The 12 Best Campgrounds in California Near Big Sur & Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Camping amid the redwoods and along the neighbouring beach bluffs provides the best vantage point for seeing Big Sur’s towering mountain cliffs and magnificent ocean.

Campgrounds are in high demand along the Big Sur coast, which stretches about 90 miles along Highway 1 between Hearst Castle and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Big Sur has attracted numerous notable visitors over the years, including Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac, and currently attracts millions of people each year, many of whom want to pitch a tent or park an RV.

For example, Limekiln State Park features modern campsites with flushing bathrooms and coin-operated showers. Camping reservations in California State Parks can be made up to six months in advance, with the bulk of campsites around the Big Sur coast being reserved months in advance.

Without a doubt, campgrounds like Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park give once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to commune with nature, with their magnificent beaches and massive redwood forests.

Commercial campsites in the region, with the exception of state parks, can be scheduled in advance. Certain commercial campgrounds, such as Ventana Campground, provide different “glamping” experiences to make roughing it a little less difficult.

Other campgrounds are accessible via the US Forest Service, which manages the adjacent Los Padres National Forest, and are typically more affordable options for camping along the Big Sur coast.

Our selection of the best campgrounds around Big Sur/Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park will help you discover the best places to camp in the outdoors.

1.Big Sur State Park, Pfeiffer.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has around 1,000 acres and features redwood forests, scenic rivers, and panoramic views of the coastline.

Pfeiffer Big Sur is centrally positioned on the Big Sur coast, adjacent to some of the area’s top attractions, including Pfeiffer Beach and the Henry Miller Memorial Library, as well as a variety of local grocery stores and restaurants.

Nearly 200 campsites are located along the Big Sur River, which runs through the park, and accommodate both tents and RVs.

This is a wonderful base for exploring other coastal places in the area, with days spent exploring the trails and environment of Pfeiffer Big Sur. The River Trail is a half-mile trail that goes alongside a thick redwood forest. The Buzzard’s Roost path is a three-mile loop within the park that offers spectacular coastal vistas.

Cabins are available for rent at Pfeiffer Big Sur, and all overnight campers have access to flushing toilets and coin-operated showers.

Pfeiffer Big Sur Road, Big Sur, California

2.Campground Ventana.

This privately owned campground is nestled amid a coastal redwood canyon in the heart of the Big Sur coast. Ventana Campground, which features over 60 eco-friendly campsites, also features 15 lovely glamping sites complete with stone fireplaces, safari-style canvas tents, and a plush glamping mattress pad.

Apart from its proximity to eateries, the seaside, and the Henry Miller Memorial Library, Ventana Campground is ideally located.

Big Sur, California is situated at 48123 California Highway 1 (CA-1).

3.Campground Kirk Creek.

Kirk Creek Campground, located on the west side of Highway 1 on a coastal cliff, offers amazing ocean views from each site. This Forest Service campground is popular with sunset and sunrise enthusiasts, and it is available to tents and recreational vehicles under 30 feet in length.

Kirk Creek Campground offers vault toilets interspersed across its 40 sites, and in addition to breathtaking views, the campground is close to Sand Dollar Beach and entrance points to the Ventana Wilderness.

CA-1, California’s Big Sur

4.Campground and Cabins in Big Sur

This family-friendly campground is located in the heart of Big Sur, halfway between Andrew Molera and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Parks.

The campground’s outdoor playground, surrounded by redwoods, as well as the big swimming pool that branches out from the river, are popular with both parents and children. The Big Sur Campground offers tent and RV camping, as well as one- and two-bedroom camper cottages with private bathrooms.

Big Sur Campground keeps a delicate but firm grip on its quiet hour of 10pm to 8am, making it comfortable to sleep in at night and packed with activities throughout the day.

Inner tubes may be rented at the campground, and all overnight guests have free access to flushing toilets and showers. Pfeiffer Beach, which is world-famous, is only a five-mile drive away and is one of the most magnificent places in Big Sur to view the sunset.

Big Sur, California 47000 CA-1

5.State Park Limekiln.

Limekiln State Park, near the town of Lucia on the Big Sur coast, has a sampling of what this rugged region of the nation has to offer.

Limekiln State Park combines redwood grove hiking trails, breathtaking waterfall vistas, access to the Ventana Wilderness, and panoramic ocean views into a single day. Four lime kiln artefacts are also on display, accessible through hiking trails.

