Valley View Overlook is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length1.8 miElevation gain554 ftRoute typeOut & back
Kid friendlyHikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (5)
Facilities
Tips
Getting There

This is a nice hike through the Redwoods which leads to a stunning view of the Big Sur Valley below.

You can either pay to park in the parking lot of the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park or park on the shoulders along Highway 1 and hike into the park.

Park at the main lot near the lodge and walk a little ways up the street, or drive along the road towards the trailhead where you may find a vacant spot.

The beginning of this trail is in the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Look for the main entrance sign on the inland (east) side of Highway 1 about 26 miles south of Carmel, or 63.5 miles north of the Hearst Castle turnoff. Getting to the actual trailhead can be a little confusing. Go to the Big Sur Lodge and follow signs to the Nature Trail, which will eventually bring you to signs for the Valley View/Pfeiffer Falls Trails.

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Reviews (268)
Photos (296)
Activities (265)
Completed (718)
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 16, 2021
Hiking

Awesome short hike!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 2, 2021
HikingGreat!

Fairly easy, relatively short hike. You gotta park on the side of the road, I went on a Friday afternoon and had no trouble getting a spot, but I can see it being challenging on weekends. There are a couple branches but I recommend going down to the actual cove and just sitting there to watch the waves. There's no real waterfall to speak of (unless you count 3 feet high as being a waterfall), but I greatly enjoyed this.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 2, 2021
Hiking

Nice easy trail. Some incline but not crazy

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 23, 2021
HikingGreat!

The Valley View trail offered sweet serenity, greenery, and a peak into the nature that envelops Big Sur. It is featured in the second half of our youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeOuKWIVc4Q The trail captivates all of your senses with soothing river sounds and offers serene outlooks of the surrounding mountains and an epic overlook of the Big Sur River Valley . It's short and sweet and perfect for most hiker levels!

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 17, 2021
Hiking
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 16, 2021
Hiking
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 21, 2021
Hiking
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 20, 2021
Hiking

It wasn't closed when we were there last week. Pfeiffer Falls was closed but not this one. Its a short-ish uphill hike to get to a moderately good view, no ocean/beach. Buzzards Roost nearby is longer and harder but slightly better view with ocean.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 14, 2021
HikingGreat!Rocky
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 11, 2021
Hiking
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 30, 2021
Hiking
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarNovember 28, 2020
Hiking

We’re Did a combination of Valley Overlook and Pheifer Falls. Pheifer Falls has been closed since 2008 due to a fire but we were able to walk past the closed signs to walk the trail. It’s still under construction but we were able to be careful enough to not disturb anything.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 22, 2020
Hiking
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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 6, 2020
Hiking

Nice trail. The waterfall trail was closed.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 29, 2020
Hiking

many trails off main are still closed. better than the smoke though.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 27, 2020
Hiking

Now Open

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 18, 2020
Hiking

The trail is mostly inlclining in the way up. The valley view at the top is just okay. not a bad hike overall, but the views at the bottom are better.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 17, 2020
Hiking

I would skip this hike. Took me 45 minutes and there is a nice view at the top but otherwise nothing special about this one. Also some bugs, but not too bad.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 13, 2020
Hiking

great family hike. my 5 year old daughter complained but still made it up and back.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Quick and easy with a nice view

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 26, 2020
Hiking

It’s $10 cash, exact change, to park inside the park. This trail is a slight gradual incline all the way up. During the summer afternoon it can get quite warm, so bring water. The trail pathway is clear and open in most areas, just a couple of narrow spots. Seeing the Redwood Trees are always a joy for me. So that was the highlight. This is one of those trails where I enjoyed the journey up more than the final stop. Views of the valley going up were nice, but reaching the top was nothing extra then what you are already seeing nearing the top. Overall a nice hike.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 23, 2020
Hiking

I stumbled upon Big Sur State Park while I was in town for work and the park ranger recommended this trail. Walking through the redwoods at the bottom was great, but the viewpoint at the end of the trail was just okay. As for the trail itself, it was a well established trail with a pretty consistant climb and a few spots to rest if needed. The trail has some narrow spots toward the end which could be a problem on busy days. For me, it was sort of an anticlimactic end in such a gorgeous area.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 26, 2019
Hiking

Nice hike! Some parts are a little narrow before the overlook, but generally nice path. Some rocky parts but not too hard. Takes an hour, hour and a half depending how much you stop to enjoy the views.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 1, 2019
Hiking

Pretty well maintained scenic route. Starts in a redwood grove and rises above the valley. Good for birdwatching. Overall shaded.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2019
Hiking

Great lil hike.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2019
Hiking

Sadly the hike to the waterfall was closed but we enjoyed this short jaunt to a nice vista point. Mostly shady which was a help on a hot day. We couldn’t figure out the loop in the top but easy out and back.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 2, 2019
Hiking

Easy uphill climb through redwoods to overlook. Nice but given this area, not as picturesque as other hikes.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 17, 2019
Hiking

My husband and I went with our 3 year old (who walked the vast majority of the time) and our 11 month old rode in the pack. Our family goes hiking often so our 3 year old was fine walking. It is steep, there are areas where I felt more comfortable holding her. Especially through some overgrown areas. It was a good hike though.

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Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 24, 2019

Did this trail late afternoon - good idea it seems as it can be crowded I guess. Path in perfect condition an easily walkable apart from a tiny bit steeper section which shouldn't be a problem though. I would rate it between easy to moderate. All in all nice trail.

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