Andrew Molera State Park

The largest state park on the Big Sur coast, Andrew Molera State Park is a popular Big Sur destination. 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 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 and mountain biking trails. It is also the most reliable Big Sur surfing area. Keep in mind there is no lifeguard service at Andrew Molera Beach. Please be aware that conditions may change quickly along the coastline at this remote wilderness beach. When in doubt--don't go out.


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 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. When visiting Big Sur be mindful of your surroundings and keep out of closed parks, trails and private property.

California Condor Discovery Center

Andrew Molera State Park's California Condor 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.  The center is open during peak season on Saturday and Sunday from 10am 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 is open for visitors during peak season on Saturday from 11:00am to 3:00pm when a volunteer is available. 

Map and Directions

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

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