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Things to Know Before Visiting the Pfeiffer Beach, California

Maya Pillai Jul 31, 2019
Pfeiffer is a beautiful purple sand beach in Big Sur, California. The location is quiet, scenic and secluded. It is an unspoiled beach that was named after one of the pioneering families here. You can walk around the rock formations, and coves while enjoying the waves crashing on them.

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A Prominent Attraction of Pfeiffer Beach - The Keyhole Rock Arch

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Things to Keep in Mind

Its recommended to avoid going to the beach on a windy day.
The wind blows the sand grains every where, thus making this beautiful beach into an unpleasant one. This beach is down Sycamore Canyon Road. and is on Los Padres National Forest land.
The road leading to the Pfeiffer is narrow. So avoid bringing your trailer or RV's. Parking lot is a small area and you have to pay a nominal fee.
However, you have to walk for two miles from the parking lot to the beach. During the weekends and holidays, if you don't go early you may not get a parking slot.

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The visiting hours to the beach is between 10 am and 9 pm. You are not allowed to camp or start a beach fire in Pfeiffer beach. Swimming is not recommended due to strong undercurrents and rock formation.

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During the high tide, the north side of the beach beyond the keyhole rock is isolated. So check the tide predictions before venturing there. The coast along the north side is foggy and cold all day.
The cold is intense during the weather condition called June Gloom that may occur anytime between May and August. Check out the weather conditions  beforehand.

Purple Beach Sand

The northern side of the beach has patches of purple sand. The manganese garnet in the hills is washed down the creek to beach due to erosion. That is what makes the beach sand purple. At times, if you are lucky you get to see the shades of pink or green.

Facilities at the Pfeiffer Beach

Its wise to carry a picnic hamper with you as the nearest restaurant is in the Big Sur Village. There are picnic tables available at the beach.Beach wheeler chair is available at the beach information center.

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The rest rooms are near the parking lot. Dogs are allowed here but they have to be on their leashes.

Dress Code in Pfeiffer Beach

It is primarily a clothed beach. However, nude sunbathers can be seen on the north side of the beach beyond the rocks. Since this beach is on the Federal Land, nudity is legal. This means state park nudity policies and laws are not applicable here.