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ANDREW MOLERA State Park is open for shuttle parking and day-hiking on the west side of Highway 1. Open trails include the Bobcat Trail, Creamery Meadow Trail (to the beach), Ridge Trail, Panorama Trail, Spring Trail and Bluffs Trail. Trail Camp/Headlands Trail is closed. Trails on the east side of Highway 1 are closed. The campground is closed. For details on the new shuttle service, see Big Sur Shuttle Service. In the spectacular Big Sur area, Andrew Molera State Park is still relatively undeveloped and offers visitors great hiking and beach-combing. Miles of trails wind through meadows, beaches and hilltops. A primitive walk-in trail camp, popular with hikers and bikers, is located approximately one third mile from the parking area. Open 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

Nice walk. A flat smooth trail with lots of shade. Opened up to a beautiful beach which was not overcrowded at all. Nice little hike to end our day with the dogs.

Very easy, smooth, wide, and shaded trail. The poison oak was very red this week. The season must be coming to an end. Oak trees are awesome, and some very large, The beach was covered with drift wood. When the waves were going back into the sea, they were able to move some of the rocks at the waters edge. You could hear the rocks bumping into each other, I have never heard this before and it was really interesting. The parking lock charges ten dollars, to park but I saw a number of cars parked on the side of the road, Wild flowers were still in bloom. Very nine hike.

Did this hike with two and four year old children. Beautiful beach and gorgeous coastline await you after hiking through a shaded trail.

hiking
16 days ago

Scenery: 3
Views: 3.5
Difficulty: 3
Crowds: 3
Shade: 2

My 1-5 Rating Scale Comparisons for above:
5 for Scenery; Mcway Falls Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP
4.5 for Scenery: Berry Creek Falls Big Basin State Park
4 for Scenery: Steep Ravine Trail

5 for Views: Nimitz Trail Tilden Park
5 for Views: Ridge Trail San Bruno Mtn Park
4.5 for Views Montara Mtn Summit San Pedro County Park
4 for Views Rancho Canada Del Oro Bald Peaks trail

5 for Difficulty: Junipero Serra Peak
4 for Difficulty: Mount El Sombroso Loop Trail

hiking
1 month ago

Followed recommendations to do the uphill Ridge trail first then connecting to the Panorama trail and finally Bluff trail., clockwise. Good advise because then the best ocean views are in front of u for second half of the hike and it’s cooler. However wish I’d know that the first 3 to 4 miles or so are uphill and extremely strenuous with no ocean views. A good hike if you’re a fit person!

nature trips
1 month ago

Nice easy kid friendly hike to the beach. Kids will specially enjoy the foot bridge that comes at the start of the hike. Beach is scenic but was very windy.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike! Good views!
Took me 3.5 hours to complete with photo and snack breaks. It can get quite windy sometimes.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail! Took me about 4 hours to do the full loop with a beach break. Recommend to bring water/snacks and long pants.

hiking
1 month ago

Moderate, no shade. Very nice at the beach area with purple sand (spring trail)

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! The beach trail was closed but the hike is tough and rewarding. The first portion of the hike is incline but the second half is mostly decline.Great views overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. It is best to go in the morning to catch the cool breeze. There was fog in the morning but cleared up towards the end of the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty strenuous for a hot day in August. As others have said lots of poison oak, but great views of the ocean and plenty of condors. The redwoods, and oaks at the top were awesome. We didn’t have much fog, so the panoramic views of the coastline were great.

hiking
2 months ago

SO BEAUTIFUL & SO LONG. Make sure you leave pretty early so you can spend more time on the beautiful beach - if you plan on doing the whole loop

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty hike but little challenge. Same but nice view of the Pacific Ocean the entire way. Take care for poison oak and you may need to bush wack a touch. We did see the trail maintenance crew out to start cleaning it up which was relieving for future hikers.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Amazing views. The beach is a plus, secluded not too crowded and with pink sand!!! Not an easy one but keep with it.... yes poison ivy, be careful. Do it clockwise, easier.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike! Stunning views. Loved every minute of it. Would do ridge side first as it gets hot and the bluff side is much cooler with the breeze. Would wear pants as it’s a bit overgrown at parts.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

