Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch

Garland Ranch Regional Park

Big Sur Coastline, California

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Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch


  • The wide oak-covered parking area in Kahn Ranch. Parking and access is by permit only.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
  • A sign marks the trailhead.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
  • The first portion of the hike follows Hitchcock Canyon Road.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
  • There are residents living along the walk. This barn marks the fork between the hiking trail from Garland Ranch and the trail from the parking area.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
  • A wide closed building marks the point where the foot trail leaves Hitchcock Canyon Road.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
  • The foot trail to the falls goes through a lush canyon along Hitchcock Canyon Creek.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
  • Fern Falls.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
  • Fern Falls.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
  • Fern Falls.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
  • Fern Falls.- Fern Falls via Kahn Ranch
Overview + Weather
Beautiful trail. Diverse wildlife along trail.
Very limited access. Requires obtaining a permit in advance.
Big Sur Coastline, CA
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
105.00 ft (32.00 m)
Parking Pass: 
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Total Distance: 
0.80 mi (1.29 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
602.00 ft (183.49 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Fern Falls is an incredibly scenic 20-foot waterfall along Hitchcock Canyon Creek that is part of the Kahn Ranch addition to Garland Ranch Regional Park.

Though there is a strenuous hiking trail that accesses the falls from a starting point in Garland Ranch, the easiest and most direct way to access the falls is through the Kahn Ranch addition and a round-trip hike of less than a mile.

Accessing the falls through Kahn Ranch requires obtaining a permit to grant legal access through the private drive. Outside of the trail between the parking area and the falls, there is no hiking, bicycling, or other use allowed.

The hike first traces a closed fire road with a couple active residences before veering onto a foot trail that follows Hitchcock Canyon Creek. Signs warn to be cautious of newts crossing the trail, and newts and turtles can be seen in a wide pool below the falls. While the waterfall has a year-round flow and lies in a beautiful scenic canyon area, restrictions limiting access ensure that it remains quiet, and visitors are likely to have the area to themselves.

Only 10 cars are admitted per day. Rules regarding obtaining permits and their use may be seen here. And permits may be obtained through Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks Department here or by calling 831.372.3196, ext. 108.

The waterfall is open from sunrise until sunset daily.

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(2 within a 30 mile radius)

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(51 within a 30 mile radius)

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