Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Quick Facts

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park


(831) 667-2315

Map Directions

Things To Do


This state park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a well respected pioneer woman in the Big Sur country. The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. It features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.

Map of Julia Pfeiffer Burns (CA)

Latitude, Longitude: 36.245935, -121.781559



  • Camping

    Camping is extremely popular year-round and is generally available only by advance reservation. Campers parking vehicles in the main parking lot should display proof of reservation in the windshield. Campers may also check in at the kiosk in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (12 miles north) to get vehicle tags also valid for day use entrance into other area state parks.

  • Hiking

    Visitors can easily sample the coastal charms of four-square mile Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park by following the short Waterfall and Partington Cove trails. The park's coastal trails are great "leg-stretcher" jaunts to break up the coastal drive. In winter, the paths provide fine observation points from which to sight migrating California gray whales.

  • Picnicking

    A developed picnic area is available to visitors looking to have a relaxing meal.

  • Water Sports

    Scuba diving may be possible. Please check with park offices for more information.

  • Wildlife Watching

    In December and January the bench at the end of Overlook trail is an excellent place to watch for gray whales migrating southward to their breeding and calving grounds off the Baja California coast. Many whales pass close to shore at this point, and occasionally one will come into the mouth of the cove. In March and April, they can be seen returning north to their summer feeding grounds in the North Pacific.

    Sea otters can sometimes be seen in the cove, and harbor seals and California sea lions are occasional visitors. Many sea and shore birds - Sleek black cormorants, seagulls, brown pelicans, and black oystercatchers also make an appearance.


The weather can be changeable, ranging from warm, dry, and breezy summer temperatures (60s-80s F) and cooler, damper winter conditions and temperatures (40s-60s F). Layered clothing is advised.

Park Partners

California State Parks Foundation

The California State Parks Foundation (CSPF) was founded in 1969 by William Penn Mott, Jr., former director of both California's Department of Parks and Recreation and the National Park Service. With their 120,000 members, CSPF is the only statewide independent nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, enhancing and advocating for California's magnificent state parks. Since 1969, CSPF has raised more than $170 million to benefit state parks. CSPF is committed to improving the quality of life for all Californians by expanding access to the natural beauty, rich culture and history, and recreational and educational opportunities offered by California's 278 state parks--the largest state park system in the United States.

(415) 262-4400



The park is 37 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1, and 12 miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur.


The closest major airport to Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP is San Jose International Airport, approximately 76 miles away. From there, car rental services are available. For more information, call 408-392-3600.

Public Transportation

Monterey-Salinas Transit offers public transportation in the Monterey-Big Sur area. For more information on fares and scheduling, call 831-899-2555.

Phone Numbers


(831) 667-2315