreline...therefore we avoided the walk, but we did start it and a fellow camper pointed out the plant and what to stay away from. We didn't come close to touching it...yet days later my girlfriend became aware of a growing, burning rash which she's still dealing with today. SO, that said...if you think you're susceptable to airborne poison oak contraction, be very aware that it happens! Apparently I'm immune as I handled and washed her quarantined clothing with no ill-effects.
ALL THAT SAID...this is still the most amazing campsite I've ever had the pleasure to experience, and I've been around....