We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Made Me Regret Not Camping!”

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Ranked #5 of 35 things to do in Big Sur
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed September 4, 2013

I am a New Yorker, born and raised, and am living in LA for a while for work so I decided to take a road trip to Big Sur for Labor Day weekend, to get a feel for California. I stayed at a hotel in Carmel because I'm not one for camping but I immediately regretted it when pulling into Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. This park is beautiful - first time seeing Redwoods after singing "This Land Is Your Land...." for years in elementary school so seeing the trees in person was better than a celebrity sighting. There's a beautiful river that runs in the middle of the campgrounds and there were people laying on tubes in the river, chilling out and it looked very peaceful. The trails were clean and there appeared to be nice hikes (again, living in NYC, I'm not keen on the whole hiking thing but I would do it here). I would recommend taking a day and really exploring the park - pack your sneakers. I want to go back and camp, who's coming with me?

1  Thank Susan N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (617)
There are newer reviews for Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

373 - 377 of 617 reviews

Reviewed September 2, 2013

Good place to go with just about everyone as their are trails to suit every level. There are a couple of medium hikes that start from the main bulding area. Good enough to stretch out your legs if you've been in the car too long. There is a little nature walk near the first parking lot that is good for kids and somewhat less than fit people, and there is the Pine Ridge trail that meanders through the property camp grounds and up a hillside all the way to a hot springs.

We did not camp, but going past the campgrounds on one of our hikes they looked very nice, tucked into the redwoods. There is a main building that has a restaurant, coffee shop, ice cream parlor and a gift shop if you are so inclined.

All in all, definately worth visiting if you are staying in the area or just passing through.

Thank Jim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 31, 2013

We did this trail as our main focus for the day after a quick visit out on the McWay Falls Trail. The two trails share the same parking lot (which also has nice bathrooms). Ewoldsen was about a 4.5 mile trail and was just gorgeous - full of towering redwoods and sweeping vistas. The trail is a loop path (ours was an out and back due to trail construction) that is fairly challenging due to the 1,500 ft elevation gain. Our small group of five (ages 12-63) finished the trail in 1.5 hours up and 1 hour down, took a ton of awesome pictures...and we all slept very well that night.

5  Thank FEN_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

We did a coastal trip but going to the main area of Redwoods was out of the question. We spent a couple of hours here hiking to the waterfall and the valley view trail. the waterfall was pretty but it didn't have much water flowing, maybe it's seasonal. the trails give a decent work out first thing in the morning. around the base (where you park) there are handicap accessible trails which were really nice. there are ranger programs for you and your kids. we didn't camp here, just paid our $10 to park (maybe it was less but not more) and spent a couple hours. take OFF spray as we did encounter mosquitoes. we started up the trails early (by 9 am) so we were the only ones on each trail, but by 10:30 we saw a few people heading up, then by 11 am it was pretty busy. there is a restaurant there but i couldn't tell if it was just for those in the lodge, it smelled good.
Yes the trees are fabulous and the hikes were nice but for just these 2 hikes i wouldn't go out of my way to do them.. they were on our way. the valley hike was not as great as the waterfall hike, imo. it was also really dusty so bear that in mind.
we saw several folks in tank tops and shorts, while the trails are well maintained there is underbrush and maybe poison oak so i'd be cautious.

Thank klf5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2013

Just returned from camping at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. We all had a great time. Between riding bikes in the campground and just hanging out at our site, we squeezed in a day to Pfeiffer Beach, a hike, and even a day trip to Monterey. The sites are large, most of them are shaded, and there is a general store in case you forget a few things. Birds can get quite noisy early in the morning on some days, but this is just part of the whole camp experience. Most campers are pretty friendly. While a group or too may stay up talking a little load past quite time (10:00pm), it hasn't been too bad in the two times we've been there. Hope to go back next year.

1  Thank TravelMore4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park also viewed


Been to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing