image of Andrew Molera State Park

Andrew Molera State Park

March 31, 2018
Host: Melody K and Bill E

Andrew Molera State Park is the biggest State Park on the Big Sur coast. It's 7.4 square miles boast more than 20 miles of trails, offering hikers passage across driftwood-strewn beaches, beside rivers lined with redwoods, and atop high ridges that overlook the Santa Lucia Range and broad Pacific. Diverse ecosystems shelter a broad range of plant and animal communities. Birders know the park well. In 1992 the nonprofit Ventana wilderness Society established a research and education center and bird observatory here. The Big Sur Ornithology Lab has documented more than 380 migratory, resident, and transitory birds.

image of Andrew Molera State Park

The Hike

Level: 3 (Challenging) - Miles: 7.5 - Elevation: 1050 ft

Leaving the parking lot we will cross the Big Sur River follow the Beach Trail alongside Creamery Meadow. We will ascend the Ridge Trail to our meeting site, the park's highest view point west of Highway 1 (1050').

image of Andrew Molera State Park

We will then descend on the Panorama Trail to Spring Trail junction, at this point we will take a side trip down a small gully to a dramatic beach. A tangle of driftwood blankets the beach entrance, creating a beautiful obstacle course of water-sculpted roots, limbs and trunks opening to red sand and coastal views.

image of Andrew Molera State Park

Onto the last leg of our adventure we will follow the Bluffs Trail along the edge of a marine terrace. The Bluffs Trail is a kaleidoscope experience, a blend of glistening blue ocean, golden grasses, rich rust-colored earth, and coastal brush in varying hues of green, yellow, orange, and purple.

image of Andrew Molera State Park

Getting There

Directions: Out of San Jose U.S. 101 South, Take Monterey/Peninsula merge onto 156W. Continue onto CA 1/ Cabrillo Hwy 1 to Andrew Molera State Park, 20 miles south of Carmel.

Drive Time 1 hour 50 minutes - Parking $10.00
Sorry, dogs not allowed

Dress appropriately, layered clothing suggested, prepare for changing weather conditions, hat, sunscreen and plenty of water.

If the bridge is down we will be wading across the Big Sur River, knee deep water.

image of Andrew Molera State Park