Big Sur, California

Hike to Pfeiffer Falls

2 Miles Total - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Brynn Schmidt

This 2-mile out-and-back trail is one that the whole family can do, so get out there. On the trail you'll see red woods, wildlife, and hopefully waterfalls. This should take 1-2 hours (depending on your group size).

This trail is a staff favorite at Big Sur. This family-friendly waterfall trail provides only a moderate challenge for young children and older family members. There are two starting points for this hike depending on where you stashed the car. If you’re parked near the gift shop, the head up the road to the east – away from highway one and into the redwood forest. Just a short way up on the right, you’ll see a sign marking the start of the trail.

If you decided to cruise passed the lodge to look for parking, parking in one of the lots just passed and head back toward the lodge to pick up the trail.

Once you’re on the trail, you’ll see why it’s so family friendly. The trail is well kept and is shaded by the towering redwoods. After you cross a small, wooden bridge, the trail will start to climb up the canyon. This short climb has a good breaking point on the left at the Valley View vista point where you can catch your breath, take in the expansive view, and regroup for another short climb to a viewing bench. Be sure to snap a few family photos here. Some people get service at this spot, so if you’re the Instagramming type, get it done here!

Next, head back down the trail to where it splits and go left toward Pfeiffer Falls. The trail winds back down the hill and under the shade of redwoods. You’ll cross a creek one more time and be at the falls.

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

The redwoods are the main attraction

The waterfall is ok, the small creeks with redwoods are amazing. Easy well kept Trail makes for a nice stop in Big Sur

Enjoyable Hike!

It was nice to hike through Redwood Trees in this trail, but the amount of water in Pfeiffer Falls was kind of disappointing. When the rangers said "60foot waterfall" we thought it would be much more impressive. The extra half mile towards Valley view made up for it though! I loved the view from up there!

Nice Hike

This trail was definitely well kept, clean, and family friendly. I would recommend going straight to the waterfall. The other trail is still nice, but the view "at the top" isn't too spectacular since it's actually only partially up the mountain. Definitely a good hike for beginners.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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