Hike the Ewoldsen Trail

Details

Distance

4.2 miles

Elevation Gain

1500 ft

Route Type

Loop

Added by Lucas Pols

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

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Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic

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Reviews

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🥇Top Contributor

about 5 years ago

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 5 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.

🥉Contributor

about 5 years ago

Quintessential Big Sur Hike

Great hike! You get to experience everything Big Sur has to offer in one hike-- redwoods, falls, open valley, and the ocean. This hike is the highlight of Big Sur; can't be missed!

worth it

Seriously amazing trail. It has everything you could want in a trip to Big Sur. Sweeping views of the coastline from the Water Trail offshoot. We were able to see a whale and several condors during our hike. Can be slightly steep at times but it was worth it! Took us longer than 3 hours because we stopped to take pictures and eat lunch along the way.

602 total saves

4.5/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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