Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: Development – Big Sur CA


The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) made extensive improvements to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on the central California coast, developing it for public recreational use after the state parks commission acquired the land in 1933.  The enrollees worked out of Camp Big Sur from 1933 to 1941.  We believe Camp Big Sur was located either at the present Main Campground or at the Group Picnic Area.

The CCC built campgrounds, picnic areas, a campfire center, and several stone restrooms (comfort stations). They also constructed the main lodge with a post office and cabins.  To this, they added a park headquarters and administration building, residences for the park staff and a manager’s living quarters.

CCC enrollees built the road bridge to Weyrich campground, and they probably did other road work, as well as constructing trails — but we do not have confirmation on the latter.  

One project no longer in existence was a swimming pond next to the Big Sur river behind the present Group Picnic Area B.  

The outbuilding and metal door latches pictured below were also built by the CCC.

There are two informational panels on the CCC and its work in the park, one near the amphitheater and the other near the trailhead for the Mt. Manuel Trail.

Source notes

Joseph H. Engbeck, Jr., By the People, For the People: The Work of the Civilian Conservation Corps in California State Parks, 1933-1941. (Sacramento: California State Parks, 2002), pp. 89-94.


Project originally submitted by Douglas Dodd on April 5, 2009.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Big Sur, CA 93920

Coordinates: 36.251098, -121.783091

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