Stunning hike through the redwood forest up the mountains of Big Sur to a gorgeous overlook of the Pacific.

The Ewoldsen Trail is one of the more accessible yet challenging hikes in Big Sur. 

It is a beautiful ~4-mile loop through the redwood forest that starts in the Julia Pfeiffer state park parking lot, which is across the street from McCay falls. 

During the first part of the hike, you'll pass picnic tables and walk along a stream until you reach a cross point. One trail is to a small waterfall, Canyon Falls, that isn't too far away (can be worth a visit), and the other takes you straight up the mountain to the actual hike. 

You'll hike for a little more than a half mile before you come to the loop. I would suggest going right at the juncture for two reasons:You'll be in the shade for the uphill portion of the hikeYou'll save the stunning overlook as a reward for getting up the mountain.

The hike is not easy as you'll be gaining ~1500 in altitude in a short distance but it is certainly worth it! 

Pro Tips: If you do not want to pay for parking, you can park along side the road of Mccay Falls and this trailFor photography, I would try and catch this hike near the golden hour. I would start an hour or so before it started and be at the top during golden hour. The light during the day is extremely harsh and can be challenging to use.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP Map

Pack List

  • Hiking boots or Trail shoes
  • Daypack
  • Light jacket
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
Show More
RT Distance 4.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 1500 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

A Must-Do Hike!

If you are driving through Big Sur, don't miss this hike! It's very beautiful and the prefect length to give you a good workout, and still have time to explore more of the area on one day.

Great Leg Burner

Good hike-- you can crush it in 2 hours if you are on a good pace-- straight up and straight down though-- great leg burner

about 2 years ago

Easy Beautiful Hike

This is a fairly easy loop hike. I'd on average it will take you four hours to do the whole loop. You'll pass through beautiful streams with mini water falls, vast valleys, huge trees and a beautiful coast line view. This trail basically covers it all. There are some steep parts, but if you are in basic good health you'll be fine. At the end of the hike take the tunnel under the highway to the coast line and check out the gorgeous private beach cove. Unfortunately the beach access is closed off, but the view is still breath taking.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike the Waters Ridge Trail

136 Saves

Take in Iconic McWay Falls

2202 Saves

Explore The Hidden Rock Caves At Partington Cove

706 Saves