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“Kirk/Plaskett Creek” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Kirk Creek Campground

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Kirk Creek Campground
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Hwy 1, Big Sur, CA 93465   |  
Hotel amenities
Santa Cruz, California
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Kirk/Plaskett Creek”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Kirk Creek...is always our favorite destination in Big Sur...but sadly on this trip it was booked and we we happy to stay at our second favorite spot Plaskett Creek. However, we did interact with the Camp Host at Kirk Creek and he is AMAZING!!! Below details a bit about our experience with Keith!

What we LOVED the most about this trip in particular was a VERY KIND AND COMPASSIONATE employee of Kirk Creek Keith Phelan. We are new to owning a tent trailer and are still navigating the complexity of balancing battery life when we do not have electrical hookups. We "thought" we were fully charged and arrived with no electricity and our battery appeared to be dead. Not fun! The next day my husband set out to find a place to charge our battery or buy a new one. No such luck in this area. However, Keith overheard and ended up following my husband back to camp a bit later and offered to take our battery to charge. Several hours later he returned...unfortunately our battery was not charging but he brought us a replacement to borrow for the duration of our trip. Again, unfortunately after he left we discovered we also blew a fuse so we could not use his battery. The next day he came to check on us and when we spoke of the fuse he came back a bit later with new fuses in hand. He also spent quite a bit of time gently educating us about the trailer. He would not accept money or any of our fabulous baked goods, he just asked that one day we help another fellow new owner of a trailer. On our last day he showed up to check on us again and shared his personal check list of things to do on the last day of camping to ensure proper storage and travel of the trailer. What a kind and thoughtful person! Keith not only made our trip better but just reminded us that there are amazing people out there that go out of their way to help others. Keith we will make sure to come say hi on our future annual trips to the area.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
huntington Beach
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2013

Nice campground with large picnic table and plenty of space. Our view was so pretty that neighbors would stand at the edge to take pictures of the sunset. My 2 complaints were: pesky squirrels who were not shy and no showers. If I go again, I'll purchase a portable shower. Otherwise you have to go Limekiln and pay $10 to park for a shower. Limekiln's camp sites had no privacy and were cramped and plain horrible other than having showers. The vault toilets were new and clean. Cyclists have cheap sites with amazing views at Kirk. We had amazing sunny weather, even so it got very chilly and damp at night. The camp host was never around; only noticed him in the evening and can't say he was all too friendly.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Their website showed 27 walk up sites available. We drove up early to take a chance and it was full. Couldn't find the campground host but saw someone cutting the grass. He looked at us like we were crazy for expecting to show up and find a site. After driving thru I could see why. It truly has stunning views from almost every site. I would be willing to put up with bringing my own water, the raccoons and even the pit toilets to stay there. Will try again but will definitely have reservations. The front spots seem the best.

By the way, drove thru again on a Sunday afternoon on our way back. NO camp host again. Not sure where the host goes during the day..........would have been nice to talk to someone and get some info.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

We stayed at Kirk Creek campground for two days. It has an almost private path to the coast and sits high on a cliff. Beautiful place to camp, but... It doesn't have water in the facility and has a stinky pit toilet. So it's worse than backpacking since its less serene and has bad bathroom options. And it was very windy both nights, we kept waking up fearing for our tents being blown away. We checked out two other places nearby and both will do better than Kirk Creek. Limekiln SP has beautiful hiking trails to a 100ft waterfall and creek. There are good sites near the redwoods and beach, plus it has shower facility.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kings Beach, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

This camp site has incredible views and a calm chill atmosphere. Watching the sunset over the pacific from your campsite is something that can't be beat. The sites were set up well with picnic table, fire ring with grill, and flat spots for your tent. What I really loved was the little trail you could hike down to a rocky beach and watch the waves crash in. You pass some tiny waterfalls on your way down. I didn't have any poison oak issues like I see mentioned here. Restrooms were clean and they have fireword available for purchase there. The host that stopped through while I was there was very friendly and personable. Dog friendly too which is a plus, got to bring my 3 month old puppy on her first camping experience!

Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2013

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....

Room Tip: Sites 15, 17, 19 and 21 are closest to the water and offer the best views...as well as sites 8 and 9...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2013

Kirk Creek was a top-ten site in the US and our favorite until its recent conversion to a primitive campsite. Neither Recreation.gov nor the Forest Service site will tell you that there is NO WATER on the site. Not just potable water. They have turned off ALL the taps. You have to drive 10 miles round trip to Plaskett Creek to fill your water jug.

That makes it easily accessible only to the rich, self-contained RV owners. How is a bicyclist supposed to haul enough water to drink, cook and clean up? Do they expect campers to waste precious water putting out a campfire? What will it take before they put in the filtering system that Monterey county asked them to do? A major fire? We are deeply upset by the changes to what was our favorite site in California.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kirk Creek Campground

Address: Hwy 1, Big Sur, CA 93465
Location: United States > California > Big Sur
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Big Sur

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