Welcome to Big Sur Lodge 
Where Nature becomes part of you

For more than one hundred years this nature resort has been a special place to become part of the rare California coastal and mountain environment. Before the highway, people came on stagecoach, hiking trails and horseback to experience the rare wildlife, flora and scenery. Because of a determined conservation ethic and public dedication, Big Sur remains nearly pristine.


Pfeiffer Falls
Photo by Jack Ellwanger
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, created in this Big Sur River Valley from a wildflower honey farm and a redwood forest, will celebrate its 75th anniversary soon. It is one of America’s premier parks and is a place of special pride for both locals and Californians alike.

Use this pamphlet to learn about the park and lodge.

1 Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and History of Big Sur
2 History of Big Sur Lodge
3 Getting around Big Sur
4 People of Big Sur
5 Hiking Trails Guide
6 Nature Center
7 Other Big Sur State Parks
8 Wildflowers and Native Plants of Big Sur
9 The Rich Marine Environment
10 Avian Wonders

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park Trail

1 Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and History of Big Sur

In Big Sur River Valley, from Pfeiffer Ridge, which flanks the ocean, to the Ventana Wilderness, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a rare and wonderful place.

It is the heart of Big Sur – where the first American pioneers settled.

It was the most hospitable place – river, valley, redwoods. Settlers farmed and made honey with the abundance of wildflowers.

The park is 1,006 acres of old growth redwoods, magnificent mountain views, granite river gorge, condors and rich history.


Big Sur began 35 million years ago, 14 miles deep in the earth off the coast of Mexico. Tectonic plates rubbing against each other moved these mountainous rocks north. Five million years ago they pushed up out of the ocean to form an island that is now Big Sur. The Santa Lucia range, which includes the Ventana Wilderness of today, is young and precocious.


Before colonization by the Spanish Empire, indigenous people populated the southern Monterey Bay area including the Salinas Valley, Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur coast, and Santa Lucia Mountains. Throughout the years, these people have been identified by different tribal names including Ohlone, Costanoan, and Esselen. Their descendents today chose a legal name that reflects that identification diversity.

Today, the Ohlone/Costanoan-Esselen Nation is seeking federal tribal recognition.

The Esselen territory encompassed the interior of the Santa Lucia Range and portions of the Big Sur coast. The Spanish colonization and mission building was to change every aspect of indigenous peoples’ lives in California, and the Monterey area was no exception. The forced relocation of Native Americans decimated their culture and numbers. In 1939 the last fluent speaker, Isabel Meadows, of the traditional local languages died.

But the culture and people survived and thrive today. Some Esselen escaped the missions and hid in caves in Carmel Valley. A few became trappers for Russians, later cattle drivers for the Spaniards.

Some re-entered American society as Mexicans. These few have kept their Native American traditions alive, and continue as stewards of the Santa Lucia Mountains and coastal valleys. Salinan Indians thrived in the San Antonio Valley, Salinas Valley and throughout the Santa Lucia range from Carmel Valley to Paso Robles, and to Morro Bay on the coast.


2 History of Big Sur Lodge

Before the arrival of American pioneers, the Big Sur region was settled during the Mexican period.

The development of two very large land grants from the 1830s, El Sur and San Jose y Sur Chiquito, were north of the park but led to settlement farther south. The culture of the coast during the nineteenth century was predominantly Hispanic. To this day, an Hispanic thread continues to weave throughout the area’s history and culture.

Pioneer cabin c. 1880s


The first European immigrants to settle permanently in Big Sur were Michael and Barbara Pfeiffer. Their son, John, and his wife, Florence, homesteaded a parcel on the north bank of the Big Sur River. Like most settlers of that era, they spoke Spanish. John was more comfortable speaking Spanish than English.

Photo by Margie Whitnah
When John and Florence Pfeiffer settled the area, they found that others were drawn here by the fishing, hunting and exploring. The Pfeiffer’s let the visitors stay at the ranch. John cared little for money and insisted that visitors not be charged.

Florence, however, became increasingly disgruntled by the number of drop-in visitors, the cost and workload she bore for their care, and the rudeness of those who took the Pfeiffer’s hospitality for granted.

