Andrew Molera State Park Beach Trail in Big Sur

Andrew Molera State Park is one of the first parks you will see when heading south into Big Sur from Monterey. While it doesn’t have the stark coastline beauty that some of the other parks have, it is still a great place to get out and do a short hike to the beach, especially since this beach is often less busy than some of the other beaches in the area. Here is all the information on the Beach Trail.


  • 2 miles round trip
  • Cost: $10
  • Seasonal footbridge so you have to get your feet wet when it’s not there
  • This information is from my visit in 2018
  • Read about all my favorite Big Sur spots here

Getting There

From the northern entrance to Big Sur on Highway 1, you will head south past Bixby Bridge and then will see signs for Andrew Molera State Park. Pull in where the sign directs you to and then pay your fee to enter the dirt parking lot.

The Trail

From the parking lot, you will head out on the dirt road towards the horse stables to connect with the Beach Trail. During the summer, you can pay to go on a horse ride here, which is a unique experience as well.

The trail is well marked, so you will see the turn you have to take to stay on it.

At the turn is where the seasonal footbridge is, and when I went, it was out of season, so there was no bridge.

The only way across was to wade through the water and in the winter it was freezing to cross. This also meant that I was one of the only people on the entire trail, since others didn’t want to walk across it, which is rare in Big Sur.

The trail continues through a beautiful shaded area with lots of plant life.

It stays this way and flat pretty much the entire mile to the beach. There is not a lot of shade though after the beginning, so note that if it is hot.

Eventually, you will reach a sign that directs you to the ridge trail or the beach trail. I was pressed for time, so I did the beach trail only.

The trail heads through a narrow shaded section before the ground becomes sand, and you come out on the beach itself.

The beach is beautiful with lots of driftwood that often washes up on shore and a few large rocks out in the water.

It is not like many of the Big Sur beaches you have seen though with dramatic coastline stretching out in front of you.

That being said, it is still beautiful, and I sat on the beach for 20 minutes without seeing any other people.

I even saw a little of the famous purple sand here as well, but you can see a lot more of it at Pfieffer Beach.

After taking it all in, I headed back down the trail to the car. All in all, it was a beautiful short hike in Big Sur and one that is especially good if you want to get away from some of the famous spots along the coast. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

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