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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

This was a truly beautiful spot to stop and take in the nature. An easy walk brings you out to the coast line where you're overlooking a tropical-like beach with this beautiful waterfall. You can take amazing pictures of the falls and the waves crashing onto the beach. Family friendly. Maybe 1/2 a mile one way.

Always such an easy and beautiful stop along Big Sur.

But I wouldn't say it's worth a couple hundred mile drive just to see it. Instead, I'd suggest discovering more of Big Sur itself, Salmon Creek Falls is a nice dangerous hike when it rains, and the pictures you'll get are absolutely incredible. Also check out Ragged Point (make sure you hike down to the beach) and actual BIG SUR (the town).

Leave No Trace

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


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