Hiking Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Ah, the views in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns state park are one-of-a-kind. The state park is named for a respected pioneer woman (gotta like that) who settled in Big Sur. It was home to a residence of Lathrop and Helen Hooper Brown who started acquiring Big Sur acreage in 1924 and built a home there overlooking one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen. Helen Brown became acquainted with Julia Pfeiffer Burns and later gave the land they owned to the state to use as a park in memory of her friend. Nice story.

Here’s the view that Helen Brown would have seen from her kitchen window:

Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park

Wow! Can you imagine?┬áHere’s a closer shot too:

Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park

Apparently, the water fall used to fall into the water, but a storm (not sure when) added a lot of sand to the cove and changed the structure.

Here’s the view they would have seen from the terrace (looking the opposite direction).

Julia Pfeiffer Burns Park

Wow again!

This squirrel was standing on the ruins of the old house eating nuts and watching us all explore.


While there was probably more true hiking in this park, we went down the road to another state park to enjoy a hike into the redwoods. Some of them were massive, of course, but these were smaller and younger.


We saw this bird following us along and no I didn’t feed him (others did).


Someone said this is a stellar jay – does anyone know? Either way, it was a good day because we got to see blue skies and a little sunshine in the afternoon.

sunshine in the redwoods

Ahhh! We needed that sunshine.

fourteenergirl Written by:

A mother, sister, wife, and daughter who writes, knits, hikes, and practices yoga on the west coast. Loves a zippy chardonnay or a tart margarita!


  1. Ell Lukasik
    July 29, 2013

    So glad you got to experience this. This is what I meant when I told you how gorgeous this area was! Pleased that the waterfall cove is still stunning. I think I remember when the falls did go into the ocean. The color of the water touches me deeply, no pun intended.

    Yup, that is a Steller Jay . The bird in your other post is not an egret, they are white. I think your bird may be a great blue heron. In any case, it sure was a fine specimen!

    Hope you got to see more of the Big Sur coast.

  2. July 29, 2013

    I did get to see quite a lot of the coast. I think more posts are coming too (I can’t remember now), but you were right about the beauty of the area. Would have been MUCH better if the clouds had cleared.

    The bird didn’t look tall enough to be a blue heron – or was it a short blue heron?

  3. Ell Lukasik
    July 30, 2013

    Hmmm, interesting point, short blue heron! Don’t know. I wonder if there are egrets of another color??? Always thought they were white!

    Glad you got to see more of the coast. Clouds are a bummer.

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