Camp at Andrew Molera State Park

San Francisco Andrew Molera Campground

Added by Josh Currie

For those who are looking to head to Big Sur for the weekend but don't have a reservation, Andrew Molera is a great first come first serve campground right by the beach.

Andrew Molera is about 27 miles south of Carmel and one of the first State Parks you'll hit heading down the coast. There will be signs for the Park as you approach and the main parking lot is only a couple hundred yards from Hwy 1. There are a number of hiking trails and activities to do around the park if you want to just hang for the day. For those who are interested in camping, it is one of the few first come first serve spots a long the coast which is very nice since who actually plans camping trips that far in advance.

The campground is about a half mile from the parking lot so it's not quite car camping nor a true hike in spot which is a little unique. So if you can fit most of your things into your backpack then great, but if not, plan on taking a couple trips back and forth to the lot. The trail is quite flat for the most part and runs next to a little creek which will later dump out into the ocean.

The campground is essentially an open grass field with a few big Oaks scattered about. There are about 24 spots I believe so if you are planning on just showing up and hoping for a spot, make sure you do it as early as possible. Each spot is pretty spaced out and has a picnic table and fire pit. There are a couple well maintained bathrooms as well on the property.

Once you have set up camp, continuing on a long the trail past the campground, you'll eventually run into the beach about a mile away. The creek runs right into the ocean so you'll have to wade across it to get to the main beach, or you can take a side trail up to the bluffs and enjoy the view from there.

For more information on the state park, check their website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=582

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Fire Wood
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Surf Board
  • Food
  • Camera
  • Bathing Suit
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography, Surfing, Swimming

Skill Level:

Beginner

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

1 Miles

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

5 months ago

Awesome getaway + surf

One of my favorite spots in Big Sur. The hike in lets you feel like you're away from the cars and the campground is nice an open. The best part is the short walk to the beach that provides access to surf and several other hikes. You can hike along the coast and the view is unreal. Highly recommended.

5 months ago

7 months ago

Away from it all

Once you've hiked in along the creek, the busy world recedes. Because there are no personal vehicles allowed, the space feels like it really is in the countryside. Other campers that you meet are friendlier than at most campsites as they've earned this seclusion by hiking in. As if you're all on a little adventure together. The hike to the beach is an easy one, and the trail ends at a bluff overlooking the beach and the ocean. I spent two days just sitting on the beach or the bluff and the third I took a hike south in the park overlooking the ocean. Andrew Molera is now my favorite coastal campground.

7 months ago

Added by Josh Currie

Christ | Country | Family | Filmmaker at GoPro

More Adventures Nearby

Hike Montgomery Woods State Nature Reserve Loop

San Francisco / Montgomery Woods SNR

This is a great find. We saw it on the map it was on the way from Mendocino to our next stop, Napa Valley. So glad we took the time to visit.

John Maurizi
2 Saves

Marin Headlands Trail Loop

San Francisco / Marin Headlands Trail via Coastal Trail

This trail starts at the Coastal Trail in Marin Headlands Park, where there's a small parking lot and outhouse bathroom off the circle when coming from Conzelman Road.

Jaime B
1 Saves

Bouldering at Ring Mountain

San Francisco / Ring Mountain

Itching to climb outdoors near San Francisco?  With only a quick drive from the city, Ring Mountain is a beautiful nature preserve overlooking the city of San Francisco offering two main rock for.

Chanel Varasteh
9 Saves