Pfeiffer Seashore, Huge Sur: The best way to Go to this Very Cool Purple Sand Seashore!

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Pfeiffer Seashore, Huge Sur: The best way to Go to this Very Cool Purple Sand Seashore!

Pfeiffer Seashore in Huge Sur is known because the “purple sand seaside.” However that’s not its solely declare to fame: stunning Keyhole Arch, which sits simply offshore at Pfeiffer Seashore, is among the most photographed spots in Huge Sur.

Together with and , Pfeiffer Seashore is among the high sights in Huge Sur. It is among the .

Attending to Pfeiffer Seashore takes a little bit of effort, however the excellent surroundings and serene atmosphere are properly definitely worth the quick detour from California Freeway 1. You’ll fall in love with this stunning spot, assured!

Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur Sunset

Whereas locals know and love Pfeiffer Seashore, it’s a spot you could miss if you’re a customer on a , as a result of it isn’t signposted and it isn’t seen from California Freeway 1.

And that may be a disgrace, as a result of exploring this hidden gem is among the !

If you’re contemplating a go to to Pfeiffer Seashore, learn on to find what to anticipate, plus issues to know earlier than you go.

What are you able to Count on at Pfeiffer Seashore in Huge Sur?
Important Info about Pfeiffer Seashore, Huge Sur
The best way to Get to Pfeiffer Seashore
What to Deliver on Your Pfeiffer Seashore Go to
Ideas for Your Go to to Pfeiffer Seashore

What are you able to count on at Pfeiffer Seashore in Huge Sur?

Pfeiffer Seashore is drop useless beautiful. Keyhole Arch is seen as quickly as you may have a full view of the seaside, and it’s a majestic sight, with its barely curved high and good-looking dimension.

Admiring Keyhole Arch and the opposite spectacular sea stacks is the highest factor to do at Pfeiffer Seashore!

The pure arch sits simply off the seaside, and you may spend hours having fun with the mesmerizing view of waves gushing into the little “door” within the arch earlier than swooshing out and spilling onto the sand.

Keyhole Arch Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur

Different Issues to Do at Pfeiffer Seashore

Aside than Keyhole Arch, you will see different dramatic rock formations at Pfeiffer Seashore to admire and {photograph}. Within the spring and early summer time, wildflowers add splashes of shade on the rocks.

We’ve seen agile guests scramble up a few of them for views. However sneakers with good grip are a should should you select to climb, as a result of the rocks look slippery and sharp. And it’s a lot tougher to return again down!

Swimming is just not suggested at Pfeiffer Seashore, as a result of the currents right here might be harmful. Plus, the water is ice chilly, even while you simply get your toes moist!

However sand play is allowed, and enjoyable! Search for surfers within the water and preserve your eyes peeled for marine life and birds.

Go for a stroll alongside the pristine sandy seaside to admire the surroundings from each angle and do some beachcombing.

Strolling Pfeiffer Seashore finish to finish is among the best and greatest you are able to do.

On the left, as you enter the seaside, you may even see Sycamore Canyon Creek pool on the sand earlier than emptying into the ocean, and the rocks are stunning as a pure body for the sandy seaside.

Sea stacks at Pfeiffer Beach in California

At low tide, search for tide swimming pools to discover, and, as you stroll, search for the well-known purple sand as properly! (For those who stroll alongside the seaside, go ready with info on tides so you aren’t stranded.)

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The purple sand at Pfeiffer Seashore is the results of manganese garnet deposits washing down onto the seaside from neighboring hills.

The streaks of purple are way more seen should you go to simply after it has rained, which usually occurs in winter and early spring in California. However you could discover pockets of purple sand at different occasions as properly.

Purple sand at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur

It’s usually too cool and breezy right here to sunbathe for any prolonged time period, however you is perhaps fortunate and go to on a heat and nonetheless day.