Finally, her patience reached its end when she saw a visitor beating his mule. She told the bully, who had stayed without even a “thank you” to the Pfeiffer’s, that he couldn’t treat the mule like that on her property. From that time on, visitors had to pay for their meals, beds and horse feed, and were forbidden to mistreat an animal. That was the beginning of the Pfeiffer Ranch Resort, now the location of the Big Sur Lodge.

John was disappointed but acquiesced to his wife’s wishes.

In 1933, the Pfeiffer’s sold and donated 680 acres of their ranch to the State of California. This became Pfeiffer Redwood State Park in commemoration of the family’s contribution to the pioneer history of the Big Sur region and of their gift to the state. Like most of the Big Sur settlers, John Pfeiffer was a naturalist and conservationist, and he stipulated that the ranch be saved as a park.

3 Getting Around Big Sur

The most asked question here at the Big Sur Lodge is, “Where is Big Sur?” The answers usually are, “It is a region 90 miles long and 40 miles wide;” and, “It is not a place. It is a state of mind.”

However you like to refer to this unique slice of geography, Big Sur is a rare place with many faces.

Like an island, the northern half of the Santa Lucia coastal mountain range has evolved an unusual ensemble of geologic and botanical communities. Nearly 200 plants have their northernmost habitat here, and, similarly, nearly that many have their southernmost habitat here also. You will see Yucca Whipplei from the Mexican high desert, and Sequoia sempervirens from the subarctic peacefully and luxuriantly prospering here.

Today, Big Sur is a coastal wilderness. It is as pristine as could be imagined for its 200,000 acres and 90 miles of premium California coast. It is a grand testimony to the human craving for appreciating this raw, bold beauty that it has been protected. A highway was constructed in the 1930’s just to see this boldly beautiful natural setting. The road in this setting has come to define Big Sur for most people. But, the will of the pioneers to conserve the remarkable region has prevented Big Sur’s destruction by development.

Margaret Owings, who created Friends of the Sea Otter, said, “There’s something about Big Sur that puts people in their place. Something they have to come back to, because it does something to you. And it gives you a responsibility to keep it like this.”

Ninety-five per cent of Big Sur is the fold-upon-fold of Ventana Wilderness, each a unique watershed, rare biology, incredible geology that most people never see. In the coastal mountain canyons that vein the intricate quilt of watersheds, such as seen when hiking the Partington watershed, one gets an inside peek at this wondrous country.

In Pacific Ocean coves, sea otters and elephant seals have been rediscovered after their announced extinction.

You can access nearly every distinctive habitat here from Highway One. The U.S. Post Office, sort of the “official” location of Big Sur, is two miles south beside an interesting assortment of businesses.

4 People of Big Sur

Some of the finest novelists, painters, poets and photographers have found inspiration for their works in Big Sur’s Coast. Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Austin, Jack London, Sinclair Lewis, John Steinbeck, Robinson Jeffers, Lillian Ross, Jack Kerouac, Henry Miller, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams all came here and enriched their palettes.

For intellectual stimulation and a literary orientation of the meaning of Big Sur, visit the Henry Miller Memorial Library. You will find it in a redwood grove through an Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole four miles south of the Lodge. The director, Magnus Torren, speaks many languages, has sailed around the world, and keeps a wonderful bookstore.

Pfeiffer Beach

Pfeiffer Beach, where Richard Burton and Elizabeth filmed Sandpiper and where Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr filmed their famous beach scene in From Here to Eternity, is 3.3 miles from the Lodge. Drive south (and up the hill) 1.1 mile to Sycamore Canyon – the road is not marked. There is a sign that reads, “Narrow Road – RVs and Motor Homes not recommended.” Turn right and slowly drive two miles all the way through the canyon to the U.S. Forest Service parking and restroom facility. Pay $5 per car. (This fee is not covered by the Big sur Lodge guest pass).

Pfeiffer Beach photographed when outrage around the world followed news of the U.S. Navy intent to use Big Sur as a practice facility for jet fighter bombing.

Photo by Margie Whitnah


5 Hiking Trails Guide  

 Wondrous scenery and amazing biodiversity in the Santa Lucia Mountains along the coast make Big Sur a treasure of nature.

Good trails and spectacular country.

Not as high, but steeper than the Sierra, and more diverse. Big Sur and the Ventana Wilderness offer challenges. The broad biodiversity, newborn geology, and the closeness of the ocean all combine to engage your senses in unexpected ways.

Now that you are here, let’s hike!

