Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,000.00 ft (304.80 m)
Trail type
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


California coastal redwoods along the trail. Great views of the Santa Lucia Mountains.


Recent fire burned some areas.

Trailhead Elevation

190.00 ft (57.91 m)


Bird watching
Big vistas

Typically multi-day




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