Deliver a picnic lunch to get pleasure from if you wish to hang around for some time. For those who arrive within the late afternoon, you could wish to wait to look at the solar set.

Pfeiffer Seashore at Sundown

Whereas Keyhole Arch is Instagram-worthy regardless of while you go to, it’s significantly stunning at sundown.

On sundown night, the sky is imbued with hues starting from orange to pink to purple simply after the solar dips beneath the horizon, offering a dramatic backdrop for the gorgeous arch. Pictures heaven!

For those who plan to go to Huge Sur in winter, and also you get pleasure from panorama pictures, you could wish to go to throughout the few weeks across the Winter Solstice.

Throughout this time, the solar units at an angle that sends streams of good gentle proper by the keyhole to create a very otherworldly spectacle.

The present lasts only for a couple of minutes, however you will see photographers lined up with tripods and ready for hours for that dream shot.

Light show at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur California

Important Info about Pfeiffer Seashore in Huge Sur

First, there are numerous locations in Huge Sur with “Pfeiffer” within the title. Tremendous complicated should you aren’t accustomed to the area!

Pfeiffer Seashore has nothing to do with Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park or Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and you’ll not discover the seaside should you search for it in both park.

Pfeiffer Seashore is managed by Los Padres Nationwide Forest, and the day use space of Pfeiffer Seashore is managed by The Parks Administration Firm for the Forest Service.

Sea stacks at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur

The seaside is open all 12 months, from 9.00 a.m. till 8 p.m, or sundown, whichever is earlier. There’s a small car parking zone close to the seaside, vault bogs, and a few picnic tables. Canines on leash are allowed on Pfeiffer Seashore.

The parking payment for Pfeiffer Seashore, on the time of writing, is $12.00. Neither the Nationwide Parks Cross nor the California State Parks passes or day receipt is accepted at Pfeiffer Seashore.

Examine the Los Padres Nationwide Forest for present info on charges, particular closures, and hours of operation earlier than you go to.

The best way to Get to Pfeiffer Seashore in Huge Sur, California

Discovering Pfeiffer Seashore is slightly tough, and you’ll have to focus, to ensure you don’t miss the flip off California Freeway 1!

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Pfeiffer Seashore () is situated on the finish of Sycamore Canyon Highway, between Huge Sur Station within the north and the Huge Sur Publish Workplace within the south.

This highway, situated on the west aspect of California Freeway 1, is just not signposted. The one signal you will note is a yellow signal that claims “Slim Highway.”

Coming from the north, the turnoff for Sycamore Canyon comes up in 1.1 miles after you move the doorway to Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park. It’s a very sharp proper flip.

From the south, search for the turnoff 1.8 miles after you move Nepenthe Restaurant, or about 9.8 miles north of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Utilizing your odometer to search for the turnoff is a good suggestion!

Sea stack reflections at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur California

The GPS coordinates for the turnoff are 36° 14′ 24.77″N 121° 46′ 38.01″W. Observe that there isn’t any cell reception in most of Huge Sur, so you’ll have to obtain or print maps and instructions earlier than you go to.

When you get onto Sycamore Canyon Highway, you will note a stone signal that claims Pfeiffer Seashore Two Miles.

Sycamore Canyon Highway is paved, however you could encounter potholes, so drive sluggish. The highway is winding and really slender, and RVs and trailers are usually not allowed. You could have to make use of pullouts to let oncoming visitors move. Site visitors coming uphill has precedence.

There’s forest on either side, and you could encounter deer.

Additionally, be aware that Sycamore Canyon Highway might flood after vital rains, which usually happen within the winter and early spring. We’d not drive it when flooded.

On the backside, a really quick sandy path leads from the car parking zone by Monterey cypress timber onto the seaside.

Pfeiffer Beach sign

What to Deliver on Your Pfeiffer Seashore Go to


Deliver ample ingesting water should you plan to spend a while at Pfeiffer Seashore. There is no such thing as a ingesting water obtainable at Pfeiffer Seashore, and the closest shops to purchase bottled water are a number of miles away.

