SAN FRANCISCO -- A popular trail in Big Sur flanked by redwood trees that leads down through a gorge to a 60-foot waterfall is set to open to the public this week after a 13-year restoration needed when a wildfire destroyed access to it, officials announced Monday.
After a $2 million renovation that fixed bridges, retaining walls, railings, steps and signage, the Pfeiffer Falls Trail will open Friday for the public to enjoy, said officials with the California State Parks and Save the Redwoods League, a San Francisco conservation group.
To protect sensitive habitat, California State Parks and Save the Redwoods League officials replaced more than 4,150 square feet (385 square meters) of asphalt and concrete and seven stream crossings, with the newly aligned trail and a 70-foot-long (21-meter-long) pedestrian bridge that spans the Pfeiffer Redwood Creek ravine and offers dramatic views, officials said.
The Basin Complex Fire damaged the 0.75-mile (1.2-kilometer) trail, which connects with the Valley View trail to form a 1.5-mile (2.5-kilometer) loop that was the most popular hiking trail in Big Sur before the blaze. A subsequent fire, landslides, and a long closure of Highway 1 delayed the renovation and long-awaited reopening, officials said.
“This challenging project, 12 years in the making, is a testament to the great and enduring partnership between Save the Redwoods League and California State Parks,” said Jess Inwood, senior parks program manager for Save the Redwoods League.