increase font use small font sizeuse medium font sizeuse large font size

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, 821 acres in the redwoods and along the Big Sur River, is popular with families and may be the best place for wheelchair riders to stay overnight and enjoy the lovely but otherwise mostly inaccessible Big Sur coast. Be sure to reserve well in advance if you want one of the five accessible campsites or three accessible rooms in Big Sur Lodge. Only one brief hike in the park is accessible, but Pfeiffer Beach, just a few miles away, has a beach wheelchair, and the scenic McWay Falls Overlook Trail is 11 miles south, in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.  
State Parks Advisory: Many of California's state parks are reducing hours of operation and limiting access to facilities because of budget cuts. We recommend that you consult State Parks' website and contact the park directly before planning a visit.

Trail/Pathway Details

Nature Trail

Trailhead: Across the road from day use parking lot #2

Length: Under one mile total

Typical Width: 30 in. to 4 ft.

Typical Grade: Mostly level or gentle

The first section is slightly steeper than 1:12 (a typical ramp)

Terrain: Firm

On our visit just after heavy rain, the trail had shallow puddles, but it was not muddy or soft.


This pleasant, brief interpretive trail parallels the park entrance road. Natural features are marked, but the free brochure of numbered descriptions is out of print, according to a sign at the entrance.  

Accessibility Details

The facilities listed below meet all of our access criteria unless otherwise noted.

Visitor Center: Accessible

Accessible Parking: Yes

Most lots include disabled spaces

Accessible Restroom: Yes

At the lodge, in day use parking lot #1 near the start of the nature trail, and at both ends of the campground. Campground restrooms include accessible showers.  

Accessible Picnic Tables: Yes

Most picnic tables are on grass, but one site across the park road from the nature trail is paved

Other Things of Interest

Thirteen miles to the north of Pfeiffer Big Sur is Point Sur State Historic Park and Lighthouse, where you can take a guided tour (limited access; advance arrangements required).  
Nature Trail
Nature Trail (Dan Hill)

Features icon key

  • camping
  • hiking
  • picnic

Additional Information

View Map  
Managing Agency: California State Parks
Address: Big Sur Station #1, Big Sur
Nearest City: Big Sur
Phone: (831) 667-2315
Reservations: (800) 444-7275
Hours: Half-hour before sunrise to half-hour after sunset
Fees: Entrance
Dogs: In restricted areas
Allowed on leash in developed campground and day-use areas
Reviewed by Ann Sieck, January 22, 2008
Access Norhtern California This web guide is a project of Access Northern California.  
California Coastal Conservancy Thanks to our partner the California Coastal Conservancy

DISCLAIMER: Although the information contained in this web-guide was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions, nor for information that changes or becomes outdated. Neither Access Northern California nor California Coastal Conservancy assume any liability for any injury or damage arising out of, or in connection with, any use of this guide or the sites described in it.

Accessible Restrooms Icon looks like a women and men restroom signBeach Accessible
Wheelchairs Available
  Hiking icon is silhouette of a hikerHiking & Trails
Biking icon looks like person riding a bikeBicycling   Good for Familis icon is a child on a swing'Particularly Good for Families
Boating Icon is a boatBoating   Picnic Area Icon is a picnic tablePicnic
Camping icon is a tentCamping   Swimming Icon is a person swimmingSwimming
Fishing Icon is a fish biting a hookFishing   Wildlife Viewing Icon is a pair of binocularsWildlife Viewing