Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park RV & Campground Guide


Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is located near the area of Big Sur on California’s Central Coast, approximately 42 kilometres south of Carmel. Centered on the Big Sur River and covering an area of around 1,006 acres, the state park is often referred to as a “mini Yosemite”, due to its stunning mountain peaks, bounty of wildlife, and spectacular views.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park features a coastal climate, with temperatures averaging 50 to 65 F year-round. The majority of the park’s rain occurs between October to April, while early morning fog can be expected from May to October, providing much-needed moisture for the park’s abundance of redwoods. The state park also features a wide variety of wildlife, including bobcats, black-tail deer, gray squirrels, raccoons, skunks, and more. You’ll find them scattered throughout the area’s mountain peaks, bluffs, river banks, and valleys.

If you’re planning a visit to this incredibly beautiful state park, you’re in for a treat. Keep reading to find out everything there is to know about a trip to Pfeiffer Big Sur, including campground information, activities, things to see, and more.

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Spring 44°F - 71°F
Summer 48°F - 77°F
Fall 46°F - 77°F
Winter 43°F - 61°F
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

If you’re thinking about staying in or near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, why not do so in an RV? Unlike tents, RVs provide you with a soft, comfortable bed, as well as your own private bathroom and fully-stocked kitchen. If you don’t own an RV, you can rent an RV fromRVshare.com to suit your budget or needs. All rentals come with nationwide insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a world-class team dedicated to helping you succeed.

The good news is the state park has their very own camping facilities, with 189 RV and tent sites situated on or near the Big Sur River. Pfeiffer Big Sur is an extremely popular campground, however, and reservations fill up six months in advance - even in the winter. Here’s a list of other campgrounds within the vicinity of the state park, should you need a back-up plan!

Fernwood Campground and Resort

Fernwood Campground and Resort is located just 0.7 miles from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and 3.9 miles from Pfeiffer Beach. It offers plenty ofRV sites for those wanting to camp in the area with prices ranging from $85 - $95 per night depending on availability and amenities.

  • Water hookup: yes

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: no

  • Wifi: yes

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: dump station, ADA accessible, restrooms, showers, on-site bar & grill and restaurant

Riverside Campground & Cabins

Riverside Campground & Cabins offer 34 sites for tents RVs and 12 cabins along the Big Sur River on 16 acres surrounded by majestic Redwoods. Beach access and hiking trails are just 10 minutes away, while the state park is simply a stone throw away. RV camping prices range from $75 - $80 per night for two people.

  • Water hookup: yes

  • Electrical hookup: yes

  • Sewer hookup: no

  • Wifi: no

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: camp store, picnic tables, fire rings, laundry facilities, hot showers.

Plaskett Creek Campground

Plaskett Creek Campground offers a beautiful location which is walking distance from Sand Dollar Beach, the largest sandy beach in the Big Sur area, plus it’s just 33 miles from Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The campground offers single-family sites, as well as three group campsites, for tent and RV camping, with prices starting at $35 per night.

  • Water hookup: no

  • Electrical hookup: no

  • Sewer hookup: no

  • Wifi: no

  • Pet-friendly: yes

  • Other amenities: drinking water, flush and pit toilets, grills, fire rings, picnic tables.

RV Rentals Near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Nearby RV Rentals


What to Do at
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Inside Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park might be very popular for camping, but people also flock here because of the wide range of fun outdoor activities on offer. Whether you’re hoping to enjoy wildlife viewing, hiking the park’s famous trails, swimming, picnicking, or more – there’s something for every type of traveler at Pfeiffer Big Sur.

Hiking : There are a number of trails in the park which will give you stunning views of some of the area’s most famous landmarks, including Sycamore Canyon, the Santa Lucia Mountains, Big Sur River Valley, and of course, those panoramic coastline views. View the park’s trailshere.

Swimming : Although the state park doesn’t provide beach or ocean access, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some on-site swimming. Swimming in the Big Sur River has been a popular family activity for over 75 years now and is a great way to cool-off in the hot weather.

Picnicking : There are a number of family picnic areas in the park, mostly next to the Big Sur River. Charcoal grills are available at each, giving you the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.

Ernst Ewoldson Nature Center : The Nature Center has exhibits on the wildlife and plants of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and is staffed by helpful volunteers who can answer all sorts of questions! You’ll find it along the Warden's Path on the south side of the Big Sur River.

Bicycling and scooting : Bicycles and scooters are allowed on the paved roads of the park only, but not on the trails. These roads will give you stunning views of the surrounding area.

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How to Get to
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

The park is located 26 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1. Simply follow this highway through Andrew Molera State Park, past Riverside Campground & Cabins, until you reach the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park sign. You can’t miss it!

Entering Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

The fee to enter the state park is $10 per car, per day. Pass holders may be exempt from fees. Find out more informationhere.

We’re very excited that you’re planning a trip to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Once you’ve finished exploring all that the park has to offer, there are also some incredible opportunities waiting for you outside of its gates! During or after your stay, we encourage you to tag us in any of your social media posts, or why not share your photos and experience with us at [email protected]? We may even feature your story on our blog or social media channels. Happy camping!

Frequently Asked Questions About Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

What is the best time of year to visit Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park?

Situated near the magnificent Big Sur coastal area, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has a mild climate in winter and can be either warm or foggy in summer. Its camping sites are usually booked six months in advance year-round.

What kind of wildlife can be found in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park?

In the park, you can see black-tail deer, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, bobcats, condors, belted kingfishers, trout, and monarch butterflies. Many interpretive activities with rangers each week revolve around the wildlife and are listed on the website.

Are there designated RV camping spots in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park?

There are 189 camping spots suitable for both RVs and tents at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. There are no hookups. Each site has a fire ring and a picnic table. Token-operated hot shower stalls are within the campground boundaries.

Do you have to reserve a camping spot at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and what is the cost?

You have to reserve your camping spot at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park by phone or online on the California State Parks site. A standard campsite costs $35 a night. Premium campsites on the Big Sur River cost $50.

Are pets allowed at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park?

Dogs are allowed in the campground, picnic area, and day use area, and on the paved roads, but they are not allowed on the trails. They must be on a 6-foot leash and accompanied by their owners at all times.