Trip Number: 13070A
Staff: Kathryn Hannay
- Enjoy beautiful central California scenery
- Help with trail maintainance and French Broom removal
- Explore beaches, hike, and spot wildlife and wildflowers on day off
- All work equipment
- Tent camping
- All meals
Photo: Kathryn Hannay
From the majestic redwood forests, where the mountains meet the sea, the magic
and mystery of the Big Sur Coast draws visitors from around the world. For the
fourth year, the Sierra Club has been invited back to continue the state-funded
project in Pfeiffer State Park to improve trails, remove invasive French Broom
and to re-vegetate sections with a variety native plant species.
We will camp at Pfeiffer State Park, home to redwoods, conifers, oaks, and
open meadows. The park includes a café, lodge, and grocery store. Local
points of interest include restaurants, art galleries, beaches, and other state
parks: Andrew Molera, Pt. Lobos, and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Sea lions,
harbor seals and sea otters are common here; California gray whales can be spotted
during their yearly spring migration from nearby Soberanes Point.
We will work four days on trail-building and removal of invasive French Broom,
and have a free day to explore the beaches, hike, look for California Condors,
gray whales, sea otters and enjoy spring wildflowers.
We will work at Pfeiffer Big Sur to improve the trails, and reroute a steep
trail section. We will also eradicate invasive plant species that are pushing
out native species. Pfeiffer State Park offers diverse coastal habitats with
trails along the river through redwood groves and tanbark oak. Tools will be
provided. Trip members need to wear long pants for the work project, sturdy
shoes, and provide work gloves. While poison oak is present in the park, the
project is not in a poison oak area. Technu soap is provided at the end of each
work day and showers are available for a few quarters.
Photo: Kathryn Hannay
Our trip will begin at Pfeiffer State Park, 30 miles from Monterey at 4 p.m.
on Saturday, March 23. The first meal will be in dinner on March 23, and the
final meal will be breakfast on March 29. Trip members share the responsibility
for meals each day with directions from the cook. Lunches are packed each morning
for the trail. Lunch containers, must be included in personal gear. We will
be tent camping by the Big Sur River, with access to flush toilets and pay-showers.
The week’s menu is vegetarian-friendly with an emphasis on local, fresh
The closest airport is Monterey, approximately 40 miles from our campsite.
The San Jose airport is a two-hour drive, depending upon traffic and time of
arrival. The San Francisco airport is approximately a four-hour drive, again,
depending upon the time of day. Hwy.1 is the most direct route. A section of
the road south of Monterey is currently under repair; only one lane is open
at a time, which will require more time and patience when traveling. If road
closures are a problem, an alternative route is to use the Naciemento Fergusson
Road, through King City, off Hwy. 101. Trip members will be alerted to road
conditions as part of pre-trip leader communication.
We will be hiking a mile through the redwoods to the work site with tools
and day packs. Each day we will be heading farther into the park to complete
the section of trail that we have been assigned. Trail work is strenuous; it
is important that trip members be in good physical condition for the work this
trip demands. The trip is otherwise moderate in level of activity. We ask that
trip members hike in groups of three for personal safety on free days, and that
personal packs be placed on the edge of the trail when you are working so that
we can easily identify where everyone is during the work project.
Equipment and Clothing
Photo: Kathryn Hannay
The state park will provide the necessary tools. Trip members will need to
bring sturdy boots, long pants, work gloves, a long shirt and a day pack large
enough to carry lunch, two one-liter water bottles, rain gear, sunscreen, camera,
and any other items you will need for the day. A re-useable container is recommended
for your lunch. We provide a first-aid kit, but ask that you bring moleskin,
band-aids, and your own medication as needed. The central California coast weather
can range from windy and cold to warm and mild; temperatures will likely range
from 40 to 70 degrees. An equipment list is available upon acceptance to the
- Pfeiffer State Parks: www.parks.ca.gov
- Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary: www.mbnms.nos.noaa.gov
- California Condors: www.ventanaws.org
- Monterey County Chapter Bulletin: www.ventana.sierraclub.org
See the How to Apply for an Outing section for more details on registering for this trip and details
about our Reservation and Cancellation Policy.
The payment of a deposit does not confirm you as a member on the trip. Participants must be approved by the trip leader. After signing up for this trip, you will be sent a confirmation packet containing approval materials (Participant Approval Questionnaire, Medical Form, Liability Release Form). Each applicant (including those on the waitlist) must fill out these forms and promptly mail them to the trip leader. The leader will review the approval materials and notify you of your acceptance in a timely manner.
Kathryn Hannay has hiked in Big Sur for many years and has led service trips in Wyoming, Colorado and Alaska for the opportunity to work with people who enjoy the challenge of a work project, pleasure of exploring a new area and the satisfaction that comes from working together to improve the natural beauty of the wild places.
Kelley Cousin lives and works in Griffin, Georgia, but also has a home and family in Montana where she spends as much time as possible gardening, hiking and skiing. She loves service trips because they offer a unique opportunity to do meaningful work in a beautiful setting with interesting people. Cooking for a hardworking group is especially rewarding. Her menu is primarily vegetarian and she loves having participants assist in the kitchen!
General Notes About Sierra Club Trips