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  5. Pfeiffer Beach Day Use Area
Pfeiffer Beach
Campground Overview:

Pfeiffer Beach Day Use is located in the heart of Big Sur, CA off Sycamore Canyon Road. The Rock Arch and Purple Sand is a must see for all Big Sur visitors.


No reservations

First come, first served.

Operating Seasons:
  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
  • $30.00 per van
  • $50.00 per bus
Fee Details:

$15.00 Day Use Fee per vehicle. Cash preferred but credit cards accepted (plus a 3.5% convenience fee)

Busiest Seasons:
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Fall
Best Seasons To Visit:
  • Winter
  • Fall
Passes Accepted:
  • Parks Management Day Use Annual Pass


We are experiencing a high demand for parking on busy summer (May - October) and Holiday weekends.

Due to this demand, traffic can back up at the intersection of Hwy 1 and Sycamore Canyon Road leading to long delays and our day use parking lot will fill to capacity.

We will make every effort to accommodate all of our visitors, but if we run out of parking, you may be turned away.

Follow these tips to help get the best chance to find a parking place:

  • Come during the week! We are still filling up May -October but we have a decreased volume so chances are better.
  • Arrive early. Each day we fill, ALWAYS before 11. Weekends we fill between 9-10 am. We rarely fill mid-afternoon. Our two biggest rushes of the day are at 12 noon and 2:30 pm when the lot is already full, avoid turning onto Sycamore Road around those as you will most likely be turned away.
  • Do not park in undesignated areas! Parking along the highway in undesignated areas near Park entrance may result in a citation.
  • Walking down Sycamore Canyon Road is NOT permitted.
  • Parking availability is dynamic and it is hard for park staff to know if we will have parking available when you arrive.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work to accommodate you and our other visitors during the busy Summer (May-October) season.


  • Accessible Vault Toilets
  • Beach Access
  • Beachcombing
  • Bird Watching
  • Creek Access
  • Day Use Area
  • Hiking
  • Parking Area
  • Paved Roads
  • Self Pay Station
  • Surfing
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
Sycamore Canyon Road, Big Sur, California 93920, United States

Q: How much is the Day Use Entry fee at Pfeiffer Beach?

A: It is $12 cash or with a credit card (plus a 3.5% convenience fee - credit cards accepted only when Kiosk is open)


Q: How long is the walk from the parking lot to the beach? Is there an incline?

A: The walk from either parking lot is about 4-5 minutes. The path is sandy and flat and leads you straight onto the beach.


Q: Where is the closest phone service?

A: The closest phone service to Pfeiffer Beach is two miles up Sycamore Canyon (the road that leads you down to Pfeiffer Beach). Once at the top of the highway, you want to take a right heading SOUTH. About a ¼ mile south from there is the Big Sur Center and there is phone signal for approximately a ½ mile before it goes away.


Q: Is there reentry?

A: No. Each Day Use pass is valid for ONE entry only.


Q: What are the hours of operation for Pfeiffer Beach?

A: Sunrise to sunset.


Q: If the kiosk is closed when I arrive do I still have to pay?

A: Yes. There are self-registration envelopes that you can fill in when you arrive and a fee tube that you may deposit your payment into.


Q: What if Parking Area is Full?

A: Due to limited parking at Pfeiffer Beach, you may not be able to enter Sycamore Cyn Road if the parking area is full. You will be turned around by staff and asked to try back at a later time.


Q: Are Weddings Permitted at Pfeiffer Beach?

A: Weddings are NOT permitted from March 15th - October 15th due to limited parking and peak season.

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