Pfieffer Big Sur State Park Campout

  • 14 Sep 2017
  • 2:00 PM
  • 17 Sep 2017
  • 12:00 PM
  • Pfieffer Big Sur State Park


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:

Registration is closed

Pfieffer Big Sur State Park Campout

Sept 14-17, 2017 

The Big Sur area along the central California coast is legendary for it’s beauty, its remoteness, its ruggedness, its mystery, and the atmosphere of pervasive spirituality. The jagged coastline of steep cliffs intercut with deep canyons, the wilderness and undeveloped land, the abundance of woodlands and wildlife, the unpredictable weather, and the throngs of visitors, all add to the mood and mystic of this popular destination. More info at:

For this four-day/three-night outing we will be camping at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Fortunately the campsites were secured before the heavy rains, damaging landslides, and bridge failure closed the Big Sur coast. Most of Highway 1 will remain closed indefinitely, but our campground is just north of the demolished bridge, so it is still accessible by driving south from Monterey/Carmel on Highway 1.

More info at:

While the park is open, unfortunately almost all of the trails in and near PBSSP are closed due to damage from the winter rains or the fire in 2016. Andrew Molera State Park is also closed as of this writing, as are most trails to the east of Hwy 1.

What will be available to us? Point Sur Light House will be open, Bixby Bridge is still there, and so is the village of Big Sur. Big Sur Lodge is open and one can buy meals and coffee there. In addition, interesting places south of the collapsed bridge, such as Nepenthe, Henry Miller Library, Coast Gallery, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, will most likely be accessible by way of a shuttle service that takes visitors up to the demolished bridge where they use a newly built trail that goes down and up the canyon and connects to shuttle service on the other side of the gap. For hiking and exploring on Saturday the best alternative is probably Point Lobos, 20 miles to the north. More info at:


The campout starts Thursday afternoon and there will be a welcome tea for those that are able to get away. For dinner we’ll probably venture into Big Sur Village.

Friday we’ll avail ourselves of the shuttle service and visit Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and perhaps have lunch at Nepenthe. There will be a welcome tea at 4:00 with campfire fellowship later. Maybe readings from some of the literary greats who have lived in or been associated with Big Sur, like Robison Jeffers, Jack Kerouac, or Henry Miller. Or ghost stories from the coast. Or games.

Saturday after breakfast we’ll carpool to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, considered the “crown jewel” of the state park system. There are miles of trails and endless natural beauty in the park and we’ll absorb as much of it as possible in a day. Return to the campground for the traditional Great Outdoors potluck and more fun around the campfire afterwards.

Sunday we must strike our tents, clean the campsites, and checkout by 12:00 PM.


Our group has six sites reserved, each site is compact. However, each will easily hold three small tents or possibly one large and two small tents.  Pair up if you have a large tent. Each site is allowed a maximum of eight people but we are going to limit it to four people per site (unless you have a group sleeping in your large tent). There is a water spigot at each site plus a fire ring and picnic table. Flush toilets and coin-operated showers are close by to the sites. There is a camp store for forgotten necessities. Please bring a bundle of firewood purchased from the camp host (expensive) or nearby.


Camping fees include entry for one vehicle. Those free spaces will be given on a first-come first-served basis. One additional vehicle is allowed at each site but until everyone is checked in we want the second spot left open for campers to unload their gear. After the first six vehicles there will be a per-day charge for each vehicle. Additional vehicles will have to park in overflow or day use parking, therefore carpooling is important.

Only registered campers are allowed in the campground. Due to congestion and traffic constraints, free passes for deliveries or passenger drop off are not permitted.

Campground Notes:

Check out is 12 PM. Check in is 2 PM. Checkout times are strictly enforced.

Dogs must be on a maximum 6 foot leash and attended at all times. Dogs are not allowed on trails or in the Big Sur River Gorge.

There is poison oak throughout the park.


Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is 26 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1. That is currently the only access route. To get to Hwy. 1, take 101 to Salinas, then south on 68, then south on Hwy. 1 at Monterey.  The park will be on your left a few miles after you pass through Big Sur Village. If you reach the Big Sur Ranger Station you have gone too far.


Prepare for anything except snow. There might be rain, might be fog, it might be cool (especially at night) and it might be warm.

Price: $45 for Great Outdoors members; $70 for non-members.

Cancellation policy:  full refund given at least five (5) days prior to departure; no refunds after that.

For more information, contact: Thomas Larson

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"Great Outdoors" is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization. PO Box 21051, Santa Barbara, CA 93121

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