Climbing Down Around Lime Kiln Falls

by Stephen Kovaka
(Louisville, KY USA)

Back in 1969, I was hitching north thru the Big Sur. I ended up at a campground in the mountains within sight of the Pacific. On a whim (I was 21 at the time) I decided to hike cross-country down to the ocean and get on the coast highway, and so I set off with my backpack. I found some very, very steep and rugged terrain, and ended up on a hillside as evening fell. I "slept" there, wedged behind a tree to keep from rolling down the hill. The next day I continued working my way down the steep ravine toward the coast.

Suddenly I came to . . . Limekiln Falls!

Looking down from above I was confronted with a dilemma: climb down around the falls, or climb back up the steep ravine and look for another route. I chose to attempt the climb down around the left side of the falls (right side as you look up at it). This was a terrifying climb with a backpack, and a foolish risk to take, but I made it. Continuing down the creek, I was surprised to discover a trail and eventually a sign identifying Limekiln Creek.

I have always remembered this dangerous and terrifying climb, and so ten years later when I was again in CA, I went back to Limekiln Falls, the easy way this time. Yep, just as scary as I remembered it.

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