We did the clockwise direction on a Saturday in July, and the trail was great! The initial climb was strenuous, but it wasn't too bad after that. We enjoyed being rewarded with the Spring Trail to the beach at about the halfway point. As others have noted, there is quite a bit of Poison Oak, so keep an eye out for that. We thought it might be more crowded, but we did not encounter that many other hikers, even on the beach. If you time it right and hit low tide, you may be able to hike bike along the beach all the way back. We were not able to do the beac hike.

Great hike! A little strenuous and very sunny, so be prepared.
The beach is beautiful and private. We almost missed it. There is a marker for Panorama Trail at the turn off. If you can see the bleached wood and the makeshift bridge then you are in the right place.

hiking
2 months ago

Best Hike in Big Sur

Summary
Summary: Creamery Trail > Beach Trail > CLOCKWISE: Ridge Trail > Panorama Trail > Spring Trail > Bluffs Trail > Beach Trail > Creamery Trail

Details
You can just put in directions to Andrew Molera State Park and google maps will bring you to the park entrance ($10 to park in the lot or it's free right along the road 0.1 miles away from the lot).

From the side of the road, you walk down to the sate park parking lot. Instead of entering the lot, go through the white gate/arch to just keep following the road. This road is called the creamery trail. Take your first right to follow the Beach Trail and cross the river (there's a beam, so no need to walk through the water) to stay on the beach trail.

Keep walking and you'll see a trail on the left that says "ridge trail loop". Take that trail (otherwise you can go straight for ~0.05 miles to the main beach but this beach isn't that cool). After starting up the ridge trail, you'll quickly see a fork in the road for ridge or bluff trail. This is the 8 mile loop, definitely take the clockwise route aka the ridge trail/uphill option.

Follow that until you're at the very top and take the only trail down aka the Panorama Trail. Brace yourself for stunning views. Now time for the pink sand beach. As you get close to the water, you'll see a trail on the left going towards the water but it's overgrown and won't be able to take it. Instead, take the next left option, you'll see a ton of driftwood and then you're there!

When you're done enjoying the beach, take the bluff trail (which seems to become spring trail for a small portion). This will loop you back to where you started the uphill climb up ridge trail. From there, just go back to the beach trail and head back to the parking lot.

Sounds a little complicated, but it's really not. Just go up as high as you can and then follow the coast for as long as you can until you find your starting point. Lots of poison oak and parts of the Panorama trail are super narrow so highly recommend bringing poison oak wipes/washing everything afterwards (even shoes).

Summary: Creamery Trail > Beach Trail > CLOCKWISE: Ridge Trail > Panorama Trail > Spring Trail > Bluffs Trail > Beach Trail > Creamery Trail

If you're not feeling like a long hike, you could do the counterclockwise version to the pink sand beach and just don't take the panorama trail uphill. Doing this as an in and out trail to the beach, would prob be ~2 miles each way... maybe less.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike - epic! I didn’t read the reviews here prior to departing and hiked bluffs trail to ridge trail. Bluff trail has plants on both sides 5 feet tall at times and the uphills were steep. We parked on the street.

hiking
3 months ago

great hike as all others have said. Hard going up the Ridge Trail for moderate hikers. Saw awesome falcon's fighting in the air for food, deer and their babies and beautiful ocean vistas. Beautiful spread of wildflowers- Trail easy to follow... lots of erosion on Panorama trail with a "fence" of poison oak. In fact, poison oak was doing very well on most of the trail. Best to keep appendages covered. bring plenty of water and wear good shoes

So much fun! Rangers will likely advise you to go the bluff trails way, but I highly suggest going the ridge trail clockwise direction if you plan on doing the whole loop. That way you get the hardest inclines out of the way and have the most ocean views on the way down. And you can head down the spring trail for easy beach access and one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to in big sur on your way back. Beautiful trail and not too hard either :)

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! I recommend starting on the ridge trail and finishing on the bluff trail to get the steep part out of the way first. The views were awesome!

