Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
This park is located in beautiful Big Sur along the world famous Hwy 1, a coastal road with magnificent views of the ocean. The park is on the western slope of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The nearest city is Carmel-by-the-sea which is 26 miles north of the park.
You might notice as you drive through Big Sur that there are many features with the name Pfieffer. Pfieffer Big Sur State park was named after John Pfieffer the son of Michael and Barbara Pfieffer, immigrants from France who settled in Sycamore Canyon in 1869. They were farmers and ranchers and owned a lot of land. John was self taught botanist who loved to study the local plants and animals. He lived with his wife in a cabin along the north bank of the Big Sur River. This park would not have existed if it wasn't for John Pfieffer. He was offered $210,000 by a Los Angeles developer for his land in 1930. Three years later Pfeiffer sold 700 acres to the state of California, the park was named in his honor.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a park that has it all, well almost everything it doesn't have beach access. If you feel the need to getting your feet wet, walk on over to the Big Sur River that runs through the park. During summer this river is filled with children and adults splashing, and relaxing in the cold water. The river portion that runs through the park does not offer a lot of swimming opportunities since it is not deep enough. The current however is strong enough to take you and your inflatable tube on a relaxing ride.
The park has a 60-foot waterfall, Pfeiffer falls which can be access by the Pfeiffer Falls Trail, a 2 mile roundtrip. The hike is moderate-strenous with an elevation gain of 750 feet. There is a platform where you can view the waterfall only a few feet away.
If you are lucky you might see some wild turkeys walking through the the park scavenging for food. They are not shy and they are accustom to people. There are other wild life around the area such as bobcats, mountain lions, skunks, black-tail deer, birds and raccoons.
ADDRESS/DIRECTIONS: 47225 Highway 1, Big Sure, CA 93920
The park is located on Hwy 1 near Mile marker 47.2. It is 26 miles south of Carmel.
ADMISSION: $10 per car, per day. Check website for more updated prices
HOURS OF OPERATIONS: The park is open half hour before sunrise and closes half hour after sunset. The Kiosk opens at 8:00 am.
AMENITIES: Campground, general store, group campground, Accessible trail and other features, campground hike & bike, laundry, picnic area, parking for day use, restrooms, RV sanitation station and shows. There is also Big Sur Lodge and restaurant as well as cabins for rent.
RECOMMENDATIONS: Check out the redwood trees and the river. The park is becoming more popular, if you wish to camp I highly recommended that you reserve a campsite through www.reservecalifornia.com
BEST TIME TO GO: Anytime.
WARNING: There is minimal cell reception on Hwy 1 or in the park. This park has no beach access.
There is a variety of trees that grow in the park, from conifers to oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, maples, alders and willows. The beauty of this park are the redwoods. As you walk through the park you can't help but feel small next to the towering redwoods. Surprisingly Pfieffer Big Sur redwoods are significantly smaller (250 feet) then their Northern redwood counterpart (350 ft). The reason for this is that Big Sur climate is warmer and drier than Northern California.
The park has a developed campground with hot showers and laundry. Its not often you will find a laundry in a campground. If you want to have a romantic getaway there is the Big Sur Lodge. The Big Sur Lodge offers 62 cottage style rooms. There is a seasonal pool, general store and a gift shop. If you are hungry you can enjoy a Delicious meal at Homestead Restaurant inside Big Sur Lodge. If you just need your coffee fix the Expresso Bar has coffee and pastries.
Everything you need is in the park so there is no need to leave unless you want to go sightseeing and explore Big Sur. This is a great place to camp if you never camped before. It offers the "comforts" of home while enjoying the outdoors.