Take in Iconic McWay Falls

McWay Falls Trail

Activities

Photography

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

Scenic
Waterfall

This waterfall is one of the most recognizable images of Big Sur. It's a short (just over a half mile roundtrip) walk to get views of this 80 foot waterfall. Get your camera ready!

McWay Falls is one of the most iconic waterfalls in BIg Sur and can be seen from Highway 1. The trail to the falls is located in Julia Pfeiffer. For all of you history buffs, Mcway Falls is named after Christopher McWay, an early settler and farmer from New York who ventured west in the late 1800s.

To get there, from the parking lot, walk back towards Highway 1 and look for the sign to the Waterfall Trail. If you're parked in the additional parking lot, walk back toward the lot entrance. You'll head down some steps, follow a wide path and then pass through a tunnel under the highway. Along the path, there are several points to take in the falls. Depending on the time of year and day you go, they may be packed with photographers, so be patient.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $176/night

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds

Pacific Grove, California

From $100/night

Walkabout

Santa Cruz, California

From $110/night

Enney Ranch

San Miguel, California

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Site Seeing

I think this is less of an activity and more of an attraction. There isn't a hike to the viewing point - you just park and walk to it. There are lots of tourists, and while the cove is beautiful, you can't actually go down into it. It's only for looking. Worth pulling over for, but it isn't exactly an adventure.

Worth the stop

I guess I found it less exciting because the beach isn't accessible and the view from the trail looks exactly like photos that I'd seen online. Still, beautiful and a remarkable spot on Highway 1. Worth stopping and spending some time at.

Waterfall Looks Small But Still Worth A Stop

A stop here is required if you're driving down highway 1. The falls are a little difficult to photograph as there is no beach access and it appears super tiny from the view point. Save $10 by parking on the side of the road outside the state park -- there is a trail leading right down from the road (same distance of not shorter than the park entrance!)

Activities

Photography

Skill

Beginner

Season

Year Round

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