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“Beautiful Park...great hikes...nice waterfalls.”

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Ranked #8 of 33 things to do in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed July 28, 2011

My kids and I came for one day and hiked a couple of trails. The park is filled with wild life, squirrels, turkeys, birds, & reptiles. The waterfall was worth the hike. The weather was pleasantly mild, very conducive to a good hike. Some trails were undergoing some repairs or upgrades, so the markings were a little off. Even so we found our way around. We'd like to come back and stay at the lodge next time when we have more time to spend here.

1  Thank nadomom2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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523 - 527 of 640 reviews

Reviewed July 28, 2011

My husband, son, and I spent the afternoon at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Our admission was free since we had visited another state park in the morning. We had lunch by the river which was very nice. Since we only had time for one hike we decided to do Valley View and Falls. The trail has changed recently due to some trail damage and it is much longer than previous. We hiked through some amazing coastal redwoods up to the falls and were rewarded with the falls to ourselves for at least 30 minutes. Very relaxing. We continued on the steep trail to the Valley View. There were several times when I was tempted to say, "seen it- view can't be any different/better at the very top." Boy was I wrong...we pushed on all the way to the top and were rewarded with any awesome view... could see part of the PCH... The best part was the bench at the top!!! Very comfortable place to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Saw several deer on the way down.

1  Thank AngandNick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2011

We always stop at this park when driving on Highway 1 on our way to Hearst Castle for a picnic and a short hike to Pfeiffer Falls or Valley Overview (about an hour round trip). Be aware though that both hikes are uphill, so it may be strenuous to some. The Falls are best early in the season and Valley Overview is enjoyable on a sunny day. It may get hot on the last portion of the hike, bring water as you will need it.

Thank Drarig
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2011

I just returned from a 2-night camping trip with my 7 & 10 year old daughters. Wish we had longer to visit Pfeiffer Beach & Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park...next time! I can't believe I've lived 3 hours from Big Sur all my life & never visited until now! We camped in site #158 and would be happy with this site on future visits. Roomy, and direct access to a fun stream for the kids. Relatively little poison oak, compared with alot of the other sites. Most of the river sites looked nice, but check out campsitephotos.com to get an idea of how much poison oak you are dealing with in each site. Sites #40-60 had tons of it! Sites #1-40 are under the redwood canopy. Beautiful, but very shaded and more traffic due to being closer to park entrance. River sites in the Wayland loop are all nice, but I would avoid sites #202 & 218 due to direct access to a trailhead & little privacy. Sites #120-153 were pretty jam packed with the exception of the river sites in that loop. Park rangers patrolled regularly; very friendly. Even though the 200+ campsites were full, we felt like it wasn't crowded. At times, we were the only ones riding our bikes through the park. BRING A BIKE!! Tons of paved roads and beautiful setting. Lots of fun river swimming/wading and crystal clean. Showers were pretty clean and had hot water. Hiked the Valley View trail & out to Pfeiffer Falls; lovely but I'm sure spectacular in the spring after rainy season. Our morning of departure, I discovered I had a flat tire & found a nail in the tire. Park maintenance came out to my site & patched it for me. Super nice staff, gorgeous settng & awesome family atmosphere. We are already anticipating another trip!

16  Thank firsttimerstomaui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 6, 2011

We stayed at campground 42 and were quite pleased -- there was an open area with movable picnic tables and then there was a large redwood that was off to the side that provided a great amount of shade where we placed our tent which fit nicely (a 3 person tent).

Bear in mind that there is a lot of poison oak in the area (both at the campsites and on the trails), so be prepared for that and know what it looks like so you can avoid it.

People camping at the site tend to be families and other car/RV campers who are not used to camping and are not always conscientious of things such as animals getting into food they leave out while they go for hikes or how it is inappropriate to have music blasting until 10pm that can be heard many campsites away. Keep that in mind and don't expect to have the most serene environment.

Otherwise, the park is pretty great -- the stores have things available in case you forget stuff and there is a great beach that is unmarked, so ask about it in the park at the check-in station.

Beware: GAS is incredibly expensive in Big Sur, so try to fill up before hand (north or south). The shell gas station that is south of the campground area was about a dollar more per gallon (5.70) than the chevron that is just north of the campground, so be aware of that difference especially since the shell has a "scary" sign that says "next gas 40 miles" -- a true sign, if you keep heading south, but if you turn around and head a few miles north, the chevron was much cheaper at 4.80)

8  Thank Pomona2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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