I don't think there isn't anything more "California" than an impromptu hike to the beach. Whether you are driving along Pacific Coast Highway on a long road trip or just going for a day trip in Central California, Andrew Molera State Park is a great place to hike to the beach.
This hike brings a little bit of adventure in it's two-mile round trip hike, with an immediate creek-crossing after you leave the parking lot! Depending on the time of year, the creek can be a creek or it can live up to it's name, Big Sur River.
At the entrance the rangers told us immediately that they had just taken down the creek bridge and that we had to cross the river by foot, but to my family that sounded like an adventure and not a deterrent!
After this little water adventure, we decided to make this hike a barefoot hike to the beach or at least until our feet were dried. My kids hiked all the way to the beach barefoot but towards the end of Beach Trail the trail gets a little rocky and muddy due to all the shade. This hike is easy enough even for my 1-year to walk, but we ended up carrying him halfway there since every floating leaf was calling to him and we just wanted to get to the beach!
Family Hiking Tips: There is lots of poison oak along the trail, so STAY on the path. There are no stores near by so bring your snacks before coming here. There is potable water. Prepare for creek crossing and bring extra clothes in case your children "accidentally" fall in the water. The waves are strong at the beach, so never take your eyes off anyone in your group.
Andrew Molera State Park: Trip Report Details
To hike this hike just pay your entrance fees and take the Beach Trail (Trailhead in the parking lot) to the beach! We took Creamery Meadow Trail on the return trip to the parking lot, but that is because we don't like going the same way twice. You can easily return back to the parking lot via Beach trail or be more adventurous and explore other trails Andrew Molera SP has to offer!
Trip Date: November 5, 2016
Mileage: 2.35 miles
Elevation Gained: 33 ft
Beach Trail to Creamery Meadow Trail
Family Friendly: Easy
Hiking Crew: Two adults, Two Children, One Toddler
Hiking Gear: One Framed Infant Carrier
Snacks: Candy & Salami
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