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Sandy beach
Yes
Hike-in Required
No
Surfing
Yes
Snorkeling / SCUBA
No
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Formed along a curve in the coastline where the Big Sur River meets the mighty Pacific, Andrew Molera State Beach is one of only a handful of accessible beaches along the Big Sur coast. This wild, driftwood-strewn setting offers visitors miles of beach to explore, a diversity of marine life to observe, and a fun right-hand river-mouth and point-break wave.

Three of Andrew Molera’s hiking trails, the Beach Trail, the Creamery Meadows Trail, and the Headlands Trail, lead to the beach, although the Beach Trail is most direct. Upon accessing the beach you’ll see Molera Point to the north, a headland with a good elevation for marine life sightings and wave watching. The welcoming stretch of sand next to the headland and adjacent to the Big Sur River mouth is a great picnic and day camp spot. From Molera Point the beach continues to the south for nearly three miles, although rocky outcrops, bluffs, and high tide can make access difficult. There is bluff access to a section of the beach further south via the Bluff and Spring Trails.

While the hike in deters some, surfing is fairly popular at Andrew Molera State Beach, both with locals and visiting surfers alike. Conditions favor moderate to larger west and south swells on low and medium tides. This right hand wave breaks in front of the Big Sur river mouth off Molera Point over a mixed sand and gravel bottom. Typically a fast and zippy wave, it can line up breaking from the top of the point down to the beach for longer rides when the right swell angle and tides come together. More often than not the quality is mediocre, but it is always a beautiful place to get wet. Prevailing northwest winds blow offshore here.

Surf fishing and winter steelhead runs draw anglers from November through February. An abundance of marine life makes good wildlife viewing year round.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Pros

Scenic setting. Marine life. Surf.

Cons

None.

Address

CA-1
45500
Big Sur, CA 93920
United States

Features

Fishing
Surfing
Whale watching
Wildlife
Bird watching

Location

Field Guide + Map

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