Pfeiffer Beach

Los Padres National Forest
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Big Sur, CA 93920

36.238084, -121.815999

(805) 434-1996

Hike: There is a parking lot right next to the beach but is often full.  You can park on the street and walk 1.5 miles to the beach.  That is what we did.   Level: Easy

Dog-Friendly: No    Kid-Friendly: Yes


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.

Personal Experience: When we arrived at Pfeiffer Beach they were turning away cars because the parking lot was full.  We were given the option to walk the 1.5 miles to the beach and since we’re up for random adventures we thought “why not?” The walk took awhile but the scenery was so pretty and there are plenty of small details that you wouldn’t notice if you were driving.

Once we got to the beach, we were blown away.  It’s one of the most beautiful beach I have ever seen in person. Apparently there are areas of purple sand here due to manganese deposits but I did not notice and only read about it after my trip.


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