Pfeiffer big sur state park Campsites Photo

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Imagine standing amidst towering redwoods, breathing in the fresh air, and hearing the gentle rustle of leaves overhead. You’re in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, a paradise for nature lover and adventure seekers alike. This park is a must-visit destination on California’s stunning coastline and offers an intoxicating blend of natural beauty, rich history, and culture.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park offers a variety of trails for everyone, from leisurely strollers to seasoned hikers. The Pfeiffer Falls Trail is a moderate 2-mile hike that takes you through enthralling redwoods and ends with a mesmerizing waterfall. For those seeking panoramic views of the Big Sur Valley, the Valley View Trail is a delightful 1.5-mile trek. If you’re up for a challenge, the Buzzard’s Roost Trail is a 5-mile hike that rewards you with breathtaking coastal vistas.

How to get to the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park:

Pfeiffer big sur state park Direction

I understand that planning a trip can sometimes feel overwhelming, but don’t worry. I’m here to guide you through your journey to the mesmerizing Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park in California. So sit back, relax, and let me show you the way.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is in Monterey County on California’s Central Coast. It’s approximately a 3-hour drive south from San Francisco or a 6-hour drive north from Los Angeles.

If you’re starting your journey from San Francisco, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Get on US-101 S from Market St.
  2. Follow US-101 S and CA-1 S to Cabrillo Hwy in Monterey County.
  3. Turn right onto Cabrillo Hwy.
  4. Continue on Cabrillo Hwy to your destination.

And if you’re coming from Los Angeles:

  1. Get on US-101 N from S Broadway.
  2. Follow US-101 N to CA-1 N/Cabrillo Hwy in San Luis Obispo County.
  3. Follow Cabrillo Hwy to your destination in Monterey County.

You’ll know you’re close when you start seeing towering redwoods and hear the distant sound of rushing water. Trust me, it’s a sight (and sound) that never fails to take my breath away!

Parking at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park:

I know parking isn’t the most exciting part of any adventure. It’s one of those mundane details that, while necessary, doesn’t exactly spark joy. I’ve been there, too, circling around, trying to find a spot while the anticipation of the journey ahead builds. But don’t worry—I’m here to make this task less overwhelming for you.

At Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, you’ll find ample parking space to accommodate visitors like you. The parking lots are well-maintained and marked, ensuring a hassle-free experience. Whether you’re driving a compact car or a large RV, there’s a spot for you.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Activities:

Pfeiffer big sur state park Red Wood Tree Photo

Our guide is more than just a list of activities; it’s an invitation to immerse yourself in the heartbeat of Big Sur — discovering, preserving, and savoring its every moment.

Campsites Activities:

Pfeiffer big sur state park Campsites Photo

En Route Campsites:

When the call of the wild can’t wait, en-route campsites become your oasis. They offer the convenience of car camping and are pet-friendly. These sites are situated perfectly for a sunrise peek at the horizon to set the tone for the adventure ahead.

Family Campsites:

At Pfeiffer Big Sur, you can unpack your RV or your family’s sense of wonder at the designated family campgrounds and connect with nature while enjoying modern amenities. These sites are classic, offering a campfire setting ideal for toasting marshmallows and telling stories.

Group Campsites:

For those who believe in the more, the merrier, group campsites provide the perfect spot to revel in the ambient chorus of the woods with your favorite people. Pre-book these areas if your party contains 9 or more individuals for a seamless adventure.

Hike or Bike Campsites:

Two combined passions — nature and sport — lead to these niche spots designed for the avid hiker or the passionate biker. A perfect hideaway for the active soul who values the silence and solitude of the woods after a day on the trails.


Those wishing to experience Big Sur minus the canvas can reserve a cabin at the park, a nest woven into nature but minus the roughing it part. These cabins are a haven for a rustic stay accompanied by modern facilities.

RV Dump Station and RV Access:

Prepare for the next leg of your journey with the convenience of RV services that ensure a smooth transition to your next venture. Easily accessible and provided close to RV sites, these stations simplify and clean up the mobility of your prowess.

