Pfeiffer Beach is part of Los Padres National Forest on the California Pacific Coast in Big Sur. It is famous for its purple sand. The purple color comes from manganese garnet in the hills that is eroding and washing down the creek to the beach. It is one of the few purple sand beaches in the world.
To really see the purple sand, you need to walk beyond the main beach area toward the north. The father up the beach you head in this direction, the more purple sand that can be seen. The easiest place to spy the purple sand is at the base of the hills, but there will be certain areas of the beach that also have purple sand patterns woven into the mix. For those who go to the beach expecting that the entire beach will be purple, they will be disappointed. The vast majority of the beach is white sand like any other beach. There are, however, areas where purple sand mixes with the white sand (usually with black sand as well) to make some wonderful patterns. You can normally see more purple in the winter after a storm.
Copyright 2015 Susan Rissi Tregoning
November 13th, 2015
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