【North Carolina Campground】Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Pfeiffer Big Sur State ParkOn Highway 1.Big SurIt's in the middle of the strip, about 40 minutes down the road from Carmel-by-the-sea. The 2 hour 40 minute drive from San Francisco is a bit long, but not too far. We came to Big Sur for camping, and we stayed in a hotel the night before.New Brighton Beach State ParkThe famous Pfeiffer beach in Big Sur is not far away, but it is not within the hinterland of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Pfeiffer Beach

(Unfortunately, the weather was a bit cloudy most of the time, but when the weather is good, you can see the photos of this section of Big Sur.Here.)

Entering the entrance of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, which is located on the west side of the Santa Lucia mountain range, I felt like turning a corner from the sea into the forest. On the left side of the entrance is the Big Sur Lodge. I don't know if it was a weekend or not, but there were a lot of cars. To enter the campground, we had to drive along the road beside the Big Sur River to the bottom. From the map, you can see all the trails in this area. Actually, there are quite a lot of campgrounds here, but because of the good location and too many tourists, it's not easy to book. If you just want to come to Day Use to walk the trails, the website says that there is a $10 entrance fee, but it seems that there is no charge at the site.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park,Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Camping 1

Camping Environment

  • Comfort: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The campground is in the middle of the forest and it looks like all the campsites should be sheltered and cozy. We were very lucky to get a location with a great view, but the small drawback was that it was quite rocky.

  • Camp Space: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This time, because of the many rocks, although the campground itself is very large, actually suitable for camping in a small location, two tents may be very difficult, but it seems that the other nearby premium site does not have this problem, so the overall campground or can give four stars it.

  • Facility Cleanliness: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The campground is clean all around and the restrooms have coin-operated hot water showers.

  • Convenience: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Even if you just stay inside the park, there are many trails and restaurants around the park. If you want to go to the beach, CA-1 is just outside the exit, so it is a great location for sightseeing in Big Sur.

  • Overall Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This time, I was lucky to book a Premium campsite facing Big Sur River Gorge, just two steps down to the river, super convenient to play in the water. After circling around the campsite, there are actually quite a lot of campsites facing the river (although some of them are not open now due to the need to maintain the environment), and overall, even the campsites that are not facing the river are very close to the river. Because it's right by the river, it's not too cold or too hot, so it's very comfortable to live here. Cell phone reception is partially available in the campground.

Inside Trail

There are quite a lot of trails in the park, this time we took a round of the easy ones, including Big Sur River Gorge and River path + Warden's path.

Big Sur River Gorge Trail

Big Sur River Gorge is right next to our campsite, the brochure says 0.5 mile roundtrip, which refers to the paved part of the road, you can walk all the way from the Day Use parking lot on the trail to Big Sur River Gorge, and then you can walk along the river to play in the water, and many people will climb all the way across the river on the rocks and then walk a little way.

The trail passes a cabin called the Homestead cabin, originally owned by John Pfeiffer, whose parents settled here in 1869 and were the first European immigrants to the area, farming and beekeeping along the Big Sur River. John Pfeiffer built the cabin until 1933, when he sold 680 acres of land to the State of California to become the current Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

River Path and Warden's Path Loop

River path and Warden's path are two trails along the north and south sides of the Big Sur River, which together make a 0.6 mile loop, with several picnic areas along the way.

Walking along the River path towards the entrance of the park, you can walk all the way to Big Sur Lodge, where there are stores and restaurants, in fact, there are not many restaurants along the way, so it is very convenient to do some shopping here.

Warden's Path is along the south side of the river. Many of the campgrounds along the south side of the river are currently closed to the public, mainly due to overuse that has harmed the ecology of the river, but you can still play and relax along the river.

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