Explore the most popular no dogs trails in Pfeiffer Big Sur 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.

Second time hiking this trail! Beautiful Spring day, with temperatures in the high 70’s low 80’s... On this attempt we were able to get to the top. The previous try was thwarted by heavy overgrowth that I wasn’t prepared for. I enjoy this hike, and except for a brief polite encounter with a Rattlesnake on the way down, it provides some stunning views in all directions!

Beautiful scenery and lots of wildflowers along the trail. We were advised to go counterclockwise and were glad we did. The beginning portion from the parking lot is along a pretty river.

Steep hike most of way to top. We went counter clockwise, but going up clockwise May have been easier. Great views at top. Not overly crowded.

Heat, Height, and Vertigo warning ⚠️
Prudently and honestly assess your abilities before committing to this Trail. It is strenuous, exposed, frequently tick infested, peppered with poison oak, has no water access, is overgrown, sketchy in parts and little better than a goat trail along a precipice past the 1/2 way “Point of No Return.” You must be sure footed and mindful of your feet. If hiking in summer, give yourself an early am start or the brutal heat will be relentless.

If that does not deter you, then you are in for a fabulous treat of wildflowers in spring and stunning mountain ⛰ views of the Coastal Range year round. Experience views of the scenic Big Sur River from virtually an aerial perspective, and contemplate the fire adaptive abilities of CA Native plants as they regenerate underneath burned standing tree sculptures. The false Peak offers 360 views of the Ventana Range and Pt Sur Lighthouse. The actual peak offer views of telecommunications equipment. Skip it.

Great but really HARD ,but it worth it and is a must. Don’t forget which right road is harder

Give it a 4.5 stars. Great hike and work out. The view at the top is a great payoff! The walk along the river at the bottom was a relaxing way to end the hike.

A great short hike with a beautiful view of the valley at the top!

trail running
1 month ago

Very runnable trail in great condition. Walked a couple of steeper descents so as not to wipe out. Nice payoff view at the top!

trail running
1 month ago

Morning trail run before exploring the rest of Big Sur. Bummed that the Pfeiffer waterfall trail was closed but easy run with a view worthy of the effort.

1 month ago

this trail definitely is hard... and deceivingly so. starts out not so bad, then gets more intricate. very thin trail, constantly uphill, goes through various environments. the views at the peak are incredible, huge mountain ranges covered in beautiful clouds. intense, but if you do it, it's worth it!!!

Nice and easy stroll uphill

Nice little stroll to get the blood flowing and get a nice view

2 months ago

First time to this park, visited from out of state. WOW, what a beautiful trail.
We started by walking along the Big Sur River on the River Trail (from parking lot 3) to catch this trail head.
The redwoods, even the ones scorched from the 2016 fires, were stunning. Steady climbing, but not too strenuous. Trail was wet from overnight rains, but didn't feel muddy or slippery. Parts of the trail are pretty narrow, so you need to watch your footing--some steep drop-offs! Saw several banana slugs--bright yellow (hard to miss). We didn't make it all the way to the top for the views--getting too late in the day. Hope to return sometime to do the whole trail and others at this park.

Nice trail. Steep in some spots. can be slick after it rains. Nice views of the valley and out to the ocean.

great trail. lots of switch backs all the way up. Great for kids, not too challenging. We encounter lots of banana slugs. out and back is about an hour or so.

Beautiful view. As of 1.28.18 the waterfall was blocked off for maintenance.

3 months ago

A great hike. The SP web site says it's closed now (Feb 2018). Does anyone know if that's a seasonal closure and it will be open again in the summer, or if it's more long-term?

Nice hike to the top

4 months ago

The view is ok, hike is moderate as expected.

5 months ago

Pretty hike starting in the redwoods and ascending steeply into oaks. The waterfall trail is closed so it’s a quick 2 mile in and out trail.

5 months ago

Take the “hard” (right) route, it’s shaded for the way up with gorgeous forest. The vista at “summit” is not particularly noteworthy, but the trees and air are worth the walk.

6 months ago

Great trail if you're looking for a quick and fairly easy hike in Big Sur. We were running out of daylight so we chose this trail. We reached the top of the overlook right as the sun was setting. Wasn't crowded at all, we did it November 11th and the weather was perfect!

It is a good hike steep uphill and loop back down to rest and have lunch by the little river.

Just hiked this yesterday... awesome view from the top. Has decent traffic even though it is supposedly closed.

Nice at the top

Nice trail. Beautiful at the top

8 months ago

Just hiked this trail this weekend. I would rate this as moderate, there are some inclines that will have you huffing and puffing. A tip a park worker gave was to take the route to the left first and get the hard stuff out of the way. The way down was so much easier! Don't forget to stop by the creek to dip your tired feet in the cold stream water!

Open Labor day weekend. Beautiful scenery, steep but not much of an ocean view.


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