Take in Iconic McWay Falls

McWay Falls Trail

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.

Pack List

  • Camera
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Activities Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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!)

Iconic but Worth It

I'm sure everyone has seen the photos of this place (although Stephen's photos are amazing) but it's worth every minute. Parking can be tough and it may be crowded at certain times, but stop, go, walk and be amazed.


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

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