McWay Falls
1.2 miles     150 ft
1 Jan 2012

A short hike along the most popular trail in Big Sur. Great views of McWay Falls, one of two basin falls in California.

Location: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Trail Map by Trails around McWay Falls area are clearly shown in this map.

» Official State Parks Brochure: A decent map that shows all the trails in the park


This hike is well described in an article by HikingInBigSur.

From the parking lot, walk towards the ocean for 0.1 miles, go through a tunnel, then turn right and walk for about 0.2 miles. Return by the same route. You may extend the hike by continuing beyond the tunnel to explore the area south of McWay Falls. There are some nice views of the Pacific coastline along this trail.


Location: Along Highway 1. . No street address. Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions: The main park entrance is on Highway 1, about 8.1 miles south of Nepenthe in Big Sur. There is a large sign announcing "Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park". McWay Falls trail is one of the most popular trails in Big Sur. So parking is usually full.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: None (last visited: Jan 2012)

Capacity: Many cars may be parked on the shoulder of Highway 1 and inside the park.

Latitude: 36.158894     Longitude: -121.670542

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