Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: Buzzard’s Roost
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is a beautiful park, but it’s a fairly small park. There is probably less than 15 miles of hiking trails, some connecting deeper into Ventana Wilderness like Sykes Hot Springs via the Pine Ridge trail. Some are gems like the Big Sur River Gorge and Pfeiffer Falls. Others are less so.
One of the things I love about leisurely car camping is you have all the time in the world. After a jaunt up the Big Sur River Gorge, I still had some time to kill and decided to catch the sunset from Buzzard’s Roost. The state showed this as a short 3-miler, the perfect hike to kill time before dinner.
This trail begins behind the Big Sur Lodge on the other side of the Big Sur River. If you’re coming from the campgrounds, you can follow the road towards the front of the park. If you’re coming from the entrance, cross the big metal bridge by the lodge. The trail briefly follows the river before rapidly ascending via several switchbacks and topping out on Pfeiffer Ridge next to some manmade stuff. Oh, and a road. There’s a road you can drive straight up there or something.
Views from the top include the Pacific Ocean and Ventana Wilderness. Not terribly impressive or breathtaking, but I’ll take views over no views. You can easily climb up onto the little building by heel hooking onto the electrical box and pulling yourself up with the pole.
Would I do this hike again? Probably not. If you have some time to kill, it’s worth checking out, but it’s nothing I would write home about.