Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park : DAY USE
PLEASE REMEMBER!All park features are protected by law and may not be disturbed.
Stay on trails to avoid poison oak throughout the park.
Do not move rocks, branches, or other material in the Big Sur River. This helps protect the Steelhead habitat.
Please do not feed wildlife.
Except for service animals, pets may not use trails. Dogs must be on a six-foot leash at all times.
$10 per car, per day.
Senior Citizen Discount: Age 62 or older, $1.00 off, except buses over 9 passenger capacity.
Disabled Discount Pass Holders: $5
Distinguished Veterans Pass Holders: no charge
Golden Bear Pass Holders: no charge
Limited Use Golden Bear Pass Holders: no charge during off season (Labor Day through Memorial Day)
Tour Buses: $50 (10-24 people), $100 (25+ people)
State Parks Pass holders must present pass at kiosk upon entry to park. Most State Park passes can be purchased at the Monterey District office at 2211 Garden Road, Monterey, CA 93940. California Explorer and Golden Poppy annual passes may be purchased at the Pfeiffer Big Sur entrance kiosk.
The park is open to day use visitors from 8 a.m. to sunset. The entrance station opens at 8:00 a.m. and closing times vary. When the entrance station is closed, visitors are required to pay camping and day use fees by following the self-registration instructions.
Motor vehicles must observe the posted speed limit of 10 mph throughout the park.
Parking within the park is permitted only in designated lots and campsites.
There are a number of family picnic areas in the park, many next to the Big Sur River. Charcoal grills are available. Additionally, there 2 reservable group picnic sites with grills and tables can accommodate up to 100-122 people per site. For more information on how to reserve one of these group picnic sites, please visit the Special Event page for this park.
Dogs are not allowed on any State Park trails, but they are allowed in the picnic day use areas, campground and on paved roads throughout the park. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Do not leave your dog unattended at any time. See Dogs in Big Sur for more information on where to take your dog.
Service Dogs: California State Parks promotes and supports equal access for park visitors of all abilities. Download the publication Service Animals in State Parks for more information.
Cool off in the Big Sur River. Camp at one of our premium riverfront campsites. Swimming in the Big Sur River has been a popular family activity for over 75 years. Diving head or feet first in the Big Sur River is not permitted. Moving rocks and building dams is also prohibited, as it damages the steelhead habitat.
Bicycles and Scooters
Bicycles and scooters are alllowed on the paved roads of the park only, not on trails. Children under 18 years old are required to wear helmets while riding anything with wheels.
There are a number of trails in the park. See the TRAILS page for more information.
Ernst Ewoldsen Nature Center
Located along the Warden’s Path on the south side of the Big Sur River. Open for visitors during peak season Friday-Sunday from 10:00 a.m.– 2:00 p.m. Come discover what lives here in the park!
Around June 15, two temporary seasonal footbridges are installed to allow pedestrians to cross the Big Sur River. Bridges are removed around October 31. The exact dates are determined by the Department of Fish and Game each year.
Freshwater and ocean fishing in the Big Sur area is highly restricted. Catch and release steelhead fishing in the Big Sur River is allowed only under certain conditions in the winter. Call the Department of Fish & Wildlife's Steelhead Fishing Hotline at 831-649-2886 for the current status of fishing in the Big Sur River and other Big Sur coast streams. See Department of Fish and Wildlife Fishing Regulations for more information.
Photograph courtesy of Sharon Pieniak