Take in one of the Big Sur coast’s finest views from high above the water or hike down a cliff-side trail to see the impressive Black Swift Falls.
Ragged Point is a craggy promontory that juts 400 feet (122 meters) above the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. Acclaimed as one of the Big Sur Coast Highway’s best views, the Ragged Point vista presents an awe-inspiring ocean outlook. See towering cliffs plunge dramatically into the sea, bombarded by the roaring ocean waves. Hike down a trail that picks a narrow path down the cliff and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of one of the Big Sur coast’s largest waterfalls.
Spend some time strolling around the Ragged Point cliff-top area, taking in the expansive views that sweep up and down the coast. Peer through the trees to the shrubs that cling to the steep cliffs and look down on the swirling waters of the cove below. You’ll see a trail of rock formations jutting out of the water offshore. Snap photographs of the magnificent vista or point your camera toward the cliff face, which takes on a different hue with the setting and rising of the sun.
If you are feeling up to the challenge, follow the 0.6-mile (1-kilometer) trail that zigzags through the vegetated cliffs to the black-sand beach below. From the trail, you’ll have the best vantage point for seeing Black Swift Falls. This breathtaking waterfall plunges 300 feet (90 meters) from the headlands cleaved by Young Creek. Ensure you have sturdy walking shoes, as well as sun protection and drinking water, if you intend to embark on the hike.
The Ragged Point Vista is approximately a 20-minute drive from San Simeon. It’s a popular place for visitors exploring the Big Sur Coast Highway to stop and take a moment to appreciate the views. Bring some lunch to enjoy on the sheltered picnic tables or pick up a quick snack from the kiosk. An inn, restaurant and wine bar are also located near the lookout. Parking is available on site. While in the area, check out the backcountry trails of Big Sur Ranch, Salmon Creek Falls and the Elephant Seal Rookery.