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McWay Falls

Big Sur, California

4.6/5
based on 34 reviews

Description

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.

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Features

Photography
Scenic
Waterfall

Reviews

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.

Explorer

11/14/16

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.

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!)

Leave No Trace

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

Nearby

Hike the Ewoldsen Trail

Hike the Waters Ridge Trail

Explore The Hidden Rock Caves At Partington Cove

Hike to Big Sur's Tin House

Partington Cove Trail

Explore the Big Sur River Gorge