Overlook Trail & McWay Falls - Big Sur, CA

Date: 9/2/2014

Miles: 0.64

Elevation Gain: 50 feet

Trail Type: Out and back

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Trip Report:

Big Sur is unlike any other place I've visited. You can feel so isolated from civilization walking among the towering trees, peering over the sheer cliffs, or looking out towards an endless, dark sea. We only got to spend a day in the area, but we knew we had to at least visit McWay Falls, one of the most well-known gems of Julia Pfeiffer State Park.

After driving all day from Southern California, we set up camp at a free campground that didn't have any amenities, but had a beautiful ocean view. We were hoping for a beautiful sunset over the ocean, but the marine layer was too thick for any colors to peek through.

The next day we headed to see the famous and well-photographed McWay Waterfall. We parked for free on the west side of the freeway directly across the entrance to the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park and followed the many other hikers along the dirt trail. We spotted plenty of poison ivy along the sides of the trail, so be careful not to brush up on any while walking around. 

Along the way we passed a tunnel that leads to the rest of the State Park

Along the way we passed a tunnel that leads to the rest of the State Park

Watch out for poison oak! The trail to see the falls.

Watch out for poison oak! The trail to see the falls.

It's hard not to take a beautiful photo of the waterfall and the cove that perfectly frames the scene. Apparently the waterfall used to pour directly into the ocean until a fire and landslide filled in the beach.

The iconic, and beautiful 80 foot McWay Falls

The iconic, and beautiful 80 foot McWay Falls

The trail is flat, short, and leisurely with railings and several benches along the way to soak in the views

The trail is flat, short, and leisurely with railings and several benches along the way to soak in the views

Reaching the end of the trail and looking north up the CA coastline

Reaching the end of the trail and looking north up the CA coastline

Heading back towards the car

Heading back towards the car