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aerial photograph of Andrew Molera State Park

Andrew Molera State Park lies amidst a stunning and undeveloped coastline in the Big Sur area of California, just 26 miles south of Carmel. This large recreational area consists of 4,800 acres of redwoods, hills, lush meadows, and scenic bluffs overlooking the ocean. The park also provides spectacular panoramic views of nearby Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Visitors to this picturesque California state park enjoy hiking, mountain biking, camping, birdwatching, beachcombing, picnicking, and more.

Activities

Prepare for your escape from the hustle of city life with a visit to this rustic area. Step away from the crowds and really breathe in that fresh sea air. Explore some of the 20 miles of trails, grab your binoculars and discover how many different bird species you may encounter along your hike.

Maybe you’re interested in extending your visit in the area? Pack up your camping gear and spend a few nights in one of the park’s hike in campsites.

waves crash against the beach at Andrew Molera State Park

Also, be sure to save some time aside for a visit to the Molera Ranch House Museum. Here you can learn more about life in this area some 100 years ago.

The California Condor Discovery Center should also not be missed. This center features ‘Bringing the Condors Home’, an exhibit that tells the story of the condor and the program led by the Ventana Wildlife Society to reintroduce this species back into the wild.

Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Andrew Molera State Park:

Hiking at Andrew Molera State Park

There are more than 20 miles of hiking trails inside Andrew Molera State Park. These trails wind throughout the park, crossing wildflower meadows, woodlands, and along the scenic coastline. One scenic trail follows the coastline from Big Sur River to Cooper Point and is only accessible during low tide.

Hiking trail at Andrew Molera State Park

Here are a few of the trails at Andrew Molera State Park:

  • Creamery Meadow Trail – This easy 2 mile trail begins near the parking area, crosses a seasonal footbridge over the Big Sur River and leads out to the ocean.

    The footbridge is accessible between June and October each year.

  • East Molera Trail – A moderate 5 mile trail passes through coastal scrub, grasslands, and a redwood and oak grove as it leads up to the top of the ridge.
  • Panorama Trail – Difficult 2.6 mile trail through the redwoods and up a steep incline to a lookout point with breathtaking views.
  • Ridge Trail – A difficult 6.4 mile trail that leads up to the top of the ridge providing amazing views along the way. This trail is open for hikers and bikers.

Biking at Andrew Molera State Park

Love to ride? Andrew Molera State Park’s Creamery Meadow Trail and Ridge Trail are open for mountain biking. Guests with bikes must yield to hikers.

person surfing at Andrew Molera State Park

Birding at Andrew Molera State Park

Almost 400 species of birds have been sighted along the Big Sur River and surrounding Northern Santa Lucia Mountains.

You may see a Red-breasted Merganser, California Gull, Brown Pelican, Black Phoebe, Band-tailed Pigeon, Acorn Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Steller’s Jay, Varied Thrush, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron, White-faced Ibis, E. California Condor, Greater White-fronted Goose, Peregrine Falcon, or a Tufted Puffin during your visit.

Nature and Wildlife at Andrew Molera State Park

The beautiful and undeveloped landscape inside and around Andrew Molera State Park gives visitors a chance to observe a variety of wildlife. In addition to the countless bird species the park is also home to a variety of snakes and lizards as well as Black-tailed Mule Deer, Gray Squirrels, Gray Foxes, raccoons, opossums, skunks, Black Bears, Bobcats, Coyotes, Mountain Lions, and Wild Boar.

While walking along the coast you may also get a chance to see sea otters, sea lions, and harbor seals.

Rainbow above the hills at Andrew Molera State Park

Pets

Pets are only allowed within the parking area and adjoining picnic area at Andrew Molera State Park. Dogs must be leashed at all times.

Camping

Andrew Molera State Park’s campground, Andrew Molera Trail Camp, features 22 standard sites that are a ¼ mile hike from the day use parking area (no vehicles are permitted in the camping area). These secluded campsites are tucked within a meadow near the Big Sur River. Each site has a picnic table, food storage locker, and a fire pit. Water and flush toilets are close by.

An additional 2 primitive campsites are also available. These sites are further out and may be accessed by hiking in or biking.

Park Location

Andrew Molera State Park
45500 CA-1
Big Sur, CA 93920
Phone: 831.667.2315

Park Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Andrew Molera State Park: