The McWay Waterfall in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is one of the most beautiful waterfalls I have ever seen. The water cascades down the face of the cliff and lands right on the sand, feeding the ocean itself. It looks to me like something out of a movie with the shear beauty this little speck of coast contains. The waterfall is located about 40 miles South of Carmel in a State Park that sneaks up on you in the midst of the Highway 1 curves; however, if you miss this gem you really should turn around and find it. The trail itself is a mere half mile and features views of the waterfall the entire time.
Unfortunately you can’t walk all the way down to the falls. It is completely closed off, and would actually be a pretty technical climb to get there. This adds to the beauty in my opinion though as it detracts from people going down and messing it up. Also, it provides a great vista for photos without anyone getting in the picture.
When we were there they were just bringing someone up who had made their way down and had gotten themselves a ticket. I don’t know how much it was for, but I have to believe it is probably worth it to see the falls from up close.
The forest ranger that was working there told me that you can put your kayak in about two miles up North and kayak down into the cove without getting a ticket; however, he said it is a difficult cove to get out of if you are not a good kayaker. Seems like it would be a pretty amazing trip to kayak in and stand under the falls though if you have your own gear. Let me know if you do this is as I would love to know how it goes. Other people have said this is not true but that is what the ranger told me, so do it at your own risk.
If you continue along the path you are also greeted with a great view of the Big Sur coastline at the end. It is truly a perfect piece of creation and I would love to spend more time traveling up and down it.
I took about 100 pictures of the falls. Every time I turned a corner I saw another view that I thought might be better than the last. It is easy to simply point your camera in any direction and get a great picture. If you stop at this park you should also take the Ewoldsen Trail hike as well as it is right across the street, but that is for another blog post.
Check out the rest of my pictures and leave a comment if you have been to the falls and loved it as much as I did.