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California State Parks: Russ Christoff visits Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park


Following Highway 1, I paused for a moment
at Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a day use state park, with an outstanding feature. From high bluffs overhead, a beautiful 50
foot waterfall drops straight into the Pacific Ocean. This park also includes a 1,680 acres underwater
reserve, and 1,800 acres of upland forest and ridge country. Traveling 12 miles to the north, I arrived
at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. This 810 acre state park is campers and nature
lover’s paradise. Located near the Big Sur River, 218 campsites
are sheltered in majestic coast redwoods, oak woodlands and grassy areas. Hot showers are available. Day use and picnic
facilities are provided for those who just want to spend the day. Trails of all kinds abound in this park and
appeal to hikers of all levels. I enjoyed a hike to Pfeiffer Falls. It’s
about a mile and half from the park entrance. Trails which climb higher will give hikers
views of the ocean and mountains. On my return, I visited the park’s nature
center. The exhibits in here teach people about the birds and animals that live in the
Big Sur area. Swimming in the clear water of the Big Sur
River can be bracing on a hot day, along with sunbathing on giant boulders. This seems to be one of the most popular past
times in good weather. On most summer evenings there are campfire
programs for all to enjoy. During the day time, Junior Ranger programs
and nature walks go into full swing. Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is one of the
few state parks that have a lodge on hand for those who look for accommodations other
than a campsite. Guests staying at the lodge get to use its
private swimming pool. The lodge is also home to a restaurant, which
offers a choice of indoor or outdoor dining. A handy grocery store on the premises is a
plus for campers who have run short of supplies. If you would like to camp at Pfeiffer Big
Sur State Park or stay at the Big Sur Lodge, you will need to make a reservation. Make
sure to call ahead.

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