Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Beach

Big Sur, California

Beach is open from 9:00 am -8:00 pm daily, but there is a $5.00 per vehicle entrance fee. Dramatic sea stacks, arches and caves decorate the most famous beach in the area. This is not a swimming beach, but great for picnics, beachcombing and walking. Some nice surfing waves. The beach has unusual purple sand, from manganese garnet particles washing down the hillside.

Under the AB 411 bill, this location is no longer monitored by Monterey County.

Photo by: Moshe Ovadya

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • No data available

  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample. Swim Guide - Main updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
12°C
Cloudy
Monitoring Frequency

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Beach is not sampled

Source Information

Monterey County Health Department collects samples at this beach every week from April 1st - October 31st and from monthly November 1st - March 31st. Samples are tested for levels of total coliform, fecal coliform and enterococcus. Swim Guide checks daily for updates during the monitoring season.

The standards for indicator bacteria are as follows:

Single sample maximum
Total Coliform > 10,000 MPN (Most Probable Number) / 100 ml of water
Fecal Coliform > 400 MPN / 100 ml
Enterococcus > 104 MPN / 100 ml

Geometric Mean (5 samples collected over a 30 day period)
Total Coliform > 1,000 MPN / 100 ml of water
Fecal Coliform > 200 MPN / 100 ml
Enterococcus > 33 MPN / 100 ml

A coastal beach is marked Green when bacteria levels for a single day and geometric mean are below the standards mentioned.

A coastal beach is marked Red when bacteria levels for a single day or the geometric mean are above the standards mentioned.

A beach is marked Grey when there is no current or reliable monitoring information available.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Beach

Big Sur, California

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is still essential. Only go to the beach if you are able to keep 6 feet or 2 meters away from others. Follow the instructions provided by your local health authorities. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter our efforts to curb the virus’s spread.

Water Quality
  • No data available
  • Current Status
  • This status is based on the latest sample. Swim Guide - Main updates the status of this beach as soon as test results become available.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
12°C
Cloudy

Beach is open from 9:00 am -8:00 pm daily, but there is a $5.00 per vehicle entrance fee. Dramatic sea stacks, arches and caves decorate the most famous beach in the area. This is not a swimming beach, but great for picnics, beachcombing and walking. Some nice surfing waves. The beach has unusual purple sand, from manganese garnet particles washing down the hillside.

Under the AB 411 bill, this location is no longer monitored by Monterey County.

Photo by: Moshe Ovadya

Monitoring Frequency

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Beach is not sampled

Source Information

Monterey County Health Department collects samples at this beach every week from April 1st - October 31st and from monthly November 1st - March 31st. Samples are tested for levels of total coliform, fecal coliform and enterococcus. Swim Guide checks daily for updates during the monitoring season.

The standards for indicator bacteria are as follows:

Single sample maximum
Total Coliform > 10,000 MPN (Most Probable Number) / 100 ml of water
Fecal Coliform > 400 MPN / 100 ml
Enterococcus > 104 MPN / 100 ml

Geometric Mean (5 samples collected over a 30 day period)
Total Coliform > 1,000 MPN / 100 ml of water
Fecal Coliform > 200 MPN / 100 ml
Enterococcus > 33 MPN / 100 ml

A coastal beach is marked Green when bacteria levels for a single day and geometric mean are below the standards mentioned.

A coastal beach is marked Red when bacteria levels for a single day or the geometric mean are above the standards mentioned.

A beach is marked Grey when there is no current or reliable monitoring information available.

Read more
Water Quality Graph

  Beach Location Water Quality
Monterey, California
Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Big Sur, California
Monterey, California
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