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Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Buzzard's Roost Trail: 4.8 miles rountrip loop, moderate. Along shady redwoods to a switchback trail through tan oaks and bay trees, peaking at Pfeiffer Ridge with beautiful coastal views.

Pfeiffer FallsPfeiffer Falls Trail: 1.4 miles roundtrip from trailhead. Easy hike. A scenic hike along Pfeiffer Big Sur Creek through one of the park's finest redwood groves ends at a 60-foot high waterfall.

Valley View Trail: 2 miles roundtrip from trailhead or 1/2 mile from Pfeiffer Falls; easy. To beautiful views of Point Sur and the Big Sur Valley.

Oak Grove Trail: 3 miles roundtrip from the entrance to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, easy to moderate hike. This trail intersects with the Pfeiffer Falls trail. There is a variety of ecosystems beginning with redwood groves, open oak woodlands, and dry chaparral.

Mount Manuel Trail: Beginning at the Oak Grove Trail, 8 miles roundtrip, strenuous. A steep, beautiful climb to the top of 3,379 foot Manuel Peak.

Gorge Trail: 1 mile into a steep narrow gorge with huge granite rocks and swimming holes.

State Parks activities, seasonal guided hikes, Junior Ranger and Ranger Cubs program
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park brochure with map - PDF
Visit Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park website
Dog Regulations


Andrew Molera State Park


Andrew Molera State Park is located a few miles north of Fernwood and has some fantastic hiking and beachcombing. A short drive or a bicycle ride through the Big Sur Valley would be appropriate.

Creamery Meadow to Molera Beach: 2 miles roundtrip, easy. A stroll through Creamery Meadow to a driftwood covered Andrew Molera beach.

Molera 8-mile loop: 8 miles roundtrip, moderate to strenuous. A combination of the Ridge Trail, the Panorama Trail and the Bluffs Trail with great coastal views and beach access.

Andrew Molera State Park BeachEast Molera Trail: 3.2 mile round trip. The trailhead begins about one-third of a mile south of the park entrance on the east side of Highway 1. Sweeping views of the Big Sur valley. Hike through coastal oak forest.

River Loop Trail: 4 mile loop. This trail offers the opportunity to take a dip in the Big Sur river.

Some of the trails at Andrew Molera have mountain bike access. Directly across Highway 1 from Andrew Molera is the entrance to the Old Coast Road, which is also good for mountain bike riding.

Ventana Wildlife Society has their California condor field office and Big Sur Discovery Center in Andrew Molera State Park. They often offer guided birding adventures so check the local bulletin board for their schedule.

Birder's checklist of all the birds known to exist in Big Sur.
Andrew Molera State Park Trail Map
Visit Andrew Molera State Park website
Dog Regulations
Google Street View



Ventana Wildlife Society has their office and bird ornithology lab in Andrew Molera State Park.
Click Here to download a birder's checklist of all the birds known to exist in Big Sur.



Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a few miles south of Fernwood but worth the drive to see the beautiful McWay Waterfall and to enjoy the Ewoldsen trail.

McWay Falls, JP Burns State ParkMcWay Waterfall Trail: .64 mile roundtrip, easy. A quick walk to an overlook facing McWay Falls, an incredible 80-foot waterfall that drops directly onto the sandy beach.

Ewoldsen Trail: 4.5 miles roundtrip, moderate to strenuous. A loop trail starting in the redwood forest by McWay Creek and climbing to incredible coastal views. Ewoldsen Trail

Partington Cove Trail: 3/4 mile - easy. About a quarter mile down from Highway 1 to Partington Cove tunnel which takes you to Partington Landing. Built in the late 1800's to ship redwood and oak lumber to San Francisco. Later used for boot legging, I'm told. Partington Cove trail map and more information.

Ewoldsen Trail - Photo by Brock BradfordTan Bark Trail: 5.6 mile loop. Moderate to hard. The Tan Bark trail begins 2 miles north of the park entrance on Highway 1. A strenuous loop into the hills above Big Sur with amazing views along the coast as far as the eye can see. This tough climb away from Highway 1 will reward you with breathtaking views. The trail starts along Partington Creek - on the south side of Partington Canyon.

Tanbark Trail & Tin House Trail

Partington Cove offers a hike to the beach and is also access to Tan Bark and Tin House trail. Pick up a digital brochure PDF.

