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Pfeiffer Beach is a 0.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October.

Length 0.9 mi Elevation gain 16 ft Route type Out & Back

Kid friendly

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Beach

Views

Wildlife

Fee

Description
Waypoints (0)

Fee is $12.00 to park.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (100)
Photos (83)
Recordings (60)
Completed (306)
Corr T
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Walking
Darice Slusser
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Hiking

We were fortunate to come at a time when parking was still available. It is a drive down a one lane road. So driver etiquette is a must. Thankfully we had $12 cash, exact change on hand, to place in the payment envelope. As mentioned by others, this is not a typical hike, but instead a walk on a beautiful beach. The color of the water, the rock formations, the water caves, the tide pools, and the specks of purple sand in certain spots make this above your average CA beach. There is a little rocky hill/cliff off to the south side of the beach. If you have the right shoes, or if your bare feet can handle it, then a short trek to the top will afford you more views (small children should be supervised at this part). If you just want to go to a beach, this may not be worth the hassle or the rejection at the gate if parking is full. Go to Carmel Beach. But if you want to see something a little extra, then it’s worth it.

Janet Anne Panen
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HikingFeeNo shade
View Janet Anne's Recording
Elaine and Josh Chowder
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 7, 2020
Hiking

Can someone give us some suggestions on parking? We are trying to drive down for a half-day hike, but were told that there is no street parking available (and obviously parking lots are closed). We don't want to drive an hour from our house to find out we can't find anywhere to park. Help please!!

Claire Mullaney
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HikingFee

Costs $12 to access the beach. Amazing views and definitely the type of place to bring a blanket and hang out while enjoying the scenery.

Yujin Kimura
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HikingNo shade
View Yujin's Recording
Chris Enloe
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Hiking

Nice walk down to the beach. Ctazy windy, sand blowing in our faces. Beautiful views though with sun out.

View Chris's Recording
Dave Souten
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 9, 2019
WalkingClosed

yikes, too many visitors at 11:00am today. They closed all access. We checked back twice over the next couple hours and still no access. Asked attendants if we could call or otherwise check access before driving there: "no, we do not provide that information."

Jessica Gilbo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 13, 2019
Hiking

Not a hike, just a walk on a beach in a truly beautiful place. Look for the purple sands and "keyholes" in the rocks. Road down to the beach is 2 miles, one lane, which is a slightly harrowing experience, but definitely worth the payoff. We went early in the morning and enjoyed near solitude here, can't wait to come back.

Lisa Kincaid Garruzzo
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No shade

Gorgeous walk on the beach. Purple sands, stunning rock formations, and if you walk all the way to the end, to the rocky area, you can find all kinds of marine critters hanging out in their natural habitat. The experience was like a day at the aquarium. I didn’t find the ‘keyhole’ particularly interesting as everyone else did. There were so many people gathered around taking pictures of that hole around sunset, it was so cliche. There were so many other interesting vantage points that kept me busy all day snapping pics. We stayed until sunset and it was phenomenal! It was definitely worth paying a visit to this beach.

Danielle Cross
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Hiking

A must stop! Beautiful sunset

Kate N
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HikingRocky

Very nice beach walk but short. Color of sands were purple which makes this beach unique. There is one rocky arch that everyone was taking photos with. Parking to enter this beach is $12.00. We only stayed 30 minutes or so and left to the next hiking spot.

View Kate's Recording
Josh Brede
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Walking

More of a beach walk, it was really pretty and super windy!

Daniel Lewis
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Hiking

The trail wasn’t much of a trail. It says it’s 0.9 miles long, when in reality is maybe 0.1 miles to the beach and if you choose to hike all the way across, it might be 0.9. Regardless, the beach itself is a gorgeous sight, with gigantic waves crashing into sharp rocks.

View Daniel's Recording
Milky Vazquez
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Not a trail but an actual dog friendly beach that isn’t really filled with lots of dogs which is nice when you have a yorkie who has anxiety. Being things to sit on it is a beach with a great view and lots of space. The waves do come up just be cautious.

Francesca Mondragon
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Hiking

We went about 1 year ago this time and it was nothing short of spectacular. The pictures don’t do it justice. It’s beautiful in every way. A must see for everyone. So glad I got to experience Big Sur and all it’s beautiful surroundings!❤️

Carla P.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 15, 2019
Hiking

A beautiful beach. Not really a hike at all. You just park & walk across the parking lot to the beach. Worth it for the beach with purple sand and wonderful views. You can walk along the beach, which I guess must be considered the hike. $10 is needed for parking.

Micha S.
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Hiking

A very beautiful beach.

Tony Rappa
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Hiking

Easy and beautiful.

View Tony's Recording
Nicole Ambrose
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Hiking

Family friendly

Cody Harris
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Hiking

Loved this trail. From Oklahoma 10/10 for the views. Careful on the road for potholes.

View Cody's Recording
Mike M
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Hiking

A fun short walk along the creek to the beach with waves that burst through a big hole in the rocks in the water. Some rough seas but beautiful to watch. Be careful walking the beach as the tide comes in. You can get stuck on the wrong side of the rocks until the tide recedes.

Shayan Saeed
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Great beach for photography.

Tiffany Puppo
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So beautiful, went last weekend and it was perfect out.

Gabriela Gabriel
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Easy walk to a beautiful beach!

Kelly Pabilonia
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Gorgeous

Jeanne Bolz
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Hiking

I agree with the last review, it’s not really a hike but a walk on the beach. That said, it’s absolutely worth a stop. There are patches of purple sand and a rock with a hole in it (which is a pretty famous sunset photography spot, at the right time of year). There was a pool of water higher in the sand, popular with younger kids. We saw lots of ocean swimmers and one surfer.

Maureen L
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2018
Hiking

This isn't really a trail, it's just a walk on the beach (but the most beautiful beach ever!). I kept looking for some kind of trailhead until I looked at my map and realized I'd already completed the "trail" by just going to the beach, ha ha. It's a BEAUTIFUL beach and I 100% recommend it, but it's not a hike.

Katie Owens
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It was such a beautiful walk. Take the beach all the way to the left and you will see where the forest meets the beach. A light trail will take you up by the stream. Beautiful purple sand and rock formations.

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