Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

EFFECTIVE (November 23, 2020) - Thank you for your patience and continued support of California State Parks as we work to limit your risk for exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be dynamic and fluid. As such, information on this webpage may change. Prior to visiting us, please check this webpage again right before you visit the park to find out if new guidelines are in place.

As a reminder, Californians are encouraged to avoid road trips and stay close to home, maintain physical distancing, wear a face covering when a physical distance of six feet cannot be maintained from others, and avoid congregating. Everyone has the responsibility to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Visitors should also abide by their local county health orders.

Here are some additional guidelines for locals visiting Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park:

What is open now?
  • Day use hiking and overnight camping.
  • Advance RESERVATIONS for camping are required: To make a reservation, visit www.ReserveCalifornia.com or call 800-444-7275. For more information about camping visit www.parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.  We do not allow early registration prior to 2 p.m.

What is currently closed?
  • At this time the park nature center, campfire center, and guided tours are closed.

Are there any new visitor guidelines?

Yes, please see below:
  • Stay Safer at 6 Feet: No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. No more than three households in a group is permitted. Mixing between group gatherings, large gatherings or parties is not allowed. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people to allow for the required physical distance.
  • Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Restrooms will be temporarily closed in order to keep up with cleaning schedules.
  • Stay Covered: The state requires you to wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more. For details, please visit www.covid19.ca.gov.

Statewide, California State Parks continues to work with locals on a phased and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. However, the situation remains fluid and park operations can change at any time. The need for Californians to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the outdoors remains critical.

For information on statewide current closures and available services, please visit parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve.

Phone Number

(831) 667-1112

Max. Trailer Lengths

Trailer: 27 Feet
Camper/Motorhome: 32 Feet

Park Hours

           8 a.m. to Sunset

Dogs Allowed?

Yes
Dogs allowed on the Warden's Path and River Path, and in day-use lots and campground. Dogs not allowed on all other trails.

Driving Directions to Pfeiffer Big Sur SP

The park is located 26 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1.

Camping and Lodging

Visitors will be able to reserve campsites and lodging six months in advance from the current date. Bookings may extend from the arrival date to the desired departure date – based on availability and the park’s maximum stay rules.

Upcoming Park Events

No events scheduled at this moment.

OVERNIGHT FACILITIES
En route Campsites
Family Campsites
Group Campsites
Hike or Bike Campsites
Lodging
RV Dump Station
RV Access
TRAIL USE
Hiking Trails
DAY-USE ACTIVITIES & FACILITIES
Historical/Cultural Site
Picnic Areas
Exhibits and Programs
Guided Tours
Interpretive Exhibits
Swimming
Nature & Wildlife Viewing
Family Programs
OTHER FACILITIES & VISITOR INFORMATION
Food Service
Camp Store
Parking
Restrooms / Showers
Restrooms
Drinking Water Available

BIG SUR AREA - WHAT'S OPEN UPDATE 11-19-20

California State Parks has reopened Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Andrew Molera State Park, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for active recreation. Some walking trails are open, and parking is available to vehicles on a limited basis. Social distancing protocols of maintaining a 6-ft distance and wearing masks are required. See details below.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is open for camping. Advance RESERVATIONS are needed - see righthand sidebar for more information.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns: The parking lot, restroom, Partington Cove Trail and Waterfall Overlook Trail at Julia Pfeiffer Burns are now open.  All trails east of Highway 1 (including Ewoldsen, Canyon, Tan Bark and Tin House) remain closed until further notice due to damage caused by the Dolan Fire. The environmental campsites have also re-opened.  Reservations are required.  

Limekiln Beach and restroom facilities are open for day use.  NOTE:  Limekiln Campground will be closed through April 2021. Hiking trails are CLOSED due to fire damage.

The Pt Sur State Historic Park reopened for tours on October 10, 2020. Please visit www.pointsur.org or call 831-625-4419 for tour information.

Also opened is the Soberanes Canyon Trail in Garrapata State Park –located on the east side of Highway 1.  California State Parks continues to work to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved.

Other Closures:

  • The Andrew Molera campground remains closed due to prior flood damage

  • Limekiln Campground is closed through April 1, 2021 due to fire damage

  • John Little State Natural Reserve

About Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

THERE IS NO BEACH OR OCEAN ACCESS IN THIS PARK

The turn-off for popular Pfeiffer Beach is located on Highway 1, approximately one mile south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park's entrance. Heading south from the State Park entrance, it is the second right turn. Pfeiffer Beach is not a California State Park and charges a separate entrance fee.

On the western slope of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the peaks of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park tower high above the Big Sur River Gorge, where the Big Sur River enters this popular park. Walk along the banks of the river and among the redwoods, conifers, oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, maples, alders and willows. A large campground accommodates hikers, bikers, car campers and RVers. Many campsites are located along the Big Sur River. Wildlife includes bobcats, black-tail deer, gray squirrels, raccoons, skunks, and birds, such as dippers and belted kingfishers. Hikers can enjoy many scenic trails, including a self-guided nature trail. Big Sur Lodge is located in the park .The lodge has 61 guest rooms, a conference center, cafe, and a grocery store.

Weather
CHECK CURRENT WEATHER
The weather can be changeable. Layered clothing is advised. In winter, overnight temperatures can range in the 30s-50s (Fahrenheit). Winter daytime temperatures can be low 50s-mid 70s. In summer, overnight temperatures can range in the 50s-70s, with daytime temperatures typically in the 70s-80s. Summer mornings bring fog, which usually burns off by midday.

Location
Near mile marker 47.2 on Highway 1, the park is located 26 miles south of Carmel.
GOOGLE MAP

swimming hole

Photographs courtesy of Sharon Pieniak