Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offers a dramatic meeting of land and sea - attracting visitors, writers, artists and photographers from around the world. The same geologic, climate and marine processes that shape the character of this beautiful park keep it undeveloped, susceptible to natural forces. Wildfires and landslides are common. This state park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a well respected pioneer woman in the Big Sur country. The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. It features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1. In December and January the bench at the end of Overlook trail is an excellent place to watch for gray whales migrating southward to their breeding and calving grounds off the Baja California coast. Many whales pass close to shore at this point, and occasionally one will come into the mouth of the cove. In March and April, they can be seen returning north to their summer feeding grounds in the North Pacific. Park temperatures range from the mid-80s at higher elevations inland to the mid-40s, with heavy winter rains and frequent coastal fog. Layered clothing is advised. Open 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.
In my opinion, one of the all-time great hikes in CA. Lots or views of the ocean once you get about half way up (on ocean side of circular loop). Very peaceful hike, can spend hours on top. I've done this hike approximately 10 times. Takes about an hour to get up. Love the Big Sur coast. I believe I've seen this hike called strenuous. But it's not really that strenuous. We've take our kids up it a number of times!
The description reads true: This short hike will give you some of the most stunning views in all of Big Sur for the least amount of effort.
The views truly are spectacular, but this isn't a true "hike" at all. The view alone deserves 5 stars, but the "hike" wouldn't merit a rating.
Gorgeous Coastal views. This Trail is very steep in some areas, and there is a MASSIVE fallen tree on on a narrow part of the trail near Swiss Camp. Make sure, if headed to the Tin House, you stay right at the fork once you've reached your "Peak" and you'll be headed to the access road. If you make a left at the sign pointing Left and higher you will miss your exit, and be on your way to Norman House. I don't personally recommend making the trip out to Norman, Tin House is pretty cool. The House is completely gutted with a fallen roof in a rear area of the house. WATCH OUT FOR GLASS AND SHARP EDGES, as the entire structure is Rusted. In the backyard there are views of the coastline in both directions. It's awesome. The access road has amazing views as well!