Sparks | Pfeiffer Beach

Sparks | Pfeiffer Beach

Once I knew the day was going to be clear, we headed down Pacific Coast Highway 1 to Pfeiffer Beach. We luckily left early enough to arrive 1.5 hours before sunset because when we got to the entrance, we were backed up in a line 7 cars deep because the parking lot was completely full and they were only letting one car in for one car out. After the delay, I scrambled to set up on the left side of the famous sea stack to capture the light beam through the key hole and time a perfect splash. With the great tide, clear skies, and no ocean fog, I luckily got this moment which looks like sparks flying in the air as the waves crashed through the keyhole onto the rocks and the setting sun illuminated the sea mist and the spray.

Sharp turn off the west side of Pacific Coastal Highway 1 onto unmarked Sycamore Canyon Road. Drive 2 miles down the paved, one lane road to the entrance booth. The beach is on National Forest land, but is privately owned, so the usual National Passes don’t work and as of 12/2016, the entrance fee is $10. Make sure you arrive a 1.5-2 hours before sunset as there can be a line of cars in December-January trying to get into the full parking lot as this area receives an influx of photographers during this time of year to capture the magical light.

Pfeiffer Beach
Big Sur, CA