4 Days @ in Big Sur

The views make driving crazy!

As we traveled west towards Big Sur, first driving along the Monterrey coast, it was around the Carmel area that we hit crazy driver traffic. The road becomes one lane and drivers just pull over at a whim when there is a view without regard for what is behind them and whether or not they can maneuver fast enough to get off the highway. I had always feared the narrowness of the road – but that was never an issue- only the crazy drivers.We made it to Kirk Creek by 12:00 and luckily our campsite was empty.  It was a beautiful day – no fog and a warm 75. We explored the area and settled in to a relaxing afternoon and night.

Ideal spot to spend 4 days in! Reservations were made 6 months in advance! Campsite #28. Next time we want to be on the lower level so that our lounge area has a full view.

My summer goal is to read War and Peace. It was perfect to read, drink some wine and be able to look at the ocean at any time!

Walking the trail from the campground down to the rocky beach is easy and the water views are fabulous!

Along the trail is Kirk Creek which has fresh water and I would guess some folks get their water from here if they don’t know this is a dry campground.

The waterfall at Julia Pfeiffer that everyone wants to see! And the color of the water is perfect!

On Thursday, we explored the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park area. The area is day-use only except for two walk-in campsites. we walked to the look at McWay Falls and see the remnants of the stone house built back in the 1930’s. The retaining walls that still remain were impressive. We then traveled just up the coast to eat lunch at Nepthene. The wait for two of us was 10 minutes- just enough time to order a beer. Our meal was perfect and sitting side by side to contemplate the view -relaxing!  After our lunch we drove south and hiked down to the Partington Cove which holds a special piece of Big Sur history. Much of the tan bark and lumber was shipped out of this cove. There is a tunnel that goes through the ridge line that opens into a beautiful cove which still has parts of the shipping tools bolted to the rocks.

Lunch at Nepenthe was perfect along with the view.

We had always wanted to eat here, but were always  broke to even consider lunch out after backpacking. Luckily we have saved our pennies to enjoy this spot.

Partington Cove from above on Highway 1.

Partington Cove from the ocean.

Hiking in Big Sur – Valley View Trail.

Friday (after showers!) we drove up to Pfeiffer Big Sur, hiked and had lunch by the river. First we drove into the day-use area to check it out as one can stay there at night (overflow) if they are in a self-contained vehicle. We were looking for the pool area which is now the softball field. Then we headed to parking lot A to begin our hike. First we hiked to Pfeiffer Falls, then to Valley View (both on the Valley View Trail). The trail begins in redwoods and transitions to oak. Most people go to the falls then back, without taking the fork in the trail. After the hike we settled by the Big Sur River to have lunch and play in the water. After lunch we walked around, saw the new campfire center (state-of-the-art), and looked at all the campsites.  The campsites we liked best were in the section by the walking bridge, and of course on the river. 

Making a state-of-the-art campfire center!

Lunch on the Big Sur River – perfect to walk in.

Pfeiffer Falls in the park.


One of many sunsets from our campsite.

Saturday we walked down the trail to the rock beach. Visited with a couple who were camping in their tent trailer at Ponderosa Campground and had come over 13 miles to the coast on the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. After lunch we wanted to explore points south and drove down to Gorda, turned around and explored a  couple of places. First we stopped at the Treebones Resort.  Pretty cool place with sweeping views, a small pool, lodge and yurts.  It had wifi which was nice as well. Then driving back north we drove though the Plaskett Creek Campground.  It was packed with families, and very open on the east side of the highway. We then parked at Sand Dollar Beach and walked the trail to look at the beach.  It is the biggest beach I have seen on the Big Sur coast and would be a perfect spot to spend the day.

Exploring the Treebones Resort.

Sand Dollar beach.

Last night in Big Sur – Sand Dollar beach.