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Click to enlarge this picture landscape from the Big Sur PCH 1 photo tour, Jade Cove
Information: There is no parking lot and little development at Jade Cove (805-434-1996) other than signage and turnstiles to get you over the fence, just watch for the Jade Cove Beach Recreation Area, Los Padres National Forest sign and park your vehicle off the highway and have a nice day. Jade cove is a nice place to grab the camera get out take a little coastal bluff hike and do some rock hopping on the wonderful rugged beach, if you can find some jade or other collectable rocks to take home that’s gravy! Jade Cove provides outstanding opportunities for rock-hounding and diving for jade; you might find some of that highly prized green rock if you go at the right time, know what to look for and how to find Big Sur Jade at Jade Cove. The bluffs are great for hiking and nature study and Jade Cove is a designated hang-glider site.
Near Points of Interest: Jade cove is famous for the rock-hounding, scuba diving, hang-gliding, and paragiliding but this area is the heart of the Big Sur Coast and offers a virtual treasure trove of outdoor recreational sports opportunities. A good place to get maps, and information is the nearby Pacific Valley Station (U.S. Forest Service telephone: 805-927-4211), they also have restrooms and public telephones and are located 1 mile north on the east side of Pacific Coast Highway 1. Many outdoor sports enthusiasts of all kinds make Limekiln State Park, Plaskett Creek Campground or Kirk Creek Campgrounds their base camps for their excursions and activities. The steep picturesque mountain country is popular with hang gliders and paragliders; the coastal bluffs above Jade Cove are a designated landing area. Nearby back country roads and trails lead back to the wilderness for 4x4, mountain bike and horseback riding backpacking and hiking fans. Pacific ocean fishermen, surfers and scuba divers all come here for the outdoor recreation opportunities as do kayakers and other small watercraft owners.
Beach Access and Day Use Parks & Picnic Areas: For jade hunting, tide-pooling, and rock-hoping the rocky beach at Jade Cove is fine but just 1 mile north if you are looking for a place to play and lay it's impossible to beat the long white sandy beach at Sand Dollar Beach but 6 miles north Mill Creek Picnic Ground which has a quite nice small picnic spot and easier access to the beach area another a close option 7 miles north is Kirk Creek Campground, it has a nice short trail that leads down to the beach which is a popular spot for surfing, rock fishing and beachcombing. Another mile north is Limekiln State Park. One of the best beaches on the Big Sur coast is Pfeiffer State Beach it is 33.5 miles, the turnoff is at Sycamore Canyon; another great long white sandy Big Sur Beach which is popular is just 1 mile north Sand Dollar Beach which provides easy access to a large picnic area with restrooms and barbecue grills on the top of the bluff, there is a nice long big sandy beach at the bottom of some steep stairs, Sand Dollar Day Use Picnic Area and Beach is a little over a mile north.
Near places to Eat: My favorite Big Sur Ocean View restaurant Nepenthe is 31 miles north on the scenic PCH; Lucia is 11 miles north and has a very nice ocean view restaurant (try the fish & chips) and the closest restaurant to the south is the Whale Watcher Cafe at Gorda which is 6 miles or Treebones which is about 5 miles.
Near Hotel Lodgings & Resorts: Lucia Lodge 11 miles ahead to the north and the Gorda Springs Cottages are 6 miles south.
Near Campgrounds: One of my very favorite Big Sur Campgrounds, Plaskett Creek Campground, is just 1mile to the north. Only 5 miles to the south and offering very unique camping is Treebones Big Sur Yurt Resort. The closest other campground is to the north 8 miles Kirk Creek Campground; the next closest one to the north would be Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park which is 25 miles north.
History: Historically this has been a famous place to pick up Jade, so the place is pretty picked out but the storms are always turning up a new supply so who knows, you could get lucky.
Gasoline, Public Restrooms, Supplies: Closest public restrooms are at the Pacific Valley Ranger Station 1 mile north on the east side of Pacific Coast Highway 1; the first gas to the north is at Lucia about 11 miles. To the south gasoline and everything are at Gorda Springs.
Other Facilities, Services or Activities:
On the coast in this area the traveler services and tourist facilities are sparse and spread out and this won't change for the next 31 miles.
look for this road sign