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Big Sur Buzzard's Loop

During our early 2009 October Big Sur trip Kelly and I managed to eke out some time to trek up the Buzzard’s Roost hike at Pfeiffer Big Sur state park.

The hike has a fantastic beginning.  You'll start right at the Big Sur Lodge (a great place to stock up on bug repellent and sunscreen) and meander along Big Sur river for a while before making a beeline to the top (if, of course, a bee were to zigzag back and forth along the switchbacks on the way to the top).

The hike is beautiful and would be silent if it weren’t for the metal bridge into the lodge below.  Nevertheless, there are plenty of birds to see and it’s a beautiful stretch of relatively untouched forest there.

About 0.84 miles in on your way up, you’ll be faced with a decision to turn right, for a steeper, shorter climb, or left, for a slightly longer more gradual climb (as on the map below).


At the top, you’ll have yet another breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean right. You can either reverse your course and come back down, or travel down the other leg of the trail (hence the term, loop).

It’s a short loop of just 3.5 miles and the trail peaks out at just under 1000 feet of elevation and has just over 1000 feet of aggregate climb. The elevation profile is below:

All-in-all, a beautiful hike and if you’re in the area, worth the trip.  

You can download the GPS file here:  

Big Sur Buzzard's Loop.gpx