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Andrew Molera State Park

Big Sur Coastline, California

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Andrew Molera State Park

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  • Andrew Molera State Beach framed by Molera Point headland.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • A curious bobcat (Lynx rufus) inspects his tracks along the Creamery Meadow Trail.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • The lower section of the Big Sur River flows through Andrew Molera State Park. - Andrew Molera State Park
  • The eucalyptus trees of Cooper Grove in Andrew Molera State Park.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • The Park's eucalyptus trees are one of the California winter habitats of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). - Andrew Molera State Park
  • Blacktail deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus) in Andrew Molera State Park. - Andrew Molera State Park
  • A large coast live oak stands proud along the Creamery Meadow Trail. - Andrew Molera State Park
  • Molera Point looks over and shelters Andrew Molera State Beach.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • Andrew Molera State Beach is known to deliver fun waves on occasion.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • Andrew Molera State Beach.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • Andrew Molera State Beach.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • Andrew Molera State Beach.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • The Beach Trail in Andrew Molera State Park.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • Evening light on Andrew Molera State Park.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • Trail Camp in Andrew Molera State Park. - Andrew Molera State Park
  • Shaded picnic areas are avaialbe at the main parking area.- Andrew Molera State Park
  • Restrooms located at the main parking area.- Andrew Molera State Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Wildlife. Scenic beach. Diversity of hiking trails. Surf.
Cons: 
Can get crowded on weekends and holidays.
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Region:
Big Sur Coastline, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
State Park Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Located on the northern stretch of the Big Sur coast, Andrew Molera State Park is the largest of the state parks within the magnificent Big Sur area. With over 20 miles of hiking trails, a scenic and accessible beach, an abundance of wildlife, and the Big Sur River, the park offers something for just about everyone.

Many come to Andrew Molera to access Andrew Molera State Beach, a beautiful coastal gem and one of the few accessible beaches within Big Sur. The north end of the beach is framed by Molera Point and provides shelter to the sandy strand lying adjacent to the Big Sir River mouth and estuary. The beach runs nearly 3 miles to the south, but it becomes rockier and is interrupted by bluff headlands at sections that make access difficult. Sea birds love Andrew Molera and the adjacent waters, as do sea otters, sea lions and migrating gray whales, all of which are frequently spotted here. A small population of steelhead run the Big Sur River in winter. In addition, Molera Point and the Big Sur Rivermouth is home to a semi-consistent right hand wave that breaks on larger northwest, west, and southwest swells. The prevailing northwest winds blow offshore.

Beyond the beach, the trail network within the park explores the bluff tops, meadows, hillsides, and banks of the Big Sur River. Wildlife is frequently encountered on the trails. Deer, bobcat, a variety of birds, and monarch butterflies are some of the local residents. Recommended trails include the Headlands Trail, the loop formed by linking the Bluff, Panorama, and Ridge trails, the Creamery Meadow Trail, and the Beach Trail. Mountain biking and horseback riding is permitted on some trails, though others only allow hiking. Note that Andrew Molera State Park is poison oak territory, so keep an eye out while you are on the trails.

The park provides a first-come, first-served walk-in environmental campground, Trail Camp, that is accessed from the main parking lot via the Headlands Trail or by an alternate path that connects the camp to Highway 1. There are restrooms, 24 campsites, and potable water is available within the campground and at the park’s main parking area

There is one parking area in the park a mile inland from the beach. The loop formed by taking the Beach Trail to the Headlands Trail is a great hike to help you get oriented. If parking is full or you are just looking to avoid the parking fees, you can park on Highway 1 in nearby pullouts and walk in.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(4 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(44 within a 30 mile radius)

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