January through February
Saturday and Sunday
10:00 AM - Noon

California State Parks is proud to present Ranger guided whale watching and California condor spotting. Come celebrate with us the migration of the California Gray Whales off the Big Sur Coast and keep an eye on the sky for soaring condors. Meet at the McWay Falls overlook trail at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Walk out to the point. Drop in. Rangers will be available with binoculars. Weather permitting.

Visit JP Burns State Park website
Google Street View


USFS Pfeiffer Beach


Pfeiffer BeachPfeiffer Beach offers great sunset views and short hikes along the beach.

Directions: Travel 1.5 miles south on Highway 1, take 2nd right after the Ranger Station at single lane road. Two miles down a single lane road to the beach.

Dogs are allowed on Pfeiffer beach.

Visit Pfeiffer Beach website

Pfeiffer Beach - photo by Stan Russell



Garrapata State Park


Garrapata State ParkGarrapata State Park is located between 7 miles south of Carmel and about 20 miles north of Fernwood between Mile Markers 63.0 - 67.2. Garrapata State Park is 2,879 acres between Andrew Molera State Park to the south and Point LobosState Reserve to the north. Beautiful, rugged coastal bluff hiking, beach hiking and hiking on the Rocky Ridge Trail and Soberanes Canyon Trail.
Day use only.

Rocky Ridge Trail: 6 miles out and back or a 4.6 mile loop.
Sobranes Canyon Trail: 2.2 mile out and back or a 4.6 mile loop.
Sobranes Point Trail: 2 mile loop

Garrapata State Park brochure with hiking trails (PDF).
Visit Garrapata State Park website
Google Street View


Point Sur State Historic Park & Point Sur Lightstation

Point Sur LightstationPoint Sur State Historic Park and Point Sur Lightstation is located about 7 miles north of Fernwood at Mile Marker 54.1. You can't miss it! It's a big rock on the point with a lighthouse and structures on top. Point Sur Lightstation is visible from Andrew Molera State Park. Although they do offer tours, you cannot be unescorted in Point Sur State Historic Park. Point Sur Lightstation offers tours year round.

TOUR SCHEDULE
:
Winter
(November through March):
Saturdays and Sundays : 10:00 AM
Wednesdays: 1:00 PM

Summer
(April through October):
Satudays & Wednesdays: 10:00 AM and 2:00
Sundays: 10:00 AM
Thursdays (July and August) 10:00 AM

Visit Point Sur website for tours


Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National ForestLos Padres National Forest offers millions of acres of hiking and is mostly accessed by 'backpackers' but there are many trails available to you from roadside turnouts adjacent to Highway 1; Salmon Creek, Soda Springs Trail, Mill Creek, Pacific Valley Bluff Trail, Sand Dollar Beach, Jade Cove, to name a few. There are many resources and books available to help you if you are interested in backpacking.

Sand Dollar Beach & Jade Cove: Sand Dollar Day Use area is located on Highway 1 34 miles south of Fernwood at Mile Marker 13.8. Beautiful place for beachcombing and hunting for Big Sur Jade stones. Rugged cliffs overlooking the ocean.

Visit Sand Dollar Beach/Jade Cove website
Visit Los Padres National Forest website
Visit Ventana Wilderness Alliance website for backcountry trail information.

Contact Information
To get the latest trail information for all of Los Padres National Forest call 831.385-5434

For local Big Sur trail information and for getting your backcountry permits and where to pick them up in Big Sur, call the "Big Sur Station" at 831.667-2315

 


Point Lobos State Natural Reserve

Point LobosPoint Lobos State Natural Reserve is located just south of Carmel and about 25 miles north of Fernwood. Offers some of the most spectacular coves and meadows available in Big Sur. Day Use only.
Cypress Grove Trail: .75 to 3 miles or more round trip. Plenty of offshoots and coves to explore.

Visit Point Lobos State Natural Reserve website
Google Street View

 


 

Looking for a local tour guide to maximize your time in Big Sur? Visit our Miscellaneous Services page to find local, knowledgeable (hiking) guides who can help you explore the beauty and wonder of the Big Sur region.

The Ventana Wilderness Alliance maintains an On-Line Trail Conditions Report of most, if not all, trails in the Ventana Wilderness Area. This is the place to check for the most current online information about trails.

PDF
Download our local Big Sur Visitors Guide in Adobe PDF.

Click Here to download a birder's checklist of all the birds known to exist in Big Sur.



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