Limekiln State Park, which is around 700 acres in size, has 24 campsites with showers and flushing toilets nearby.

CA-1, 63025, Big Sur, California

6.Campground at Plaskett Creek.

The Los Padres National Forest operates the Plaskett Creek Campground, which includes 44 campsites on the east side of Highway 1.

Plaskett Creek Campground is best suited for tent camping and small camping trailers, but the actual lure is its proximity to Sand Dollar Beach, Big Sur’s largest beach and a popular fishing, swimming, and surfing destination.

69345 CA-1, Big Sur, California 69345 CA-1, Big Sur, California

7.State Park Hearst San Simeon.

Hearst San Simeon is a more affordable camping option near to Big Sur, located less than 20 miles south of Ragged Point, famously known as the Gateway to Big Sur. Hearst San Simeon is home to two campgrounds totaling around 200 tent and RV spaces.

San Simeon Creek Campground offers 115 campsites close to the beach with flush toilets and coin-operated showers.

The Washburn Campground is located one mile inland and is considered primitive, with just pit toilets available, making it one of the least expensive campgrounds along this stretch of beach.

The coastline regions of the state park provide a seasonal opportunity to see hundreds of elephant seals. A short drive from the campgrounds is the magnificent Hearst Castle, which offers a view into one of California’s most gorgeous pieces of architecture.

500 Cambria, California Road between San Simeon and Monterey Creek

8.The Riverside Campground and Cabins are situated on the banks of the river.

This commercial campground in the middle section of the Big Sur coast offers tent camping, RV parking, and cabin lodging. On the banks of the Big Sur River, this modern campground features hot showers, flushing toilets, and 16 acres of redwood forest to explore.

Relaxing is a common pastime at Riverside Campground, as the Big Sur River gently babbles close to the campsites. For winter camping, Riverside Campground provides heated cottages and full RV hookups.

47020 CA-1, Big Sur, California 47020 CA-1, Big Sur, California

9.Fernwood Resort & Campground

Fernwood Campground & Resort, located just north of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Pfeiffer Beach, offers camping and resort accommodations surrounded by redwoods and the Big Sur River.

Fernwood, located in the centre of the Big Sur Coast, features tent and RV campgrounds, forest cottages, and canvas tents, as well as a 12-room hotel. Fernwood also features a basic store, café, and laundry facilities, as well as two colossal restrooms for campers.

Geographic coordinates: 47200 CA-1, Big Sur, California

10.Campground Arroyo Seco.

Arroyo Seco, managed by the Los Padres National Forest, is a mountainous campground located on the seaside’s other side of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The 1,200-foot-high campground offers dry camping for tents and RVs, as well as pit toilets and coin-operated showers.

Fishing and swimming are popular in the adjacent Arroyo Seco River, and the Ventana Wilderness is great for day excursions and multi-day activities.

11.State Park Julia Pfeiffer Burns

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has just two primitive campsites and is mostly known for day-use activities such as coastal canyon hiking trails and breathtaking views of an 80-foot waterfall falling into the ocean (McWay Falls).

Visitors should consider themselves fortunate to have access to these tent-only, walk-in campsites, which are extremely popular and may be reserved online up to six months in advance.

The two ecological campsites at Julia Pfeiffer Burns, which are located on the opposite side of Highway 1 from the day-use area, provide panoramic views, pit toilets, and a level of coastal isolation rarely experienced by other Big Sur campers.

Along with their personal items, campers must transport all of their water and firewood for the night on the almost half-mile trek to the sites. Reservations are strictly enforced at these popular campgrounds, and overnight campers must check in at the admission booth before to claiming their place.

Big Sur, California is situated at 48123 California Highway 1 (CA-1).

12.State Park Andrew Molera.

Andrew Molera State Park is located on the northern Big Sur coastline and provides access to hiking trails and the ocean. Winter storms and substantial flooding prompted the Trail Camp at Andrew Molera to close in the spring of 2019, but cleanup and repair work on the 17 sites continues.

Much of Andrew Molera State Park remains open to the public, including a one-mile trail that bridges the Big Sur River and leads to a tranquil beach beachfront.

Location: 45500 California Highway 1 (CA-1), Big Sur, California

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