Photo by Margie Whitnah


Nature Trail

This self-guiding trail can be toured in about 30 minutes and is a .7 -mile round trip from the Lodge. The trail offers a fine opportunity to see many of the plants that are native to Big Sur. Printed nature guides are available at the western end of the trail, between the Lodge and the Ranger Station. The trail is suitable for wheelchairs.

Pfeiffer Redwood Creek Trail

This instructive trail to the falls is through a lively, dense old redwood grove. It is an instructive trail. You can see how a redwood forest makes its own soil and understory. The creek cuts through alluvial deposits, and you can see how the valley built up over the eons.

Pfeiffer Falls Trail

This 40 to 60 minute stroll along Pfeiffer Redwood Creek features some of the finest redwood groves in the Big Sur region. Expect steps in the few steeper sections and a number of scenic bridges across Pfeiffer Redwood Creek. The 60 foot high waterfall at the end of the trail is a scenic highlight. A wooden platform at the base of the falls is a fine place to rest, meditate or have a picnic lunch – 0.7 mile one-way from the Lodge.
Valley View

From either the beginning of the Pfeiffer Falls trail, or from the base of the falls themselves, you can climb through the oak woodland to Valley View Overlook. The view from this vantage point includes much of the Big Sur Valley, Point Sur and Andrew Molera State Park. The outlook is a mile one-way from the Lodge and 0.5 mile from Pfeiffer Falls.

Buzzard’s Roost

Photo by Margie Whitnah

The entire Buzzard’s Roost loop is a 5-mile round trip from the Lodge.

A moderate two-hour, 5-mile hike along the Park’s western edge will take you along the river, through shady redwoods, then through a series of switchbacks among bay trees and tan oaks to the chaparral-covered top of Pfeiffer Ridge.

Up there is a magnificent panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. Interestingly, on the ridge redwoods grow alongside chaparral plants. The unusual soils made of sandstone and shale, and the rare microclimate formed by the cool ocean breeze mixing with the warm valley air, create a fascinating array of plants – dwarf redwoods with chamise, wheat leaf, ceanothus, yerba santa and manzanitas side by side.

Oak Grove

The great beauty of Big Sur is due in part to the variety of its natural ecosystems. The Oak Grove trail exemplifies this as it travels through a number of plant communities.

From deep redwood groves to open, oak woodland, and to hot, dry chaparral, this 60 to 80 minute hike makes it possible to enjoy the many different faces of Big Sur. It is approximately 3 miles round trip from the Lodge.

Huge boulders brought by the river are flung around the canyon in great artistic array. Pebbles brought down the undammed river provide spawning and rearing habitat for steelhead, a seagoing trout. Sands brought by the river spread out along the banks by the redwoods making a unique and pleasing scene.

Big Sur River Gorge

Beyond the end of the gorge trail is an undeveloped natural area. There are no maintained trails in this area. Persons using this area should use extreme caution, especially when hiking on rocks, logs, or wading in the river.

Do not climb the steep canyon walls. Loose rock and unstable soils make this extremely hazardous. Jumping or diving into river pools is prohibited.

For hiking and other general information about the area, see the excellent book and map selection at the Big Sur Lodge Gift Store. More maps, books and advice are available at Big Sur Station. Regional offices for California State Parks, Los Padres National Forest and CalTrans are located here. You can park at Big Sur Station for back country hikes into Ventana Wilderness, get campfire permits, and access the several nearby trail heads. The Big Sur Station staff is a good source for trail conditions. Call (831) 667-2315.

Rules of the trail include common sense and concern for others, wildlife and the natural habitats. Do not pick anything. Stay on the trails. Don’t take your dogs on the State Park trails. They are allowed on U.S. Forest Service Trails on a leash.


Big Sur River

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is very popular for many reasons, not the least of which is for the lovely Big Sur River and its many swimming holes. The Big Sur River is also home to native steelhead trout.

Steelhead are listed as threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The park has an active educational program on how visitors can help protect the steelhead by not indulging in harmful recreational activities. In particular, the building of temporary rock dams in the river is detrimental for the steelhead.

6 Hans Ewoldsen Nature Center

Visit Thomas Heverly (shown seated here with a stuffed bobcat) to learn about the many animals in the State Park.
Photo by Margie Whitnah


Photo by Jack Ellwanger


Big Sur Coast

8 Wildflowers and Native Plants of Big Sur

Big Sur’s mild climate, rare geology and isolation conspire to provide habitat for a great diversity of plant communities. Almost half of all plants in California have a home here. Many plants have their only natural home here. Nearly 200 plants have their southernmost or northernmost home here.

