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, but still worth checking off the list, just to say I did it. Buzzard’s Roost is one of those hikes.
Big Sur is one of my favorite places to escape for the weekend. With unparalleled views of the California coastline and little to no cell service, it’s the perfect place to recharge, if only for a little while.
We decided to hike to the Tin House via the Tanbark Trail. I’d been here last Christmas. We missed the trailhead and changed our start point to park headquarters instead.
A couple friends and I took advantage of the three day weekend and drove down to Big Sur for some good ol’ group camping. With temperatures hovering well above 70 degrees, it was the perfect time to head down to the central coast to get outside and relax.
My car drove down bright and early on Saturday morning to beat traffic on Highway 1 and maximize the fun. (Seriously, Highway 1 minivan traffic is no joke on the weekends) Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park has one campground open in the “winter”. The campsites are all packed in four rows. They can fit 8 people but its a squeeze to get four 2-person tents in with room to breathe. Each site also holds two cars.
I had accidentally stopped by Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and headed up the Big Sur River Gorge last summer when we stopped too early in an attempt to do the Tanbark Trail & Tin House loop at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. I mean, the names are confusing. Really.
The Tin House is a hike I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I never manage to make it out to Big Sur though. The one time I did this past summer, I accidentally went to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (I mean, come on, the names are so identical) and ended climbing up the Big Sur River instead. I made it down to the right park this past Christmas, but then drove past the trailhead.
But that’s okay! Because it made the hike to the Tin House even better. I parked at the big turnout down the road from McWay Falls about 500 feet and walked up Highway 1 into park headquarters. For Christmas Day, it was pretty packed full of people already leaving. (It was 10am when I got there.)