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Valley View Overlook [CLOSED]

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Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

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, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 554 feet Route Type: Out & Back

kid friendly


nature trips


bird watching





wild flowers



no dogs

To prevent the spread of COVID-19 there is currently no vehicle access to this trail or others in the park. See here for more info: Take a nice hike through the redwoods to a stunning view of the Big Sur valley below. *Spur trail to the falls in closed- expected to reopen early 2019.

2 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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

8 months ago

My whole point of coming to this park this is the second time in 2 years was to hike the trail to the waterfall which unfortunately is still closed and who knows if they will ever reopened it . The park ranger recommended this trail I would say it is fairly moderate switch back with some up hill climbing in spots. Mostly shaded with some sun peeping thru . The scenery at the top is anything great just views of the mountains but it is a nice hike . Bring water

Great lil hike.

10 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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

11 months ago

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.

Mon May 06 2019

Great experience - enjoyed the powerful redwoods - rewarded at the end with a view of the valley - highly recommend

Wed Apr 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.

Wed Apr 10 2019

Good, relatively quick hike. Enjoyed the walk through the redwoods at the beginning. Pretty view of the valley. Was recommended as a sunset spot. I wouldn’t agree as the sun goes down behind the ridge before true sunset. But still worth your time.

Sat Mar 23 2019

Trail to falls is still closed, but we were expecting that. Definitely a steep trail, but it was pretty and the view at the end was nice.

Sun Jan 06 2019

Decent outing- wouldn’t be the trail that I recommend. Waterfall section is closed and this could’ve improved experience. Trail gets really narrow, rocky and moderately steep in some spots. It’s a turn-around so traffic gets tight in these spots. Would not recommend it with kids. The view at the top is pretty (expansive view of redwoods), but the trail itself wasn’t interesting.

Tue Jan 01 2019

nice walk with lovely Redwoods at the bottom the highlight for me. waterfall section closed.

Mon Dec 03 2018

Great short, high yield hike with beautiful view at top.

Mon Oct 08 2018

Trail to the falls was not accessible at this time

Wed Sep 26 2018

Waterfalls path is closed. “Moderate” walk/hike is not worth the “view” at the top. You’ll see the best redwoods at the bottom.

Sun Sep 02 2018

Decent trail with great view at the top. A few benches scattered near the top to sit and appreciate the view.

Fri Jul 27 2018

Falls are closed

Sat Jul 21 2018

The walk took us a little over 1 hour. It's rather easy than moderate we think (and we're beginning hikers). The view at the top is not amazing, but overall we liked the hike.

Fri Jun 22 2018

Nice hike, wouldn't recommend for families with small children. Lots of folks hiked and had a picnic in a quiet place wish I had taken some food to sit, enjoy the view, and eat. Do this as a first hike if needed in morning. It will warm you up for the day.

Mon Apr 09 2018

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

Wed Apr 04 2018

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.

Mon Mar 19 2018

Nice and easy stroll uphill

Mon Mar 05 2018

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

Tue Feb 06 2018

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

Mon Feb 05 2018

Thu Jan 04 2018

The view is ok, hike is moderate as expected.

Wed Dec 06 2017

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.

Fri Nov 24 2017

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!

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