Land. Meet sea.
Big Sur, California Visitor Bureau   
State Parks. Distance from Carmel.

Garrapata State Park. 7 miles.
Two miles of beach; whale watching; easy trails.
Trail map.
Brochure and map.

Point Sur Lighthouse State Park. 19 miles.
Guided tours only.

Andrew Molera State Park. 20 miles.
Meadows, beaches, camping.
Trail map.
Horseback riding.
Ventana Discovery Center.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. 26 miles.
Redwoods, meadows, wildlife, 61 room lodge.
Trail map.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. 37 miles. 
Whale watching, waterfalls, camping.
Campground map and rules.
Brochure and park map.

Limekiln State Park. 56 miles.
Redwoods, limekilns, camping.
Campground map and rules.
Brochure and map.

Road Conditions and Weather

Event Calendar: Point Sur Lighthouse and California Condor guided tours. 
The University of California, Berkeley has a database called CalPhotos with 370,000 fauna (animals) and flora (plants) from around the world. Enter "Big Sur" in the Location box and "California" in the state box. It's neat if you like to identify species.

fendleri - VisitBigSurCalifornia.com

Thalictrum fendleri
© 2010 Aaron Schusteff


Ensatina - VisitBigSurCalifornia.com

Ensatina eschscholtzii
Ensatina
© 2009 William Flaxington


Sawtooth Goldenbrush - VisitBigSurCalifornia.com

Hazardia squarrosa var. squarrosa
Sawtooth Goldenbush
© 2011 Neal Kramer


Golden Eardrops - VisitBigSurCalifornia.com

Dicentra chrysantha
Golden Eardrops
© 2004 Aaron Schusteff


Prothonotary Warbler - VisitBigSurCalifornia.com

Protonotaria citrea

Prothonotary Warbler
Allen Spaulding
© 1999 California Academy of Sciences


Santa Lucia Lupine - VisitBigSurCalifornia.com

Lupinus cervinus

Santa Lucia Lupine
© 2004 Aaron Schusteff



Stream Orchid - VisitBigSurCalifornia.com

Epipactis gigantea

Stream Orchid
Beatrice F. Howitt
© 2002 California Academy of Sciences


Yellow Yarrow - VisitBigSurCalifornia.com

Eriophyllum confertiflorum
Yellow Yarrow
Charles Webber
© 1998 California Academy of Sciences

Big Sur Visitor Bureau - Hikes

Top 5 Trails in Big Sur. All accessible year-round.


Sykes Camp Trail hotsprings - VisitBigSurCalifornia.com


1. Sykes Camp Trail
19.5 miles round-trip. Moderate level. Elevation gain : 2,100 feet. Dogs allowed. 
The Sykes Camp Trail is a popular hike to a stream and hot springs in the Ventana Wilderness area. The trail is well marked.  Park ($5 per night) at the Big Sur Forest Service Station a half a mile south of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. They'll give you a free fire permit. Map.



Sykes Camp Trail - Big Sur Visitor Bureau


2. McWay Falls and Saddle Rock Trail
0.7 miles round-trip. All skill levels. Elevation gain: 50 feet. Dogs on a leash.
The McWay Falls trail is more stroll than hike, but the scenery will change your life, especially in the spring when Big Sur wildflowers bloom and you can spot migrating gray whales (December through April) from the high point. The 80 foot-high waterfall pours fresh water into a salt water lagoon. Park at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Map


McWay Falls - Big Sur Visitor Bureau

McWay Falls - Big Sur Visitor Bureau

3. Pfeiffer Falls Trail
0.6 miles round-trip. All skill levels. Elevation gain: 130 feet. Dogs on a leash.  
Stroll among redwoods to a waterfall. Park at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Map.


Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park - Big Sur Visitor Bureau


4. Andrew Molera State Park Beach Trail
4.5 miles round-trip. All skill levels. Elevation gain: 45 feet. Dogs on a leash.
A river crossing, deer wandering through the meadow, driftwood and wildflowers. A spectacular excursion. Park at Andrew Molera State Park, 20 miles south of Carmel
.  

Andrew Molera State Park - Big Sur Visitor Bureau




5. Limekiln Creek Falls
1.3 miles round-trip. All skill levels. Elevation gain: 640 feet. Dogs on a leash. Limestone was baked to hardening in giant kilns along the trail, hauled to the sea, and shipped away. The hike features towering redwoods and a waterfall. Limekiln State Park is two miles south of Lucia. Map


Limekiln State Park - Big Sur Visitor Bureau

Limekiln State Park - Big Sur Visitor Bureau


Trail rankings
are from regular hikers sharing their experiences on AllTrails, a new collaboration between a San Francisco based software company and National Geographic. AllTrails includes 15 Big Sur hikes and thousand more in California. It’s free if you provide an e-mail address. AllTrails also offers survey quality topographic maps for a $49.95 annual fee. They have 700,000 members and a mobile app with 1.3 million downloads. Click on it if you’re interested.

AllTrails Big Sur Visitor Bureau