Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Cabezo Prieto Ridge (12.5 miles, 4.500 ft, 8.5 hours)

February 23, 7:00 am - 6:00 pm

*** This is a Waitlisted event with limited capacity, so please RSVP to the Waitlist. No guests.***
***This is a strenuous hike suitable for those with recent experience hiking 8+ miles and 3,000+ feet elevation gain at a moderate pace. ***

Photo: Cabezo Ridge with southern view toward Manuel Peak- February 12, 2012 (Photo by Tom H.)

This is an iconic Ventana hike. The steep, exposed climb is rewarded with outstanding views from Post Summit, the Cabezo Prieto Ridge, and Manuel Peak.

Our hike begins at East Molera Ridge Trail on Hwy 1. From there we’ll climb to Molera Ridge then hike south along the “Golden Staircase” (now green) to Post Summit (elevation 3,455′). From Post Summit we descend south and then climb up 400′ to Cabezo Prieto Ridge for lunch. After another descent of 400′ we climb to Manuel Peak (elevation 3480′). From Manuel Peak, we descend some narrow, partly washed out sections along a nicely graded trail for 5 miles to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Hwy 1.

What to Expect

This is a difficult hike. We climb 3,500′ in the first 4.3 miles on exposed use trails with brush and marginal footing. A fire break built during the last fire has removed much of the thick brush along the Cabezo Ridge. The five mile descent from Manuel Peak passes rough, narrow trail and brush segments.

What to Bring:

– Water: 3-4 liters. None available on trail. Expect sunny heat.
– Lunch
– Snacks
– Light colored long pants and shirt with long sleeves for poison oak, brush, and ticks (prevalent now). Consider PERMETHRIN clothing spray (anti-tick, available at REI) ahead of time
– Light wind jacket
– Sunscreen
– Consider insect spray (ticks; DEET or other).
– Hat
– Trekking poles highly recommended for the many steep sections
– Camera
– Consider gaiters for brush, PO, thistles, rocks
– Headlamp in case of delay
– RAIN reschedules
– NO DOGS (State Parks)


This is a group hike–we start together, stay together in groups through the entire hike, and come out together. Hikers have made wrong turns, gotten , gotten lost, and caused searches. If you are a fast hiker, expect to take a moderate pace, wait for others, and enjoy the views.

RSVP: This is a waitlisted event with a limit on capacity so RSVP to the Waitlist. I must know you to be a strong, seasoned hiker who has recently hiked 8+ miles and 3,000’+ elevation gain at a moderate pace. Priority will be given to folks with whom I’ve hiked before and/or who are vouched for by others whom I know.


MEETING PLACE: Rio Road Park and Ride.

This is a point-to-point hike that starts on the east side of Andrew Molera SP and ends at Pfieffer Big Sur SP and that will require a 4.1 mile car shuttle.

We will carpool to the entrance entrance to Pfieffer Big Sur SP. The park is 26.2 miles south of Carmel (from Rio Road) on Hwy 1. We will stop at a wide shoulder on the right side of the road just past the park entrance. This shoulder is across Hwy 1 from the Big Sur Lodge and visitor center that can bee seen through the trees on the left (when headed south). We will park some vehicles here and carpool to the trailhead at Andrew Molera.

If you are coming from the south, plan to be at the Pfeiffer Big Sur SP Hwy 1 shoulder by 7:50 am.


Please be aware that we expect you to take responsibility for your safety on the trails. You assume all the risks of this entirely voluntary Monterey Bay Area Hiking Group [MBAHG] hike. You are responsible for ensuring that you are in sufficient fitness and health to participate in this hike, and to bring appropriate water, food, clothing, first aid, and navigation equipment for the conditions. The MBAHG and the individual hike organizers make no representation about the quality, safety, or supervision of these activities. A “Yes” RSVP indicates your agreement to the foregoing as well as the terms set forth under the “PAGES” tab on the MBAHG home page.


February 23
7:00 am - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Rio Road Park and Ride
Hwy 1 and Rio Rd intersection (by Starbucks)
Carmel, CA us
+ Google Map