Explore the most popular wildlife 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.

My friends and I hiked this for a multi-day camping trip in April '16. This was the first time I had ever been on an overnight hike. It was grueling at times and I would NOT recommend it for a first timer who is out of shape. The only reason I did fine on this hike was that I upped my fitness level a little in the weeks prior to the hike (simply by going for daily long walks). The one member of our party who hadn't hiked in a long time and who was totally out of shape had a really, really tough time. There is a lot of up and down, at times pretty steep, and you hit the ups pretty early in the hike. It being my first hike, I couldn't conceive of how hard that would be with a 50+ pound pack!

Having said that, it was a spectacular hike. It was raining most of the time, which we expected, but it was mainly a constant drizzle/mist which made the experience and the views really, really nice. The rain caused a couple of minor hazards, but nothing serious (just have to watch you footing more carefully). Had it been dry and warm, it would have been exponentially harder. Whenever they open this up again, if this is your first overnight hike, I would recommend going in late April (that's when we went) or early May for cooler temps and the chance for some rain (yes, personally, I prefer a little precip on this kind of hike). Also, if your level of fitness is low or non-existent, I'd at least do some daily light cardio for 2-3 weeks prior to your trip.

Again, this is a spectacular hike and I found it to be very rewarding to complete, on a personal level. Most of our party were experienced hikers, most of whom had done this hike before. The hot springs can be a nice reward, even though most of my party was more excited about that than I was, but I think it's worth a soak after such a long hike. The trail was rather busy, which surprised me for such a long hike, but I actually liked seeing and talking to so many folks on such a lengthy and difficult hike. Somehow, I found that that camaraderie made the hike easier (and that's coming from someone who is typically anti-social).

This is a long and at times grueling hike. But it is also beautiful and rewarding and is well worth the effort. I'd definitely do it again and hope to someday.

A great short hike with a beautiful view of the valley 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.

Is this hike back open yet ! =))

Nice and easy stroll uphill

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

I did this hike with a group of friends of varying backpacking experience back in 2011 when we were all juniors in high school. This may have been at the peak of its popularity before the fires, and as luck would have it, the springs were VERY crowded, and they are all very small and intimate. It was a really great bonding experience, and for the less outdoorsy friends, it really opened their eyes to the magic of getting somewhere worthwhile on your own two feet. Unexpectedly gnarly up and down the entire way; my ankles were done by the time we got to camp! You can hike out in two days if you need by sleeping at a camp that is about halfway. Definitely a formative experience for me as an outdoors lover. However, I’ll admit looking back that this is one of the less impressive and beautiful hikes in the area of Big Sur. While this trail is being fixed up, I encourage you to explore more of the Ventana and Silver Peak Wildernesses! Who knows, maybe more natural hot water is hiding out there... Remember to practice LEAVE NO TRACE principles! Hike prepared!

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

hiking
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?

This trail is closed indefinitely-lots of mudslide damage.

Closed till further notice. All trails should update asap. #cobrahikingclub

hiking
4 months ago

The view is ok, hike is moderate as expected.

hiking
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.

hiking
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!

Nice at the top

Nice trail. Beautiful at the top

Loved this hike - had to cut down the stream to the springs once you got there. Definitely felt crowded, this was on a weekday in 2011.

hiking
9 months ago

Really nice trails, well cleared and well marked. Gorgeous waterfall and stunning views! (Edit - I believe it is closed now)

Crowds were getting pretty intense up here before the Fall 2017 fire. Haven't been back since it burnt but used to be one of my favorite places in big sur.

Trail closed 6/10/17

Left 4 stars because it's normally a great hike.

11 months ago

short trail to a crystal clear stream. perfect for a swim!

closed due to road hwy 1 road closures

Awesome trail, nice to backpack for the night. Can be crowded at the Springs.

hiking
Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Very beautiful trail that leads to a lovely waterfall which makes for a great way to splash yourself and cool off from the short hike. Nice place to relax and have lunch! :D

This is a highly traveled trail so if you don't like crowds either go during the week or try another trail. The hot springs at the end are nice, but you have to share a 2/3-person bath with approx 8+ people. A little too much sweat and bodily fluids in one body of water for me. Camping spots are generally pretty crowded because of the number of people coming through. Definitely a tough hike, especially in the heat.

We did This back in 2012. Epic hike with a reward at the end

Monday, November 28, 2016

Awesome hike to rejuvenate & get centered.

WARNING: This Trail is closed as part of Soberanes fire. While Sykes wasn't affected by the fire. There has been reports of people Illegally camping in and having campfires according to the ranger station.

The ranger, said that it'll be closed for a while. Likely to open back up in April.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The uphill is a bit of a workout !! Mostly shaded and offers a cool overlook of the valley.

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