Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails in Andrew Molera State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
over grown
scramble
washed out
8 days ago

For about 2 miles hiking up, there were nonstop overgrown bushes and plants. I was hoping to get an uphill workout but the bushy trail slowed me down. :( specially with poison oak :( I couldn’t enjoy the views either

hiking
bridge out
bugs
11 days ago

I am not in shape, at all, but I REALLY wanted to do this loop while in the area. And I did it! I went clockwise (up ridge first, as many other reviews as well as the ranger suggested, to get the strenuous part out of the way first). Going up ridge was the worst part. But just take lots of breaks if you need them, sit in the middle of the trail for a while, and keep going. Don't worry about people passing you. Everyone has their own pace. I had lunch at the peak and stayed there for a while waiting for the fog to clear, and it was definitely worth it. Amazing views from the peak and the rest of the way down. The best part about this loop is the variety of scenery you get. Animals spotted included deer, hawks, and a variety of small birds. The river bridge was just taken down for the season at the end of October, so you have to walk through the river. It was a little below knee height, but the surface is very uneven (pebbles of every size). Not to mention the water was absolutely freezing, enough to make my toes feel numb!

Beautiful trail that has the best of what Big Sur has to offer. Make sure to go clockwise and start with the ridge trail- it gets the steep part out of the way and the views are way better in this direction. Total hiking time 4:30, not including 1 hour in breaks. We each went through 3 waters, and not being on top hiking fitness were pretty sore the next day. But totally worth it! The ridge is strenuous and the hardest of the hike. Our pace was about 2 miles/hour. The first two miles of the ridge are exposed but then you walk through stunning shaded trees, everything from oak to redwoods. Loved the forest. Stopped for lunch where the ridge and panorama trail meet- beautiful views. The rest of the trail is fully exposed. The panorama trail is very steep so even though it’s downhill you move slowly, but the views are stunning. We took the Spring trail down to the beach for another break and it was worth it. Finished with an easy, flat bluff trail back to the start.

Quality trail that leads to a nice beach. Pretty flat the whole way.

Awesome trail and perfect weather. I recommend getting there early to avoid all of the people. Also, definitely don’t skip out on the hidden beach.

Beautiful trail that leads you to a wonderful beach. It was mostly secluded and has a creek that runs straight into the ocean! Very easy.

I completed this trail with a group of 13. We kept left at the start which was very uphill and strenuous for about the first hour and 45 minutes. We took lunch at the top with beautiful views. Then on the way back with beautiful views, whoever suggested that you are right! Most of us ran out of water and thought it was more than just a moderate hike. Maybe we’re not expert hikers but it was definitely difficult! Free parking if your camping near by, we were camping at Pfeiffer and got in no problem. They do have a drinking well at the start where you can fill up your water. Note no dogs allowed.

Great trail. Wonderful views. Watch for poison oak.

Recommend hiking this trail clockwise, beginning heading south and uphill. Even though this is a very tough first mile (steep, steady grade), the views as you hike back northbound along the coast are spectacular!

Beautiful views! 3:30 hours total for the Ridge trail.

This was an enjoyable hike. I hiked clockwise as someone suggested, which made for a great workout at the beginning and beautiful views toward the end. The forest at the halfway point (or so) was a lovely break from the sun. The "hidden" beach was cute as was the dense "forest" down the side trail. The part labeled beach trail is actually closed, so the loop (ends or begins) at the dotted line to the right.

hiking
2 months ago

Creamy meadows to beach. Easy hike. Amazing beach at the end where the Big Sur river meets the ocean. Could have spent all day there. Ridge trail to river trail back. River trail was closed but we didn’t know. Very over grown and treacherous.

The Bluff part of the trail has amazing views down to the more remote beach location. Ocean views are spectacular.

This was a beautiful hike. Definitely go clockwise and ignore the recommendation from parking lot attendant to go the other direction. The downhill part isn’t as steep and rocky as he said and it would be a shame to have to hike up that part of the loop with your back to the vista that you came to see. Hiking clockwise gives you constant breathtaking views, you’ll find yourself stopping over and over again to snap some instagram worthy pics. Going down to the bluff was spectacular and the sun is to your back rather than in your face. Take the detour on the Spring Trail and go down to the ‘hidden’ beach. It’s quiet there because most people won’t hike that far to get to the beach, they will just take the short little beach trail near the beginning of the loop. We had the beach all to ourselves, it was magical. Amazing hike and although it’s not strenuous, we got a decent workout.

Top, one side of the closed loop but just a small part on the end, otherwise top top, a more mountainous side, the other sea. We made the loop in the other direction to see the sea back it was good like that.

We did the 5 mile round trip hike to the beach and back along the bluffs trail and it was truly incredible. Ocean views the entire time and you go down to a beach that is practically secluded. Also there was minimal tourists on the hike making it one of my favorites in Big Sur.

Easy stroll — they built a small bridge to go over the creek which is nice. Trail leads you to a beautiful beach with unique drift wood structures

Amazing views! Prepare for lots of sun, as none of these trails provide much shade. The weather during the last week of August was perfect for the loop hike. Breezy, sunny, and moderate temperatures made a beautiful day to hike. Either direction will give you a vigorous work out when trying to make the summit. As suggested the clockwise take will provide a more enjoyable hike in terms of stamina requirements. Make sure to turn off onto the spring trail and hang out on the "hidden beach" for a bit before finishing the panoramic trail. Bring lots of water and a fully charged camera. you will want to live in some of these moments forever. Have a great hike!

Highly recommend these set of trails for families. Have options and offer flat dry trails. Great ocean views. Stream now has a bridge to cross to avoid getting feet wet. Beach doesn’t have the cleanest white sand but has spots down the beach depending how far you want to walk. Some areas have a lot of rocks and tends to always be windy. All the trails are great with great views!

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