Our area of the Pacific Ocean is transitional between the Southern California and Oregonian zones. Water temperatures vary by the influence of each zone and the deep underwater canyons.

Yucca whipplei
Cold water from deep offshore canyons wells up to meet warm air and create vast fog masses.

Indian Paint Brush
Photo by Margie Whitnah

Stairway to Pfeiffer Falls

Pfeiffer Redwood Creek Trail
Big Sur is the southernmost reach of Sequoia Sempervirens – coastal redwoods – but there are many glorious examples here of these grand trees. In Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, near the group picnic ground, one of the trees, Colonial Tree, is 27 feet in circumference. Closer to the Lodge, there is a grove of 1,200 year old redwoods called the Proboscis Grove.

Much of the virgin redwood in the area was cut when the Ventana Power Company built a sawmill at the turn of the century. Although the sawmill was abandoned by the Power Company in 1906, the Pfeiffer’s continued to use it intermittently. Florence got the mill back in running order to cut lumber for guest cabins. The sawmill ran again during the early 1920s, providing cut lumber to build housing for people working on Highway 1.

Big Sur’s remoteness and rugged terrain helped save some of its natural resources. Harvesting trees in steep canyons was difficult, then transporting them to an ocean cove to be loaded on a ship required complex logistics and much capital.

Harvesting Big Sur’s natural resources was made possible in large part by the elimination of the Native People.

Standing near the southern limit of their range, coast redwoods are found in areas along the Big Sur River and smaller creeks in the park.

Like a royal pageant through the valley, they lend a serenely grand aura to the atmosphere. Even when the 200-site campground is full, there is a quiet amidst the trees. When a chickadee or a warbler sings, its melody echoes along the river. A sage and blackberry aroma wafts through the Valley.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a hiking paradise. Within the park itself there are almost 11 miles of trails of varying degrees of difficulty. From the short Nature Trail, to the vigorous mountain trails into the magnificent Ventana Wilderness, there is a bountiful variety of trails. One of the most popular trails follows Pfeiffer-Redwood Creek to the 60-foot high Pfeiffer Falls and features exceptionally fine redwood groves.

Pfeiffer Big Sur Redwoods

7 Other Big Sur State Parks

Point Lobos
Twenty-three miles north of Big Sur Lodge
Mercifully spared the developer’s bulldozer early in the last century, Point Lobos has been preserved as a California State Reserve.

Its rare beauty and unique biology has made it a symbol of California Parks and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

It may seem peaceful now, but Point Lobos has a raucous history.

China Beach
Photo by Jack Ellwanger

Point Lobos is the product of complex geology. Blocks of earth from three miles deep, and parts of the Sierra Nevada mountains and some Pacific islands off southern Mexico collided here. The sparkling granite cliffs that came from deep beneath the sea, emerged as molten lava and cooled very slowly. The granite cleanses the sea. A great progression of change is evident in the meadows and coves throughout Point Lobos.

Titillating geologic scenes look like Chinese watercolors.

The flora is both delicate and overpowering all at once. As exciting as the physical tableau may be, the way it intermingles with the sea, in interminably mysterious and inviting ways, is the start of the real story of Point Lobos.

John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts (“Doc” from Cannery Row and Sweet Thursday) were great practitioners of tide pool collection here. The discipline and theories they developed here mark their great scientific works that still stand today as the best in their field: Sea of Cortez and Between Pacific Tides.

Robert Louis Stevenson hiked here while waiting for Fanny Osbourne to get a divorce. Local lore claims Point Lobos inspired Spyglass Hill in Treasure Island. Mary Austin, Lincoln Steffens, Jack London, Sinclair Lewis, Robinson Jeffers sauntered around the peninsula.

Giant kelp beds, available up close here, inspire wonder of the sea. Spectacular scuba diving, endless gazing, and bird watching are favorite pastimes here.

Sea otters lay on their backs and roll in the tide swell. Wrapped in strands of kelp to keep them from sinking while they nap, or cracking open abalone, these critters are a source of amused joy.

