Take in Iconic McWay Falls

McWay Falls Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Stephen Bellrichard

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.

Activities

Photography

Scenic
Waterfall

Nearby Lodging

From $176/night

Asilomar Hotel and Conference Grounds

Pacific Grove, California

Salinas / Monterey KOA

Prunedale, California

Moss Landing KOA Express

Moss Landing, California

Santa Cruz / Monterey Bay KOA

1186 San Andreas Road

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

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Roadside attraction, not adventure

McWay Falls is beautiful but I'm not sure it qualifies as an adventure or hike. It's a short, crowded walk to the viewpoint. The trail to the viewpoint is currently severely damaged and closed (March 2019).

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.

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