Along the coast of California there is a place like no other. Big Sur is home to an expansive and beautiful environment with breathtaking coastlines and redwood trees towering overhead. The Andrew Molera State Park is the largest state park on the Big Sur coast, offering a variety of attractions from horseback riding and hiking to fishing and camping. With some of the best panoramic views in Big Sur, the view itself will make the trip to Andrew Molera State Park a memorable and unforgettable experience.
Open just before sunset, the Andrew Molera State Park is the perfect place to unwind for a few hours or spend the entire day exploring all of the natural beauty it has to offer. Admission to the park for the day is offered at a small price or you can walk in for free. The park closes shortly after sunset, allowing you to take in the breathtaking view as the sun disappears under the coastline. With all of the space to explore and so much to do, you may be interested in camping overnight and really experience how peaceful this coastal state park is. Camping is $10 a night and offers amenities such as restroom and shower facilities. With the beach only a short walk away, the Andrew Molera State Park offers one of the best campgrounds in Big Sur. All campsites are first-come, first-serve so be sure to get there early to reserve your spot. Staying overnight at this beautiful park allows you to really get in touch with nature. You are likely to see everything from owls to deer’s while staying at the campgrounds.
Andrew Molera State Parks boasts 20 miles of hiking trails, traveling from the Californian coast to sprawling meadows. Along the trails, you are likely to see some of Big Sur’s resident wildlife, ranging from rabbits to foxes and the occasional bobcats. Whether you’re an expert or just starting out, there’s a trail to fit everybody’s skill level. The Beach Trail is a mild, nearly-flat hike adjacent to the Big Sur River. This trail will meet at the Bluff Trail, offering gorgeous views of the coastline and redwood studded ridges. For the more experienced hiker looking for a challenge they can take the East Molera trail. This trail has a substantially high elevation gain of 1000 feet in just one mile, but the shaded rest stop at the top with views of the mountains and shoreline make the hike worth the extra effort. These are just two of the many hiking trails, ranging in difficulty level and all offering a unique experience.
Besides the breathtaking views, Andrew Molera State Park is most popular for its horseback riding. There are different horses and trails to ease in a beginner or keep an expert challenged with a new and exciting trail. With the state parks 4,800 acres of diverse settings there is a horseback tour to fit whatever you want to do. Whether you’re interested in a romantic trot on the beach with your significant other, or a casual walk through the flower-studded meadows, the horseback tour guides will ensure that you have an unforgettable time.
On the weekends the Andre Molera State Park’s Discovery Center is open from 9am to 4pm. Local biologists and naturalists give tours and can answer any questions you may have about Big Sur. The center focuses on conservation attempts for the California condor and also with other wildlife in the area. The Discovery Center can ensure that you are well informed about the nature that occupies the Andrew Molera State Park and keep you entertained with its tours and its songbird banding lab. Their lab works on tagging different species of bird, primarily the California condor, to track and protect them while keeping them wild.
Andrew Molera State Park is located 20 miles south from Carmel off of the Highway 1. The park is open from a half hour before sunrise and a half hour after sunset, 365 days per year. Admission is $8 per vehicle and free for walk-ins. For more information call 831-667-2315.