One of Big Sur’s most beloved attractions is finally reopening Friday after a 12-year closure.
The 1.5-mile round trip Pfeiffer Falls Trail, which travels along a redwood-lined creek and ends in a 60-foot waterfall, underwent a $2 million renovation following damage from the 2008 Basin Complex Fire, which destroyed much of its infrastructure.
California State Parks and Save the Redwoods League officials replaced more than 4,150 square feet of asphalt and concrete and seven stream crossings, with the newly aligned trail and a 70-foot-long pedestrian bridge that spans the Pfeiffer Redwood Creek ravine and offers dramatic views.
But the restoration hit many issues along the 12-year period. The subsequent 2016 Soberanes Fire, recurring landslides, a long closure of Highway 1 and, of course, COVID-19 delayed the renovation and long-awaited reopening of the area’s most popular trail, officials said.
The Basin Complex Fire that destroyed much of the trail’s surrounding state park began with a lightning strike in July 2008 and burned 162,000 acres. The area is frequently pummeled by natural disasters, even causing a two-lane section of Highway 1 that runs through the area to be closed more than 60 times since its opening in 1937. Fodor’s Travel even named Big Sur on its “No List” in 2020, suggesting it as a place to skip visiting in favor of ethical and responsible tourism.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.