Easy walk to the beach and spectacular beach yet super super windy

Easy trail with plenty of shade. Stay on the trail, otherwise you will run into a lot of poison oak.

hiking
3 months ago

Fantastic hike! Overall, found this to be a physically challenging trail – steep ups and downs, some washed out areas, lots of overgrowth and poison oak. Absolutely beautiful views and totally worth it. We went clockwise and very much enjoyed the amazing views on the back half.

Starting out, there was a good bit of confusion in the parking lot, as the Beach Trail is closed and the Creamery Meadows trail head is not apparent from the lot. There were a few groups milling around until we spotted a small "hiking guy" sign with an arrow near the shack (there was no ranger when we got there). Duh! It's down the access road, to the right as you exit past the ranger shack on foot.

As someone mentioned, there are planks over the river, so no issue there now. Down the Creamery Trail, turned left onto the Ridge Trail (to go clockwise) and up a steep incline. Ridge Trail in general was open and smooth sailing in terms of being washed out or difficult to navigate. Very warm starting out, then windy at the top – and gorgeous! As soon as you start down on the Panorama Trail you are in areas of overgrowth and lots of position oak. Long pants a must, and watch your arms! Some steep parts a bit tough to navigate. Views are totally worth it. Flattens out as you come onto the Bluff Trail and then head towards the beach. The end of the Bluff Trail is closed, so you have to jag back over to the end of the Ridge Trail and come out again on the Creamery Trail. Sounds complicated but it’s not. We went left on Creamery – away from the parking lot and down to the beach - and enjoyed a recovery meal on the beach. Awesome time!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike by the ocean. Especially on a sunny day. They put a FOOTBRIDGE over the stream!! yea! so no more walking thru ankle deep water. Got there about 8:30 on a Saturday (6/30) and practically had the place to myself. I went counterclockwise on the bluff trail based on the ranger’s suggestion that morning. It is overgrown in parts but not really that bad. It is a good idea to wear long pants tho due to the poison oak. Nice ocean views up to the panoramic trail. Got pretty windy due to the fog coming in so a light weight wind jacket is recommended. Its up from there but not too bad or steep, but glad I did it this way as it was easier on my knees.
Once you get to the Ridge trail its like another world. Its a wide tree covered trail. A nice difference compared to the narrow path you just left. Easy hike mostly down hill the 4 miles back.
From the lot it was a little over 9 miles 1200 feet of accumulated elevation and took me 3 hours.
Bathrooms at the parking lot.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful views.. started clockwise which seemed to be the way to go.. started on a bit of an incline but relatively easy throughout.. there was a lot of over growth on the second half, and poison oak pretty near the trail.. pack sunscreen and enjoy!

hiking
4 months ago

This is definitely one of the most picturesque trails in Big Sur. I'd highly recommend it to be done clockwise (Creamery Meadows Trail - Ridge Trail - Panorama Trail with a stop at the Pink Beach - Bluff Trail and then Beach Trail) because you will have: A) a better view of the ocean, and B) a better workout, not to mention that you will get to the beach in the end (like a reward for completing the hike).
Two things to be noted: the end of the Panorama Trail (last 0.4 mile) has had some erosion and you may have to take a parallel trail that hasn't had any maintenance lately and the bushes are high. The Beach Trail is closed at the 0.2 mile point (from the beach) to the starting point, so... instead of using all the Beach Trail to return, you'll have to cross (0.2 mile) to the Creamery Meadows Trail and then follow it back to the parking lot.
Remember that you'll have to cross shin-high creek when starting and finishing these trails (bring a small towel).

4 months ago

We enjoyed such a memorial trail run. We did the creamery meadows down to the beach which was spectacular. Then we ran a bit of the Bluffs and Ridge trails. Not too much as we are not as accustomed to the elevation. Would highly recommend!!

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