McWay Falls

Big Sur, California

based on 34 reviews


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.

Read More

Download the Outbound mobile app

Find adventures and camping on the go, share photos, use GPX tracks, and download maps for offline use.

Get the app



McWay Falls Reviews

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.


People ask me all the time if I took the picture on my screen saver and where it is- well that's it! Totally worth the stop on the trip to Big Sur- you can't go down to the beach, but it's a great place to get out of the car and stretch your legs and check out the scenic view while snapping some rad photos of below!

There's a reason why so many people go here... BECAUSE IT ROCKS! Gorgeous views. A must stop if you are on Hwy 1

Just go. It's worth the drive and windy roads. The adventure getting there is great. The falls and the cove are even better.



Such a beautiful location, even if it's packed with other people. Tip: You can park along the side of the highway and access the trail instead of paying for parking inside the state park!

Makes for a nice photo in my cubicle haha. But seriously beautiful. Also found out there is a campsite right on the edge. Definitely going to try and book that next time.

Leave No Trace

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


Waters Ridge Trail (Closed)

Ewoldsen Trail (Closed)

Explore The Hidden Rock Caves At Partington Cove

Hike to Big Sur's Tin House

Partington Cove Trail

Big Sur River Gorge