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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.

Length 1.8 mi Elevation gain 554 ft Route type Out & Back

Kid friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (5)
Facilities
Tips
Getting There

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.

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.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (215)
Photos (224)
Recordings (187)
Completed (496)
joseph tucci
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.

Peter Nesbitt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Quick and easy with a nice view

View Peter's Recording
Darice Slusser
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.

Tyler Clark
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.

View Tyler's Recording
Ayse Trail
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.

View Ayse's Recording
Em W
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.

nancy z.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 18, 2019
Hiking

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

Ethan Langsdorf-Willoughby
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 15, 2019
Hiking

Great lil hike.

View Ethan's Recording
marie phelps
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.

Dani Burke
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.

Ashley T
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.

Alex A.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 6, 2019
Hiking

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

Julia W.
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.

Joanna Rogers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 10, 2019
Hiking

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.

Amber Shackelford
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 23, 2019
Hiking

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.

Loren Hall
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 6, 2019
Hiking

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.

bronwyn j.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 1, 2019

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

Erica Chan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 3, 2018

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

Wei Feng
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 8, 2018

Trail to the falls was not accessible at this time

Hannah R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2018
Hiking

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

Jennifer Slencak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 2, 2018

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

Jim Hallahan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 27, 2018
Hiking

Falls are closed

Lola Weyers
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2018
Hiking

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.

Nachi M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2018
Hiking

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.

Andrew Scarani
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 9, 2018
Hiking

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

Calvin Kuo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 4, 2018
Running

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.

Kaushik Ranganath
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 19, 2018

Nice and easy stroll uphill

Greg Peterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 5, 2018

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

Carmen Solari
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 6, 2018

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

Angel Diane
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 5, 2018
Hiking
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