The big kahuna of Big Sur state parks, Pfeiffer is right on Highway 1 in the heart of the redwoods.
It’s named after pioneer John Pfeiffer — don’t confuse it with Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP 12 miles south, named for his descendent. The Big Sur River runs through it, morphing into waterfalls and swimming holes at various points along the way.
Big Sur Station, just a quarter-mile south of the park entrance, is your one-stop-spot for information about all the state parks in the area.
Hiking choices run the gamut, with miles of trails for all levels. Even if you only have an hour to spare, you can fit in an easy hike up the creekside Valley View Trail, with views of the Point Sur headlands and Big Sur River Valley from a lookout point (about 2 miles roundtrip).
Another fave is Buzzard’s Roost, a moderate 5-mile loop trail with switchbacks up to Pfeiffer Ridge on the ocean side of Highway 1, through old-growth redwoods and oaks.
If you’re looking for overnight digs, stay in one of the campsites or in a cabin at Big Sur Lodge, within the park.
WiFi works within about 150 to 200 feet of the camp store.
Location: near mile marker 47