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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Nearby Cities
Big Sur, CA
Monterey, CA
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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 from 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 of RV 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 trails here.

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.

Outside Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

If you thought the park has lots on offer, then you’re going to be delighted by just how many experiences are available to you outside of the park in Big Sur, including stunning sightseeing, award-winning restaurants, and amazing shopping experiences.



Just over 4 miles from the state park is Nepenthe, a highly-renowned restaurant perched on a Big Sur cliffside offering California fare and a terrace with breathtaking views. There is also an on-site cafe (Café Kevah), as well as the Phoenix Shop, which sells books, journals, cards, and more.

Type: Bohemian eatery

Location: Big Sur, CA

Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn is an upscale, boutique hotel set on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and it also has an exceptional restaurant on-site. Sierra Mar offers an array of artfully prepared dishes using locally foraged ingredients, paired with selections from the award-winning cellar. 

Type: Fine dining

Location: Big Sur, CA

Fernwood Tavern

Looking for something more casual, located within just minutes from the state park? Fernwood Tavern is your go-to for pizza and pub food in an old-school roadhouse setting. There’s live music, bar games, and a wide range of beverages on offer.

Type: Tavern

Location: Big Sur, CA


Del Monte Shopping Center

Just 29 miles from the state park is one of the region’s most popular and highly-rated shopping malls, the Del Monte Shopping Center. Here, you’ll find a great selection of shops and food and beverage facilities to suit your every need. It’s a great place to spend a few hours during your state park trip – rain, hail, or shine!

Location: Monterey, CA


Pfeiffer Beach

If the sight and sounds of waves crashing has got you itching for a swim in the ocean, then you’ll want to visit Pfeiffer Beach, which is located just outside of the state park. The beach is well-known for its variety of sand colors – including white, purple, and black, depending on what part of the beach you’re at.

Location: Big Sur, CA

Tassajara Hot Springs

The Tassajara Hot Springs are a collection of natural hot springs in the Ventana Wilderness, within the Santa Lucia Range and Los Padres National Forest. There’s also the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center on-site, which was the first training monastery founded outside of Japan.

Location: Carmel Valley, CA

Pinnacles National Park

The famous Pinnacles National Park is home to the remains of an ancient volcanic field and features geologic sights, caves, and condors. You can also make use of some stunning hiking trails here, as well as rock-climbing, self-guided cave tours, and more.

Location: Pinnacles National Park, CA

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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 information here.

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!