Andrew Molera State Park, Big Sur

4.3
#6 of 6 in Nature in Big Sur
Andrew Molera State Park is a state park of California, United States, preserving relatively undeveloped land on the Big Sur coast. Situated at the mouth of the Big Sur River, the property was part of the Rancho El Sur land grant, and later owned by the Cooper-Molera ranching family. His sister Frances Molera stipulated that the park should be named for her brother Andrew Molera, who popularized the artichoke in California in 1922, when she sold the property to The Nature Conservancy in 1965.ActivitiesActivities at the park include hiking, fishing and beachcombing, with miles of trails winding through meadows, beaches and hilltops. A primitive walk-in trail camp, popular with hikers and bikers, is located approximately one-third of a mile from the parking area. It is considered the most reliable surfing area in Big Sur.The park is 20mi south of Carmel-by-the-Sea on State Route 1.FeaturesAndrew Molera State Park features the historic Cooper Cabin, built in 1861 or 1862. It is the oldest structure in Big Sur. Fur trader Juan Bautista Roger Cooper was Andrew Molera's grandfather.The Ventana Wildlife Society has established a Discovery Center within the park. The Discovery Center includes exhibits on local wildlife, including the California condor, and a bird banding laboratory. Scientists and other laboratory employees give regular tours of Andrew Molera State Park, explaining the flora and fauna that are unique to the area.
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Andrew Molera State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
165 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We paid 9 bucks senior pricing for the state park and we were told a one mile walk. Normally that is a 20 minute walk for me. It was more like 35 minutes one way. It is flat so it is an easy hike. How...  more »
  • The walk to the beach starts off and ends crossing a stream, just go for it. The walk is level and easy. There are bugs and flowers to investigate along the way. At the beach, there is typically drift...  more »
  • We had started our day at Point Lobos Park and continued on as far as we could along the PCH until the bridge that was being repaired. Along the way we say Andrew Molera. I had read about all the Stat...  more »
Google
  • I have camped here off-and-on for many, many years. The beach is outstanding, The trail to the beach is an easy walk and very picturesque. The camp ground has changed a lot since the management was turned over to Reserve America. The Boy Scouts can no longer camp there as they now limit camping to 40 sites with a 4 person limit for each site and the atmosphere can be somewhat repressive at times. There are still fire rings which can be used most of the year, and toilets are provided, along with picnic tables. This is the only low cost camping in Big Sur unless you drive south for quite a few miles.
  • Day use area open 1/2 hr before sunrise to 1/2 hr after sunset for $10 parking. Camping overnight is first come first serve, $25. Very open camping field. A couple camping spots have tree cover. Rodents are very annoying (skunks, squirrels, raccoons). Trails are great. Not much elevation gain. Bobcats are often seen on these trails (our group saw several).
  • Beautiful state park. Has great campsites that are very reasonably priced ($25 which includes parking), with nice bathrooms, water source, fire pit for cooking, and a bear proof locker to keep food in the night. The hiking is gorgeous and not too busy, with beautiful views and very nice beaches.
  • Breathtaking location, with easy access to an amazing secluded beach. Flush toilets and drinking water. No showers or electricity but the location is so good it doesn't matter.
  • So worth the $10 parking fee! The only place to see the Big Sur River meet up with the Pacific Ocean. Such an incredible stop, and so easy to hike, too!

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Where to stay in Big Sur

Secluded resorts, inns, and lodges are located off Highway 1. Some offer weary drivers a safe resting place, while others are exclusive resorts for long-term getaways. The latter require advance reservations. Camping is another popular alternative, with many campgrounds accessible from the highway.
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