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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park © Chris Roman
A fabulous and accessible walk in coastal Big Sur with so many incredible panoramic views Named after memorable pioneer woman Julia Pfeiffer.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park McWay Fall © wei lian
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park McWay Fall © wei lian
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Big Sur Station #1
Big Sur, California   93920

Phone: 831-667-2315
This state park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a well respected pioneer woman in the Big Sur country. The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. It features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.

History of the Area
The park was established in 1962. It's named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a respected pioneer woman. The land originally belonged to Christopher and Rachel McWay who were friends with Burns.

In their wills, Helen Hooper Brown (a relative of the McWays) donated over 1,800 acres for public use as long it honored her friend Julia's name. This included an iconic waterfall that drops into the Pacific Ocean - one of only two such waterfalls on America's western coastline.

The park is known for its redwood trees and diverse marine life which includes sea otters and seals among others.

- Environmental Campsites: Two hike-in campsites are available, offering stunning views of the Big Sur coastline.

- Waterfall Overlook Trail Camping: This is not a traditional campsite but allows overnight stays with special permits.

Note that there's no car camping or RV sites within Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is located near Greenfield, Soledad and Salinas

- Ewoldsen Trail: A moderate 4.5-mile loop trail that offers stunning views of the ocean, redwood groves and chaparral-covered hillsides.

- Waterfall Overlook Trail: An easy half mile round trip hike leading to an overlook with a view of McWay Falls cascading onto a sandy beach below.

- Tan Bark Trail/Tin House Loop: This strenuous 6 miles long trail features panoramic coastal vistas, dense forests and remnants from historic Tin House site.

- Canyon Fall Trails: Short but steep quarter mile trek through lush vegetation ending at beautiful canyon falls; not recommended during or after heavy rain due to slippery conditions.

-Pelton Path Nature Walk : Wheelchair accessible path measuring about one-third of a mile in length offering close-up encounters with native plants along its course.

-Julia Pfeiffer Burns Underwater Area Hike - Not your typical hiking experience as it involves diving into kelp forest beneath Pacific Ocean's surface; divers must be certified before undertaking this adventure.

-Saddle Rock Ranch Ruins - Accessible via short detour on Ewoldsen trail showcasing ruins from old ranch house dating back early twentieth century

-Coast Road Historic Sites- Series of sites including Partington Cove Lime Kiln & Loading Chute which are accessed by walking down Coast road for approximately two miles starting near park entrance station

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Area Campgrounds
Big Sur Campground
47000 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA
Fernwood Resort LLC
47200 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA
Nearby Hotels

The park is 37 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1, and 12 miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur.

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California State Parks