Hike the Andrew Molera State Park Loop
San Francisco › Andrew Molera State Park Parking lot
Added by Katch Silva
Hike through Andrew Molera's redwood and oak groves with amazing coastal bluff views. Enjoy the secluded beach surrounded by driftwood.
The loops starts at the Andrew Molera State Park parking lot (4.5 miles north of the entrance to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park along Highway 1). Begin by crossing the Big Sur River using the seasonal bridge. If the bridge has been removed, you will need to cross the water by foot. Usually the water level is below the knee and perfectly safe to cross but if you want to be sure you can ask a Park Ranger.
After crossing, head left along the River Trail. The hike starts in beautiful meadows and works its way up through hills and majestic oak and redwood forests. When you come to a junction, head right onto the Creamery Trail and continue until you hit the beach. After exploring the beach, backtrack to the main trail and continue until you hit a junction where you'll take the Bluffs Trail to the right. You will have amazing views up and down the coast.
At one spot, before this trail joins up to the Panorama Trail, there is a small path that goes left towards the secluded, driftwood covered beach. Cross over the large driftwood patch and explore - this is an amazing spot to rest, go for a dip, have a picnic, or just enjoy the views.
Head back to the Bluffs Trail and continue until it merges with the Panorama Trail. You'll take some switchbacks up and have great views of Point Sur (fog permitting!). You'll reach a bench where you can take a break until heading down the Ridge Trail back to the Creamery Meadow Trail. Walk the wide path, through wooded areas and retrace the short Creamery Meadow Trail back to the parking lot.
- Hiking boots
- Day pack
- Plenty of water
- Camera gear
- Layer clothes
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If you visit between October and January, Andrew Molera is the best place in Big Sur to see the Monarch Butterflies. They cluster in trees in the morning and fly around during the day. This place has some great, extensive trails, or you can keep your stroll pretty relaxed and still enjoy breathtaking views. Just keep your eyes out for poison oak!
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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.