Beautiful Monterey County

Beautiful Monterey County

Andrew Molera State Park

The largest state park on the Big Sur coast, Andrew Molera State Park is a popular Big Sur camping location. Andrew Molera State Park's hiking trails wander through a wide variety of environments, from spectacular coastline to tranquil river banks, from redwood-studded ridges to grassy meadows. Other attractions at this Big Sur state park include fishing, as well as horseback riding and mountain biking trails.

Named after the man who brought the artichoke to California, Andrew Molera State Park also is the home of many historic structures, including the oldest building in Big Sur.

Day Use

Andrew Molera State Park is an ideal spot for the outdoors enthusiast. Andrew Molera State Park has some of the most popular Big Sur hiking trails, as well as great Big Sur horseback riding and mountain biking trails. It is also the most reliable Big Sur surfing area.

Hiking

Andrew Molera State Park has 20 miles of Big Sur hiking trails, exploring environments from riverside to coastline and from ridgeline to meadow. The California State Parks website has an online trail map that provides an overview; a more detailed hiking trail map can be obtained at Andrew Molera State Park. Some hiking trails are ideal for the novice hiker, while others present a challenge even for the expert. Most have descriptive names that provide some insight into the trail's main feature.

Andrew Molera State Park's Beach Trail is an easy, almost flat hike to the beach alongside the Big Sur River. This trail meets the Bluff Trail, which provides breathtaking views of the shoreline from the coastal bluffs. The River Trail runs along the Big Sur River; hikers will ford the river three times along the way. The East Molera Trail explores the section of Andrew Molera State Park that is east of Highway 1. It has a significant elevation gain of 1000 feet over one mile, but its high point - a shady redwood glade on the crest of a ridge offering panoramic views of the coast and mountains - makes it worth the effort. The Ridge Trail has a similarly challenging ascent, and also provides breathtaking views.

These are only a few of the many hiking trails Andrew Molera State Park has to offer. Refer to item three in our list of Top Ten Day Hikes in Monterey County for a detailed description of the Beach and Creamery Meadows loop hike and the Bluff, Panorama and Ridge trail hike.

Discovery Center

Andrew Molera State Park's Discovery Center is run by the Ventana Wildlife Society. The discovery center focuses on the organization's work with the California condor, but also explores the other wildlife in the area. Visit the songbird banding lab, take a tour, and learn all about Big Sur directly from local biologists and naturalists. Open Friday through Sunday from 9am to 4pm.

The Ranch House Museum

The Andrew Molera Ranch House Museum showcases the rich heritage of the Big Sur coast. Here you can view displays and artifacts from the artists, authors, early pioneers and indigenous peoples who helped shape the Big Sur culture. The Ranch House Museum offers free admission and is open Thursday through Sunday from 11am to 4pm through Labor Day.

Camping

Looking for Big Sur campsites? Strap your tent to your back and hike out to Trail Camp at Andrew Molera State Park. Andrew Molera State Park has 24 hike-in campsites about one-third of a mile from the main parking area. No camping reservations are required at Andrew Molera State Park. All campsites are first-come, first-served, so get there early!

Map and Directions

From Carmel, drive south 20 miles to reach Andrew Molera State Park.


View Larger Map

Lay of the Land

click to enlarge map

Lay of the Land

LayoftheLand

VIEW MONTEREY COUNTY MAP

County Map

VIEW DETAILED MAPS

Click on the links for high-resolution maps of Monterey County communities, suitable for printing: Monterey, Carmel and Carmel Valley, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas, Seaside, Marina, Sand City and Moss Landing.

WANT TO GET HERE FAST?

Fly direct from these five airports:
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
McCarran International Airport (LAS)
Phoenix Skyharbor International Airport (PHX)
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)

x
Sign up for our eNewsletter!
Monterey County's monthly newsletter keeps you up-to-date with upcoming event information, itinerary ideas, occasional contests & more.

more

Free Travel Guide
Get your digital guide now!
Find out everything there is to see and do with the 2015 Official Travel Guide. more

 

Monterey Spotlight
 
 

Featured Events

Apr
5
2015

Easter Brunches in Monterey County

Apr. 5
Looking for a way to celebrate Easter weekend in Monterey County? Overwhelmed with…more
Apr
9
2015

Pebble Beach Food & Wine

Apr. 9-Apr. 12
Pebble Beach Food & Wine is the premier epicurean lifestyle event on the West…more
Apr
11
2015

Pacific Grove Good Old Days

Apr. 11-Apr. 12
Come to "America's Last Hometown" for an old-fashioned celebration with…more
Apr
16
2015

Sea Otter Classic

Apr. 16-Apr. 19
A four-day "Celebration of Cycling," the Sea Otter Classic is regarded as…more
Apr
26
2015

Big Sur International Marathon

Apr. 26
The Big Sur Marathon is 26.2 miles of the most beautiful coastline in the world -…more
May
1
2015

TUDOR United SportsCar Championship

May. 1-May. 3
This new series created by the merger between the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series…more
May
1
2015

Wildflower Triathlon

May. 1-May. 3
One of the premier triathlons nationally and internationally, this course will test…more
May
2
2015

The Language Capital of the World Cultural Festival

May. 2-May. 3
Held in the heart of Old Monterey, this inaugural "Language Capital of the…more
May
2
2015

Winemakers' Celebration

May. 2
Over 30 Monterey County wineries from 9 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) will…more
May
14
2015

Carmel Art Festival

May. 14-May. 17
Carmel-by-the-Sea highlights its artist colony origins with the Carmel Art Festival.…more
May
14
2015

Salinas Valley Fair

May. 14-May. 17
Enjoy the atmosphere of an old-fashioned county fair, complete with carnival,…more
May
22
2015

California Roots Music & Arts Festival

May. 22-May. 24
The 6th annual California Roots Music and Arts Festival is a three-day event packed…more
May
23
2015

MayFest Monterey Bay

May. 23-May. 25
This FREE admission 3 DAY FESTIVAL created for the community at large will occur…more
All

Activities

Estate Experience

Stonepine Estate
Estate Experience 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage Accommodations …

FREE APPETIZER or 1 HR of POOL

Blue Fin Cafe & Billiards
Choose a FREE APP or 1Hr of Pool with any $20 purchase on selected items *Mention…

Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card

Fisherman's Wharf Association
The “Enjoy the Wonders of the Wharf VIP Card and Special Offers Campaign includes a…
Nov 18, 2014
- Apr 1, 2015

Surf and Turf Package

Tradewinds Carmel
Enjoy a relaxing night in a luxurious King or Queen/Queen room. Spend the Day…
Feb 25, 2015
- Mar 31, 2015

Free Sailing Tour of the Monterey Bay

Martine Inn
Book a two night stay at the Martine Inn and receive two free tickets for a one-hour…

Carmel Valley Wine Discovery

Stonepine Estate
Carmel Valley Wine Discovery 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…

Equestrian Encounter

Stonepine Estate
Equestrian Encounter 2 Nights in One of Stonepine’s Houses or Cottage…
All