Trail Use:

Hiking Trails:

Pfeiffer Big Sur boasts a tapestry of trails, each promising a different adventure. From the breezy paths of the Valley View Trail that are perfect for the beginner or child in town to the challenging trails of the Mt. Manuel Trail that promise panoramic vistas, there is a footpath that suits every level and desire.

Normal Day Activities And Facilities:

Pfeiffer big sur state park Water Falls

Historical/Cultural Site:

Within the park, you’ll find the Big Sur Lodge Historic District, a remnant of the Civilian Conservation Corps era, steeped in rich history and an architectural feast for the eyes. It offers a window into the park’s past and a moment to appreciate preservation in action.

Picnic Areas:

Sometimes, a day in the wilderness simply calls for a leisurely meal. Picnic areas at Big Sur are scattered throughout — think of green meadows and under the canopy of ancient trees. An everyday activity becomes a cherished moment when the setting becomes as satisfying as the feast.

Exhibits and Programs:

To understand Big Sur is to understand its ecosystem and history. Engage with the exhibits and programs offered at the park’s information center, and find a deeper connection with the land that will enrich your explorations.

Guided Tours:

For the enthusiastic learner or the unsure novice, guided tours can lend a structured approach to your discovery. Park rangers and seasoned naturalists stand ready to guide you through the heart of Big Sur’s attractions.

Interpretive Exhibits:

Immersion into the essence of Big Sur finds its grounding in these interpretive exhibits, which are strategically placed to educate and elucidate the unique nuances every turn provides.


Take a break and cool off in the Big Sur River. The swimming area is a favorite among families and offers safe, refreshing fun amid the breathtaking landscape.

Nature & Wildlife Viewing:

Big Sur is a sanctuary for a variety of species. Sharp-eyed visitors can spot California condors cruising the sky, river otters playing in the waters, and other wildlife that calls this verdant expanse home.

Family Programs:

Gather the little ones for an educational adventure customized for family participation — such programs can foster an early appreciation for the outdoors and conservation.

Other Facilities:

Pfeiffer big sur state park Lodge

Food Service:

A delightful assortment of dining options awaits you near the park. From a casual lunch to serene evening dining, you’ll find a menu appropriate for every appetite and the appreciation of a good meal in good company.

Camp Store:

Convenience meets camaraderie at the camp store, where you can stock up on essentials, gear, and memorabilia. It’s a hub for campsite communities and a place where tales of the day are vividly retold.


Clean, well-maintained restrooms and showers offer a touch of comfort at the end of an active day for campers and day-trippers alike.

Drinking Water:

Nature’s playground makes its water available, and drinking stations are set up near most restrooms and at the camp store, ensuring hydration is always in reach.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is more than a destination; it’s an experience — a haven where you can escape from the mundane and reconnect with the extraordinary grandeur of the planet. Whether you’re pitching a tent under the stars, hiking the trails, or simply immersing yourself in nature’s peace, the park offers a tapestry of moments that, when strung together, create a memory of Big Sur that is uniquely yours.

Ready to pen your chapter in Big Sur’s story? Remember, the adventure begins with a step into the unknown. Take it and revel in the magnificence of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Pfeiffer big sur state park Photo

Can I bring my pet to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park?

Yes, pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet and under control at all times.

Are there any restrictions on camping equipment?

Yes, for detailed information about what equipment is allowed or not allowed, please visit the park’s official website or contact the park directly.

Is there a limit to how many days I can camp at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park?

Yes, the maximum length of stay at any one park is 30 days in a calendar year.

Can I make a reservation for camping or lodging?

Yes, reservations can be made online through the park’s official website or by calling the park directly.

What are the park hours?

The park is open 24 hours a day, but some facilities and areas may have specific operating hours.

I hope this guide has been helpful in planning your trip to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Remember, every great adventure starts with a single step. So go on, take that step, and let the beauty of nature embrace you. Safe travels, my friend!

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