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“Great first camping experience” 4 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
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Great first camping experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 28, 2014

Travelling from Phoenix to Boise with a week off, I decided to head for Big Sur and try camping. This campground had very good reviews so I chose it as a place to spend two nights while I explored along CA highway 1. I was a little disappointed by the set up which is probably great if you have a big RV or camper. All of the outer sites, overlooking the ocean, were filled with RVs so the view was mainly of big recreational vehicles. The hum of generators, at times, overpowered the sound of ocean waves and the bright lights from the RVs made it difficult to appreciate the beautiful night sky, until very late when everyone went to bed. It was a learning experience for me on how not to tent camp. Needless to say, the coast is beautiful. The trail down to the ocean is quite nice and slopes gently, making it fairly easy to manage. The trail travels along and crosses a stream that makes its way down to the rocky coast. It is very idyllic. There are no stores close by so bring everything with you. If you do travel to one of the general-stores that are few and far between, it will cost you. There is no running water...therefore no drinking water and no flush toilets. It was a great first camping experience...if there is a next time I will try to book one of those ocean front sites or maybe come in my own recreational vehicle.

Room Tip: If you book online, pay attention to the orientation of the sites and get one ocean front.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
    2
    0
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 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
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
91 reviews 91 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

For $22 bucks we got a last minute parking space, a place to pitch our tent, a picnic table and a fire ring. Brought some fire wood. Kids walked down to the creek to wash up and check out the shore, had some good hot food and waited apprehensively to see if the road noise would keep us up. Guess what. Traffic literally stops on Highway 1 at night so all we heard were the breakers. Campsites are well organized to maximize privacy in a small location. Facilities are immaculately maintained. But there is no potable or running water.

Room Tip: It is a campsite. The cool thing they reserve sites for travelers coming on foot or by bike which a...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NC
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

I LOVED this campground - it was like a piece of heaven on earth. The ocean was right at our fingertips, but not entirely accessible, which is normal for that area.

There was an exciting sensory-explosion walk to the "beach"...the smells of all the different plants and flowers was overpowering. You really were in a different world. The beach hike was almost completely covered up with plants that grew over your head and took over the path; it was maybe 1/4 - 1/2 mile long and I loved every step. Not handicapped accessible at all. The actual beach was hundreds of rocks that you could just play on and traverse - my 8 year old son and 12 year old daughter loved the climbing and playing with no destination. Again, all typical for the area - your average rocky beach, but with nothing "average" about it. Oh, I want to go back.

The bathrooms were nasty but fine. No complaints. They were maintained but you can't get rid of the kind of stink that comes with no-flush holes in the ground. The tent sites were impossible (at our site, anyway). They were tiny and some were a bit too close and we moved the tent about 15 times before we realized there was just no level place to put it. Yes, we rolled over each other a few times in the middle of the night :)...but, we were on the Big Sur coastline camping. The views couldn't be beat. I noticed several sites had the names of the parties reserved, but they never showed up (mid-June). It was cheap enough that if you didn't keep to your schedule and ended up not going, you didn't lose much.

I would definitely go back - I loved everything but getting comfortable to sleep. But it was cold outside and we were in heaven, so it was all good. Maybe we will choose another site in this campground next time.

Room Tip: Go to google earth and zoom in on the campground - see what site would be best for you. Sites aroun...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

This place has stunning views of a truly spectacular coastline. However, I was not impressed that water was unavailable on site, supposedly due to the dry weather. To add insult to injury water was for sale at $5 per gallon. However, we noticed a fast flowing stream with plenty of water just yards away.

Room Tip: Bring your own water! Not all sites are level, so you might want to bring a block of wood if you hav...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
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.
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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 #3 of 9 Specialty Lodging in Big Sur
Number of rooms: 34

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