Monterey County

scenic vista of redwood studded mountains on a sunny day

Uniting to protect sacred redwoods


Tom Little Bear Nason, chairman of Big Sur’s Esselen Tribe of Monterey County, describes his tribe’s long-standing relationship with redwoods. He’s working with the area’s non-native communities to integrate cultural burn strategies into land management practices that will protect the forest from catastrophic wildfires. The deep-seated respect for ancient redwoods has inspired Little Bear and his apprentices to share their traditional ecological knowledge of fire mimicry with the Big Sur community.

View from the Soberanes Trail.

Garrapata State Park


On the northern end of the Big Sur coast, just 8 miles south of Carmel, is the hidden gem of Garrapata State Park. This unspoiled, 3,000-acre park offers spectacular views and diverse terrain to explore, including 2 miles of beachfront, breathtaking coastal headlands and canyons dense with redwoods.

Photo by mikebaird, Flickr Creative Commons

Limekiln State Park


Visit Limekiln State Park to enjoy the beauty of the redwoods alongside the rugged splendor of the Big Sur coast and explore the history of the lime kilns.

Photo by Save the Redwoods League

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park


Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is located off Highway 1, some 26 miles south of Carmel and two miles south of the hamlet of Big Sur. This beautiful park features redwoods, conifers, oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, maples, alders and willows – plus open meadows.

Photo by blackwing, Flickr Creative Commons

Los Padres National Forest


Extending from Ventura to Monterey, the Los Padres National Forest includes five major mountain ranges and 10 designated wildernesses.

Photo by SteveD,  Flickr Creative Commons

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park


Thirty-seven miles south of Carmel, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park showcases an exquisite 2-mile stretch of the central California coast.

Photo by nwrabinowitz, Flickr Creative Commons

Andrew Molera State Park


The 4,800-acre park is the largest state park on the Big Sur coast. Twenty miles of hiking trails wend around redwood groves, meadows and overlooks. Watch for California condors and migrating whales.