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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.

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McWay Falls Reviews

I drove up the PCH from LA to SF in 2 days, and I am glad I was able to stop here! The hike is ~.6 miles, which means that although a lot of people frequent this trail, many are in and out of this trail within 15 minutes. No excuse NOT to stop here if you are already on the PCH!

Beautiful! The beach is not accessible by people, so the cove where the waterfall is has been kept pristine.

Scenic and very accesible

Pulled over into the small parking lot adjacent to the bridge entrance after I had finished hiking along Big Sur. The sun was quickly setting and a swarm of people had their tripods set up, ready to take the perfect shot. (As was I... with my phone.) It was beautiful. Definitely stop by here if you're passing through.

A Must Stop on the Big Sur Tour


Leave No Trace

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


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