Camping in Big Sur In 2022 – A Tourist’s Guide

Spending the night camping in Big Sur, in the redwood trees, and along the adjacent seaside bluffs is the ideal way to view Big Sur’s towering mountain cliffs and stunning ocean.

Campgrounds on the Big Sur coast, which stretch roughly 90 miles between Hearst Castle and Carmel-by-the-Sea, are in great demand.

Big Sur has attracted other noteworthy visitors over the years, including Henry Miller and Jack Kerouac, and now attracts millions of people each year, many of whom are hoping to pitch a tent or park an RV.


GuideCamping In Big Sur
Things to bringTent, Sleeping bags, and more
Campgrounds Ventana, Limekiln State Park, and more
Best places to visit near Big Sur Pfeiffer Beach and more
Camping In Big Sur
Camping In Big Sur

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Camping In Big Sur

Big Sur
Big Sur

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

Over 1,000 acres of redwood trees, picturesque rivers, and breathtaking coastline views make up Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

Pfeiffer Big Sur is conveniently amid the numerous main attractions of Big Sur, including Pfeiffer Beach and the Henry Miller Memorial Library, and local food stores and restaurants in the center of the Big Sur coast.

Address: Pfeiffer Big Sur Road, Big Sur, California

Ventana Campground

Ventana Campground
Ventana Campground

This privately owned campground is within a coastal redwood canyon in the heart of the Big Sur coast and is only open to tent campers.

Ventana Campground provides over 60 natural-looking campsites, as well as 15 premium glamping sites with stone fireplaces, a safari-style canvas tent, and a comfy glamping mattress pad.

Address: 48123 CA-1, Big Sur, California

Kirk Creek Campground

Kirk Creek Campground is on the west side of Highway 1 on an ocean cliff with stunning ocean views from every site.

The breathtaking vistas of this Forest Service campsite are available for tents and recreational vehicles under 30 feet long, making it popular with sunset and dawn watchers.

Address: CA-1, Big Sur, California

Big Sur Campground & Cabins

Big Sur Campground & Cabins
Big Sur Campground & Cabins

This family-friendly campground is in the center of the Big Sur coast, midway between Andrew Molera and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Parks, and provides almost 100 campsites along the Big Sur River.

The campground’s outdoor playground, which has redwoods around it, as well as the enormous swimming pool that branches off the river, is popular with both parents and children.

Address: 47000 CA-1, Big Sur, California

Limekiln State Park

The Limekiln State Park, near the town of Lucia on the Big Sur coast, provides a little bit of everything this rough part of the nation has to offer.

Limekiln State Park offers redwood grove hiking paths, stunning waterfall perspectives, access to the Ventana Wilderness, and panoramic ocean views all in one day.

Address: 63025 CA-1, Big Sur, California

Plaskett Creek Campground

Plaskett Creek Campground
Plaskett Creek Campground

The Los Padres National Forest’s Plaskett Creek Campground, on the east side of Highway 1, has 44 campsites.

Most campsites include views of the neighboring ocean, and all campers have access to flushing toilets and water spigots.

Address: 69345 CA-1, Big Sur, California

Hearst San Simeon State Park

Hearst San Simeon, less than 20 miles south of Ragged Point, popularly known as the Gateway to Big Sur, is more inexpensive camping adjacent to Big Sur.

There are two campgrounds at Hearst San Simeon, each with about 200 campsites for tents and RVs.

Address: 500 San Simeon-Monterey Creek Road, Cambria, California

Riverside Campground & Cabins

Riverside Campground & Cabins
Riverside Campground & Cabins

This commercial camping establishment in the Big Sur coast’s central portion includes tent camping, RV parking, and cabin lodging.

This contemporary campsite on the banks of the Big Sur River offers hot showers, flushing toilets, and 16 acres of redwood forest to explore.

Address: 47020 CA-1, Big Sur, California

Fernwood Campground & Resort

The Fernwood Campground & Resort, just north of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Pfeiffer Beach, offers a variety of lodging options surrounded by redwoods and the Big Sur River.

Fernwood provides tent and RV campsites, woodland cabins, and canvas tents, as well as a hotel with 12 standard rooms, all conveniently along the Big Sur Coast.

Address: 47200 CA-1, Big Sur, California

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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

The Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has just two basic campsites accessible and is best renowned for day-use activities such as coastal canyon hiking trails and stunning vistas of an 80-foot waterfall plunging into the ocean (McWay Falls).

Visitors should count themselves fortunate if they can stay at one of these tent-only, walk-in campsites, which are highly sought after and may be reserved up to six months in advance online.

Address: 48123 CA-1, Big Sur, California

Best Places To Visit Near Big Sur

Best Places to visit near Big Sur
Best Places to visit near Big Sur

Pfeiffer Beach

The two-mile drive to Pfeiffer Beach lies a little over a mile south of the entrance to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and is slightly off the usual route.

A short route leads from the parking area to a stunning ocean vista unsurpassed anyplace else on the coast, which is inaccessible to RVs and trailers.

The massive sea stacks at Pfeiffer Beach inspire immediate amazement and astonishment, with choppy waves providing a hypnotic and steady power against the backdrop of the rugged Santa Lucia Mountains.

Ragged Point

The Ragged Point is frequently the first stop for travelers traveling north through Big Sur.

Ragged Point Inn and Resort, is built on a 300-foot cliff, to use the facilities and take in the view to explore Ragged Point.

Ragged Point Inn, has a gourmet restaurant, coffee bar, and lovely locations to stay the night.

It also has breathtaking seascapes and a steep route that leads to a black-sand beach.

Tourists may see the animals at Piedras Blancas State Marine Reserve if they go fifteen miles south from San Simeon.

Checklist Before Camping In Big Sur

Checklist Before Camping in Big Sur
Checklist Before Camping in Big Sur

Don’t forget to pack these basics for camping and trekking. This is not an exhaustive list, but it does reflect the equipment that we believe is essential for good camping and hiking vacation.

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping pads
  • Hydration backpack
  • Lantern, headlamp, or flashlight
  • Hat, polarized sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • Proper hiking boots or trail shoes
  • Trail snacks, water, and firewood


What is the best time for camping in Big Sur?

The busy season runs from April to October, but Big Sur is stunning all year, so you’ll be in for a treat no matter when you arrive. If the weather prediction is clear, this is the best time to visit Big Sur and go camping.

Can you camp for free in Big Sur?

Several national parks allow people to camp for free along forest service roads to follow a few simple rules. Check out some possible service roads based on where you wish to travel before you go.

Can you bring in pets for camping in Big Sur?

Depending on which campground you choose, you might be able to.

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