McWay Falls

Take in the iconic McWay Falls with Big Sur, a California treasure.
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Hike the short trek to the McWay Falls overlook and see a much missed treasur as the McWay creek falls 70 ft to the beach and surf of the pacific ocean.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 1.7



Location: 36.156342, -121.670326

Alternate Trailhead for McWay Falls. If parking is not available at Julia Pfeiffer State park, an additional parking area is available at a couple of turnouts on HWY 1. Enter the marked gate on the wide dirt trail and follow it west towards the ocean.


Location: 36.159676, -121.668976

Trailhead. L down the steps heading west.


Location: 36.157639, -121.670593

L at3-way. Turn L and head down the narrow trail that meets up past the tunnel entrance.


Location: 36.156372, -121.67144

R @ Y. Turn right and head up the trail. The area to the left contains a few backcountry campsites. The gravel trail ascends and turns back towards the road.


Location: 36.159557, -121.669106

R @ Y. Head west (right) on the wide gravel trail.


Location: 36.158775, -121.670815

R @ 3-way. Turn right after going through the tunnel on the dirt trail. Views of McWay Falls soon appear to the left. Continue onto the wooden boardwalk to the main vista lookout.


Location: 36.15881, -121.670189

Enter tunnel that crosses underneath HWY 1.


Location: 36.159954, -121.673439

Waterfall Vista. The waterfall drops onto the sandy beach and turquoise cove below. Humming birds abound at the backside of the vista feeding on the wildflowers on the steep slopes below.


Location: 36.157677, -121.670441

Some parking is available in this area on HWY one and connects up with the trail to McWay Falls here.

Coastal Sunset

Location: 36.157906, -121.670578

McWay Falls

Location: 36.159714, -121.673187

Falls and Surf

Location: 36.159691, -121.672966

McWay Falls HDR

Location: 36.159283, -121.672043

Steps down

Location: 36.159748, -121.668961


Location: 36.158768, -121.670418

Falls Trail

Location: 36.158974, -121.671066

Northern View

Location: 36.160065, -121.67337

Humming Bird

Location: 36.159981, -121.673523

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