Snacks and Meals

There is no such thing as a meals obtainable for buy at Pfeiffer Seashore, however there are locations to eat close by, corresponding to Nepenthe, or Huge Sur Bakery. Deliver snacks to nosh on, and a picnic meal should you plan to eat right here.

Seashore Gear

There is no such thing as a shade at Pfeiffer Seashore, so you have to to convey your individual. Plus all of your normal seaside gear: seaside chairs or loungers should you plan to remain for some time, or a blanket, and seaside towels.

Solar Safety

Pfeiffer Seashore is totally uncovered, so put on (and produce) sunscreen. Additionally put on sun shades and a wide-brimmed solar hat. We like !

Water Footwear with Good Grip

For those who plan to stroll or scramble over the rocks at Pfeiffer Seashore, it would be best to convey water sneakers with glorious grip so that you don’t slip and slide over the rocks or minimize your toes on jagged edges.

Sea stacks at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur

Digital camera

Critical panorama photographers trying to seize sundown pictures at stunning Pfeiffer Seashore arrive with all their gear, together with tripods.

However a digital camera is a good suggestion even if you’re a passion photographer, as a result of it would be best to take advantage of the picture ops at Pfeiffer Seashore.

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If you’re searching for a small digital camera that takes nice panorama images, take into account the . It shoots glorious high-resolution images, and nice video as properly. !


For those who get pleasure from birding, or wish to search for marine life, convey your binoculars! We use the compact binoculars. They’re waterproof!

Keyhole Rock at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California

Ideas for Your Go to to Pfeiffer Seashore

Arrive early for a parking spot

The car parking zone on the backside of Sycamore Canyon Highway is small and should get full. Whereas restricted parking ensures the seaside by no means feels crowded, it additionally signifies that it’s important to arrive as early as you may to make sure of a spot.

For those who arrive when the lot is full, you could be requested to attend for a spot to open up, or you could be turned away.

There may be an overflow car parking zone on the high of the highway, however strolling down (and again up) is just not straightforward. Replace: A reader knowledgeable us that there isn’t any overflow parking any extra, so plan on arriving early to safe parking.

arrive late within the day for sundown

If you wish to keep for sundown however don’t wish to spend all day at Pfeiffer Seashore, plan on arriving late-ish within the afternoon. Early afternoon on good climate days is mostly the worst time to search out parking.

Throughout the winter weeks when the Keyhole Arch gentle phenomenon is going on, you could not discover parking at Pfeiffer Seashore for sundown viewing until you arrive early and keep on by the day.

Sunset at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur

Obtain or print instructions forward of your go to

Don’t count on to have cellphone reception in a lot of Huge Sur. Obtain and/or print maps and instructions earlier than you enter Huge Sur. We at all times have printed instructions and maps once we go to Huge Sur, only for security.

Examine tide schedules earlier than you arrive

To keep away from being stranded when the tide is available in, search for for the day and time you propose to go to forward of time. They’re additionally useful should you plan to go tidepooling.

Enable sufficient time

Pfeiffer Seashore is so stunning that it would be best to linger, particularly should you go to on a sunny heat day. Plus the doorway payment is just not negligible, so that you’ll wish to spend a minimum of a few hours right here.

Enable loads of time to stroll the seaside, beachcomb, and discover, and likewise to take one million images!

Costume in layers

Pfeiffer Seashore, like different northern and central California seashores, tends to be cool (and often breezy) slightly than balmy. Plus, if the marine layer is round, you’ll really feel chilly for positive.

Costume in layers and positively convey a light-weight heat windcheater!

Deliver money for the doorway payment

Once we visited, we have been requested to pay the doorway payment in money, though the Nationwide Forest web site doesn’t so point out. To be protected, convey sufficient money to cowl the admission payment!

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Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur California: Everything you need to know to visit this cool purple sand beach!

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