Big Sur, California

Catch a Sunset at Pfeiffer Beach

Originally added by Blake Maitoza

Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur is a photographer's paradise! See the sunset through an amazing rock formation and glisten on the purple sand. 

Pfeiffer Beach located in Big Sur may truly be one of the most awesome beaches in California...if you can find it. I lived within 40 miles of this beach for over 20 years and just discovered it recently. This beach is located on an unmarked road called Sycamore Canyon Road. On Highway 1, this road is about a mile south of the Big Sur Station on the right. Once you are on this road, you wind back and forth for 2 miles until you come to a ranger station, where you pay $10 to park and use the beach. The beach is well maintained and kept very clean, mostly because many people have trouble finding it.

As you approach the beach, you will notice incredible rock formations. Photographers come from all around the world to photograph this location in Winter. This time of year the sun sets directly behind the hole in the formation leaving an incredible beam of light shining through. If you are here in winter to shoot this incredible site, make sure to get here early as crowds of photographers will all be trying to get the same shot. This location is primarily a perfect sunset spot to photograph.

If the jaw dropping rock formations weren't enough, then you will notice the purple sand all over the beach. There will be many patches of purple sand from manganese garnet in the surrounding hills being eroded onto the beach. The best time to view this is after a winter storm when much eroding has occurred.

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Photography
Bathrooms
Beach
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

This is a beautiful beach, and the rock formations make it a unique find along the Northern California coast. If timing doesn't work and you can't make it for sunset, you can go in the morning but recommend getting there before 11am on a weekend, especially if it's beautiful weather out. Otherwise, the parking lot fills up fast and they will turn cars around who will have to find parking elsewhere and hike the 2 miles down to the beach (which is also a scenic walk through the woods but people will have to walk on the same road as the cars as there's not really a separate trail).

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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.

Stay Nearby

Big Sur, California

Big Sur Lodge

From $199/night

Greenfield, California

Arroyo Seco

From $25/night

Pacific Grove, California

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds

From $176/night

69345 California 1

Plaskett Creek Campground

From $35/night

Nearby Adventures