Buzzard's Roost Trail

Big Sur Coastline, California

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Buzzard's Roost Trail


  • This sign indicates where two starting trails merge.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • The path leads along the Big Sur River for a short while.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • Big Sur River is a great spot for a quick swim.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • Leaning redwoods still grow strong.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • The trail begins to gain elevation. - Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • A fire in 2013 burned some patches of forest along this trail.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • Charred manzanita bush.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • Ocean view from Buzzard's Point.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • Radio towers and a building at the top.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • Panoramic view of the Santa Lucia Mountains. - Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • Heading back down through the young redwood forest.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • Large redwoods also survived the recent fire.- Buzzard's Roost Trail
  • - Buzzard's Roost Trail
Overview + Weather
California coastal redwoods along the trail. Great views of the Santa Lucia Mountains.
Recent fire burned some areas.
Big Sur Coastline, CA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,000.00 ft (304.80 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
190.00 ft (57.91 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Buzzard's Roost Trail is a winding trail that cuts through forested areas of Big Sur to finally emerge onto a small peak where buzzards are known to bask in the sun. Incredible panoramic views of the mountains and ocean are afforded to anyone who makes the relatively steep hike. While hiking on the trail you will notice there is a loop nearer to the top. To the left lies a longer and more gradual route, and to the right is a shorter, steeper path. Along the way you will undoubtedly notice blackened coastal redwood trees from a recent fire.

Coastal redwoods are actually highly resistant to fires due to their very thick bark and lack of flammable resins or pitch. So most redwoods do not die when a fire burns through a redwood forest, and a year later many will sprout more foliage. A very large and hot fire will burn through a forest and kill redwoods from the inside out, but this is rare. The heat may be so intense that the wood of the tree inside the bark catches fire and burns outward, often leaving a blackened bark shell remaining. In 2013 a wildfire burned through some of the forest along this trail. As you hike through Buzzard's Roost Trail, observe the coastal redwoods and other tree species and pay special attention to burn areas and locations of new growth. These features can give clues to how resistant a tree is during a fire and how quickly they are able to recuperate.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(46 within a 30 mile radius)

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