1,446 votes

Pfeiffer Beach

Sycamore Canyon Rd, Big Sur, California 93920 USA

Free to Visit
Closed Now
Opens Fri 9a
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    not Accepted
  • Pet Friendly
  • Not Wheelchair
  • Public
Add to Trip
Remove Ads

“discover unspoiled beauty”

Pfeiffer Beach is a beautiful, unspoiled beach that's popular with locals, somewhat unknown among tourists and well worth your time. Besides beautiful offshore views of rocks and sea stacks and some nice surfing waves, this beach has unusual purple sand, from manganese garnet particles washing down the hillside. The further north on the beach you go, the more purple it becomes.

Read More >
Add Review
Your Rating

Reviewed by

  • Road Warrior
  • 395 Reviews
  • 283 Helpful
September 29, 2014
Rated 5.0

What a gorgeous walk this one to Pfeiffer Beach we had, The whole family was satisfied.

The water is crystal clear and then it tends to become a deep blue or even purple, if you get to see further on.

There are people visiting and they sit to admire this scenic background of the beach. This is what we did after walking..

Strongly recommended.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Dee Ashley

  • 18 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
May 14, 2017
Rated 5.0

*** AS OF MAY 2017: CHECK to be certain Highway 1 is passible from wherever you're coming from! Recent landslides have taken out the only viable route (bridge) in the Big Sur region to this area, depending on your direction from! ***

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 13 Reviews
  • 6 Helpful
June 29, 2016
Rated 5.0

Really beautiful and picturesque beach- definitely not touristy! My kids loved the purple sand :)

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 2 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
March 19, 2016

Go left at the parking lot. Really cool waterfall & info about first settlers and the foundation of their house. Very pretty! Saint Lucia Waterfall.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 8 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
December 29, 2015

This is a true hidden gem! PURPLE sand!!!!!! I'm not kidding! If you go after a rain that's when there's supposed to be the most purple sand. The walk from the parking area is easy and the beach is beautiful.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Joel Schat

  • Photographer
  • 222 Reviews
  • 519 Helpful
October 01, 2014
Rated 5.0

Pfeiffer beach itself is a beautiful spot that usually isn't all that crowded as its not the easiest to get to! There is a ton of sea life in the rocks and the beach itself seems to go on forever past the iconic sun portal rock.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Lesli Peterson

  • Blogger
  • 773 Reviews
  • 30 Helpful
October 20, 2020
Rated 5.0

This beautiful beach was one of our favorite stops while we were in Big Sur. We caught it right at sunset and it was brilliant!!

The kids had a blast chasing the waves and water on the beach while my husband and I took in the beauty of the rock formations, sunset and surrounding area.

When sunset was done the kids didn't want to leave and kept playing with driftwood building a bridge across a little river of water.

Besides the beautiful ocean there were also gorgeous flowers all around.

This place is amazing!

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
June 16, 2018
Rated 4.0

So glad we came here! Only 4 stars because even though there is a parking fee, the 2 mile road down to the beach was narrow, crumbling, and dangerous. Luckily we navigated fine in our rented SUV. The purple sand was cool and we loved seeing the sun portal. No running water so it was difficult to clean up when we left. Out house style bathrooms available at the parking lot. My kids loved it as much as I did!

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
July 05, 2016
Rated 5.0

Worth the stop. On this 4th of July holiday weekend it was full and once the parking lot is full there is no going in. If you stop by on any other weekend its fine. Once you find the unmarked entrance off of PCH 1 you'll go down a very narrow and woodsy road. At the end is the parking area. Parking is $10 CASH ONLY. There are bathrooms but its porto-potty style so be ready for the smell. The beach is beautiful and clean. The rock formations are picture perfect with the waves crashing on them. The beach area is about 3/4 of a mile long that you can walk and enjoy. Its just so beautiful.

Was this helpful?

Reviewed by
Tatiana Danger

  • Road Warrior
  • 982 Reviews
  • 871 Helpful
March 27, 2016
Rated 4.0

Then head to Pfeiffer Beach to see the Sun Portal at Pfeiffer Beach. This sea archway creates an incredible natural sun portal between December and January, when light pours out of the archway.

Was this helpful?

Be the first to add a review to the Pfeiffer Beach.

Pfeiffer Beach

Sycamore Canyon Rd
Big Sur, California
93920 USA


Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 8:00 pm

Problem with this listing? Let us know.

  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
See More Details (14)

Parking, Dining

Remove Ads

Nearby Hotels

Big Sur, California
Carmel Valley Village, California
Carmel Valley Village, California
Big Sur, California
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Related Trip Guides

Remove Ads