Steller and California sea lion pups lounge on the beaches of Point Lobos waiting for “Mom” to return from her fishing. Spaniards named this peninsula for the bark of these precocious animals. “Lobos” means wolves in Spanish. The sea lion bark is loud and can be heard up and down the Big Sur coast. Also, the sea lion is named “wolf” because it hunts in packs.

Andrew Molera State Park
Four miles north of Big Sur Lodge

Molera State Park is a mostly wide open, wind-swept canvas where the Big Sur River runs wild to the sea.

Seven and a half square miles of wilderness, 21 miles south of Carmel, along the ocean, into the mountains, and complete with a wild and scenic river – Andrew Molera State Park is a great favorite for outdoor enthusiasts.

The State Park Service is restoring native grasses to reclaim a major aspect of the park from its dairy farming past. And the old pioneer home is now headquarters to the Molera Cultural and Natural History Center. The “creamery” – a grazing field for Molera’s cows – is being restored to its native state. The dairy was home to the first large commercial production of Monterey Jack Cheese.

Pico Blanco from the mouth of Big Sur River. A 600 million ton chunk of white gray marble that migrated from Mexico presides over the Molera park. It is the dominant feature of the north westernmost portion of the Santa Lucias.

Ohlones believed Coyote, the Creator of people and other creatures, resided here.

Pico Blanco
Photo by Margie Whitnah

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Eleven miles south of Big Sur Lodge

Almost 2,000 acres of coastal, canyon and mountain greatness, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a fantastic place –and a perfect introduction to Big Sur.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns (JPB) State Park is 34 miles south of Carmel, and 11 miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and covers 10 miles of exquisite coast with many coves.

Within the park are idyllic trails, waterfalls, underwater parks, historical gems, riparian hardwood forests, mystic redwood groves with ancient growth trees, and deliriously beautiful scenery.

End of Ewoldsen Trail
Photo by Jack Ellwanger
It would be difficult to select a single area as a Best of Big Sur – – there is so much variety in the area, it is difficult to choose anywhere that is typical.
But Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is such an incredibly beautiful place, that it would make the “Best” lists for anywhere in the world. It may not be one of the best in Big Sur, but surely one of the best in the world.

With ten miles of coast, 3,762 acres of highlands and canyon watershed and offshore underwater reserve, JPB is a collection of some of California’s most intriguing and evocative coastal features.

Ewoldsen Trail
Photo by Jack Ellwanger

Photo by Margie Whitnah

In a Redwood canyon along the McWay creek is as delicious and idyllic a scene as any Hollywood set creator could dream up.

There are ancient Redwoods that were not harvested 125 years ago because they had anomalies — like twisted trunks or great burl outgrowths that diminished their commercial values. But left to grow, they are magnificent reminders of what the forest was like. They are like huge holy creatures. The forest floor is a soft bed of fluffy needles accented by glossy green ferns, sunlight beaming through the forest canopy onto the busy, gurgling stream which is flopping over colorful, mossy rocks in a gentle meander to its thunderous fate in the spectacular falls into the Pacific Ocean.


Special features include: A fault line runs right into the sea at the McWay waterfall, Indian village sites, medleys of geologic remnants mesh in stunning promontories, forested rocky points jutting straight up from rich underwater canyons, white rocks from the Sierras and plants from the desert, coves with thick kelp forests and dancing black oyster catchers, and view vantages that are so enchanting they are difficult to leave.

Photo by Margie Whitnah

Two other features of Pfeiffer Burns are worth mentioning. McWay Falls is an 80 foot drop over a granite precipice, into the ocean tide on a pristine beach in a cove that is completely unmolested by humans – except there is a trail high up the granite cliffs on the opposite side where people trod a well-beaten path to view one of this continent’s most exquisite sights. The other mentionable feature is a picnic area near the Park entrance.

If you do not see Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for yourself, you will not believe it.

Most people just see the ocean coves, waterfalls and granitic rock islands. What is missed by them are the ancient growth redwood groves, highland meadows of amazingly diverse botany, fascinating historical structures, wonderland-like trails, mixed evergreen and riparian hardwood forests.


Atop Wagon Cave

Back Country

Wonderful experiences await Big Sur Lodge guests. Pristine landscapes that look very much like they did before Europeans arrived. Vast oak savanahs and magnificent vistas of the Ventana Wilderness and Santa Lucia Mountains are part of the early California treasures. A Mission and a Hearst Hunting Lodge are part of the Big Sur Lodge BackCountry trips our guests can take.

