Nature & Parks in Big Sur

THE 10 BEST Big Sur Parks & Nature Attractions

Nature & Parks in Big Sur

Types of Attractions
Nature & Parks
Traveller rating
Good for
22 places sorted by traveller favourites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, number of page views, and user location.



What travellers are saying

  • DesertRose
    476 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is extremely lovely and my husband and I really were glad to have had the chance to see it but there was a $10 entry fee and you can't actually go to the falls, only view it from above.
    There used to be a extended walking trail of some sort along the ridge but it was closed just past the viewing point when we were there.
    Written June 11, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Michael B
    Sydney, Australia17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a beautiful park - well worth the extra time to travel down from Big Sur (if you're coming in from Carmel direction). The McWay falls are beautiful and there are a number of great walks.
    Written March 8, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Roary
    Vancouver, Canada3,712 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    I had a half day to visit Big Sur driving down from San Francisco. I wasn’t sure where to stop but while browsing the web i saw a recommended to go to Pfeiffer Beach at sunset to take pictures of the keyhole arch. So that’s what I did.

    The first thing to mention is the road going in is narrow, so you need to often use pullouts for cars to pass each on the road. I wish I had a smaller rental car. Once I paid the entrance fee, I was quickly able to find parking. I spent an hour walking along the beach taking various pictures of the purple sand, the ocean waves and the rock formations. There was already a small group pf photographers ready to take photos of the sunset through the arch. Once it got to sunset I took a spot among a dozen other people taking the same shot. I’ll admit it turned out pretty well. I can sew why this spot is popular among amateur photographer.
    Written December 22, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Michael B
    Sydney, Australia17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A beautiful state park that really captures the California Coast. Many great walks and a good place to have a picnic. If you're travelling in this part of California -a must see.
    Written March 11, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Lisa P
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth the time. Very good tour guides who were knowledgable and funny! They are only open for tours 1-2 times per week and only allow 40 people in per tour. Get there early. There was a line!
    Written October 4, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Paul H
    35 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The art in this gallery was stunning, and I have never said that about any gallery. It is far from a typical gallery in a touristy area: it is an art show for a small number of artists (many from one family). Yes, the pieces are all pretty pricey, but they are really impressive.
    Written August 12, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Nature Lover
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    What a beautiful campground. Dawnette and her husband the camp host were extremely helpful and was able to score us a spot since we didn't have a reservation. The second night we moved to the most beautiful and best spot #29. We watched a deer and her fawn eat nearby. The soothing sound of the creek the trees plus on the other side of the campground was a beautiful beach. They have 3 hiking trails we took which were easy. Loved the waterfall hike. My husband and I were celebrating our 30th anniversary since our Hawaii trip was scrapped due to Covid-19. I feel we had a much better time seeing Big Sur and the California coastline than going to Hawaii and the best part was camping at Limekiln Campground.
    Written August 22, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Sunshine243024
    Louisville, CO7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We took the beautiful scenic drive down Hwy 1 south from Pebble Beach to reach Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. It's very curvy in places so if you're prone to car sickness, sit in the front seat. Entrance to the park is a $10/car fee that's also good for entry in to any other state park on the same day. Although we went mid-week (3/26/2024) there were plenty of people in the park and yet we had no problem parking for day use. We hiked the Buzzards Roost loop (~4 miles RT) . It's a lush trail in the shade (from the redwoods) until you get to the top of the viewpoint. Gradual uphill grade most of the way up amongst the mountain iris, flowers, redwoods, and poison oak (be careful, it's on both sides of the trails). Plan on 2-3 hours if you plan on a hike. We didn't go on the trail to see the falls... that's for next time.

    I was ready to submit this when I saw the news that the heavy rains on 3/30/2024 took out part of Hwy 1 so you can't reach any of the Big Sur Parks!
    Written April 9, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Stellan D
    Bromma, Sweden564 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Nice small park along Hwy 1 south of Carmel. If you want to go to the beach there is a meadow trail which near the parking area crosses the creek. Normally there is a bridge here but at this time of the year it has been removed for the season and you need to wade in knee deep water to cross. If you take the camping trail (disregard the closed sign as it is for the camping facility only) you walk along the creek and probably encounter deers and other wildlife. On the right hand side there is an old 3 room cabin from the 18-hundreds. There you can read on the information board to the left of the very interesting life of Monarch butterflies who migrate quite long distances including several generations. In this place there is a eucalyptus grove where they stay for the winter. earlier there where many thousands of them here but nowadays there are much fewer. They have a habit to feeding on poisonous things to avoid beeing eaten by e.g. birds. Along this trail you end up at a wide part of the creek but do not reach the beach.
    If you prefer to hike up the hills on the other side of the highway there is a hill tril as well.
    Written November 19, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • TravelerCentralFLA
    Clermont, FL1,717 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We hiked the Partington Cove Trail on our drive down Highway 1. My family and I really enjoyed this hike. It has beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and of the vegetation in this area. As we hiked down we passed by a creek that flowed into the cove. There were coastal redwoods along the hike and lots of wildflowers in bloom.
    The cove itself is mesmerizing. Watching and listening to the waves break against the rocks is awe-inspiring. The hike down is moderately easy. It is just over a mile round-trip and there is an elevation gain of about 350 feet coming back up from the Cove. It is very doable and very much worth the work. I highly recommend a visit to Partington Cove.
    Written May 29, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Southwest_Gaucho
    Lake Havasu City, AZ1,232 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Drove up the PCH to see Salmon Creek Falls after a local in Cambria had recommended it. Great drive and great little hike! Water was nice and cold and the falls were great. Boulders/rock was massive. As you near the falls, the trail disappears as everyone has gone every which way down to the creek. Be heads up not to slip. Also, be heads careful not to touch the POISION OAK which is along the trail. Worthwhile stop along the PCH.
    Written May 16, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Virat Bakhshi
    13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We hiked down the trail and the end of the trail was absolutely phenomenal. it felt that once we had gone through the tunnel we were in another world.
    Absolutely amazing.
    Virat Bakhshi
    Written November 22, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Alex H
    Philadelphia, PA13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great trail. One of my favorite experiences of our trip around northern california. Loved that it felt like an actual hike compared to much of those in PA. Redwoods are amazing.
    Written February 13, 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Virat Bakhshi
    13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We pulled off the Highway to view the scenery from the top. It was just so beautiful that words cannot do justice.
    Like they say seeing is believing.
    Virat Bakhshi
    Written November 22, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • All American D
    Las Vegas, United States2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great trail, we were out for a cardio workout and did two loops in an hour, holding a good pace. Variable terrain loved the change in scenery as you climb. At the fork the right way is significantly steeper but still quite manageable. Very worthwhile hike.
    Written July 14, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
All things to do in Big Sur
RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars