Pfeiffer Beach, a legendary location on California's Big Sur coast, is a spectacular beach. While its name may not immediately ring any bells, step onto the sand at this iconic spot and there's a good chance you'll recognize it from a number of films and famous photos.
Pfeiffer Beach gets its name from a pioneering local family that played a pivotal role in the development of the region. As a result, you'll find a few parks and other attractions in the area bearing the Pfeiffer name, so don't confuse Pfeiffer Beach with Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park or Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. To find this dog-friendly stretch of sand, you'll need to head down Sycamore Canyon Road. This two mile road off of Cabrillo Highway isn't marked and can be hard to see. Located between the Big Sur Ranger Station and the Post Office, if you are heading south, its the second road to the right after the Pfeiffer State Park. Down Sycamore, you'll pass a few side roads, then will come to the day use area, then the parking lot. It is small, so get there early, or else you'll have to wait till someone leaves. Also note that RVs and trailers are not allowed down this twisty road.
Once you've arrived, there's no better way to get your bearings than to head down onto the sand and dip your toes in the water. There's beautiful coastal scenery everywhere you look, and plenty of space to stretch your legs or just relax in the sunshine.The beach’s most prominent landmark is Keyhole Arch, a natural rock formation with a tunnel facing out to the ocean. There are a lot of interesting rock formations on the beach, and many people like to climb and run around in the low tide. During the rainy season, sediment from the rocks above washes onto the beach and creates the beach's famous purple sand. While your dog probably won't care about the color of the sand, they will be thrilled to take a stroll along this lovely beach with you.
There is a $10 fee to use the day use area and park. Dogs are welcome on the beach, but they do need to stay leashed and under control. Be sure to pack all the essentials, as there are no amenities here. This should include water to share with your adventure pup, and clean-up bags. Always stoop and scoop and help keep this beach dog-friendly! Also note that there is a vault toilet available at the day use area for the humans in your pack.
Pfeiffer Beach is a breathtaking coastline with some of the best natural scenery you'll find in California. Take the time to explore it all with your furry friend!