Hiking in San Antonio Valley

9 The Rich Marine Environment
Early European hunters almost entirely eliminated sea otters, gray whales, red abalone and elephant seals along the whole Pacific coast. This tradition carried through with the Americans as the Big Sur region was plucked almost completely clean of redwoods and tan bark oaks.

Elephant seal pups at San Simeon are part of one of nature’s most spectacular comebacks. Less than 25 years ago, this incredible mammal was thought to be extinct. A few survived and colonized a Mexican island. At the end of the 1980s they began colonizing in Big Sur, and today there are more than 8,000 of these amazing seals on our South Coast.
Photo by Jutta Jacobs
Friends of the Elephant Sea

Photo by Margie Whitnah

Whales in McWay Cove are occasionally seen. During the northern migration, two cows bring a newborn calf up the coast. The trip is dangerous as orcas hunt the California gray whales to kill the calf. The cows seek the cliffs to help them protect against orca attacks.

More than 20,000 gray whales make the Arctic to Baja migration and back each year. It was not long ago that they were hunted by humans to near extinction.

Southern sea otters were thought to be extinct by the early part of last century. They had been hunted by Europeans for their silky pelt. But a colony of this precocious and lovable critters was near Bixby Canyon in the mid-1930s. Shortly they became the object of conscionable civic action and legislation to protect them. Now there are more than 2,000 residing along the Big Sur coast.

Photo by Margie Whitnah

9 Avian Wonders

Photo by Phil Adams

Condor in flight over Big Sur Coast
Photo by Ventana Wildlife Society
Condors were reintroduced to Big Sur beginning in 1997. The program, managed by the Ventana Wildlife Society, is a great success. In winter, the birds can often be seen perched atop the redwoods near the Big Sur Lodge.

Photo by Phil Adams

Early in 2006, a pair of condors was seen busy preparing a nest. This was very exciting news, as this is the first nesting behavior observed in the wild in more than one hundred years. There are now 40 condors released here in the Big Sur wild – all were bred in captivity.

Condors are feeding on dead seals, too. Condors are scavengers, and their traditional diet was marine mammals. They have been feeding on dead seals that have been killed by sharks and orcas. And, in the Spring of 2006 they were observed feeding on a dead whale carcass beached along the Big Sur coast. This is the first such sighting in four hundred years on the Central Coast.

Condor preparing nest
Songbird Banding

On Saturday mornings between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you are invited to observe how songbirds are studied.

At the Big Sur Ornithology Lab (BSOL), the Ventana Wildlife Society (VWS) records data about song birds.

Photo by Margie Whitnah

BSOL biologists, staff, interns, and volunteers recognize what a unique place Andrew Molera State Park is for the hundreds of species of migratory bird populations who rest and breed there. These people are profoundly dedicated to monitoring and researching the birds’ health and distribution of not only the migratory birds, but most importantly, the common birds in the area. The ongoing mist netting station where bird banding is performed at the lab is a primary method in carrying out the BSOL team’s efforts toward bird, wildlife, and habitat conservation.

The Lab hopes that by sharing in the learning, visitors will be inspired to increase their support for wildlife conservation, respect for Nature’s wonders, and protection of our environment’s biological diversity. The Lab welcomes visitors to their bird banding demonstrations.

You may visit on Saturday mornings from Memorial Day to Labor Day, between 7 a.m. and 12 noon. It is free to the public. Admission to Molera State Park is free with your park pass provided to Big Sur Lodge guests.

Monarchs cluster for warmth

Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary

Monarch butterflies spend their winters in Central Coast groves of eucalyptus, Monterey pine and cypress. They mate here. The male dies and the female flies in the Spring to the Santa Lucia mountains and Central Valley to deposit their eggs. After two generations within the same year, the butterflies spend the Summer in Western Canada. In the Fall, the next generation flies 1,200 miles here to mate again. At Andrew Molera State Park there is a Monarch Sanctuary.


Big Sur is a wonderous place. So much of nature can be found here. But much of yourself can be found here, too.

An incredible effort has been made by local citizens and state, county and national agencies to preser the natural wonders of Big Sur. It has not been easy. But the effort is intended for you to enjoy and learn from it. So indulge your senses, and stay in touch.

Comment to: BigSurLodge@pelicannetwork.net

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