Ewoldsen Trail: Hiking in the Redwoods of Big Sur

If you didn’t know, I am a huge fan of Big Sur. If I could pick two places to live out my days in California, I would have to say it would be Big Sur and Yosemite, both are as good as California gets. There is just so much beauty in the small stretch of coast it is hard to comprehend it all in one trip. I am finally getting around to posting this blog about the hike that is right across the highway from McWay Waterfall, but that is only because I forgot for so long that I had it.

The full hike is called Ewoldsen Trail and it goes for over four miles; however, when we were there, a fire had destroyed the trail and we were only able to go half way. That being said, halfway was more than enough to make this a huge recommendation for a beautiful thing to do while in the area, I can’t wait to go back when it is rebuilt and do it again.

The Hike

Starting from the same parking lot many use to go to McWay Waterfall, the trailhead leaves from the Northern part of the lot. Immediately upon starting the trail, you enter into what feels like a magical land of fairies and ogres, it is that beautiful. Everywhere you look is lush greenery, a small brook and huge redwoods that cover you in a walkway that makes the two miles seem like a walk in the park. Every corner holds new beauty, and when you reach the waterfall that is the end of where we were able to go, you’ll want to experience it all over again. Check out this photo of the Sequoia’s that I applied an infrared filter to, I thought it was pretty cool.

The Waterfall

Amie and I explored the trees, walked on fallen redwoods over a stream and even climbed to the top of the waterfall which was about 20 feet tall. It was a beautiful area and hike that should make your list of things to do in California.

You can check out the rest of the pictures below, and I would love to hear in the comments if someone has done the entire thing and found it as amazing as the first half.

Photo Gallery

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  • Absolutely gorgeous photos! I especially like the way you created the infrared on the Sequoia tree. My family and I are off to the Redwoods in late September, so thanks for this!!

  • Any idea when the full trail will be reopened? I think I read somewhere that it would be “sometime in 2012” but that is rather vague…

    • Katharine, I know that the full trail is still closed, I had heard the end of 2012 / beginning of 2013, but I have heard no update on whether they will make that.

  • Lisa in Irvine

    Thanks JoshMc – love that sequoia pic. If we take a leisurely pace and want to do the whole hike, how long do you think we should set aside?

    • When we were there the trail was only open a little ways so we walked probably 30 minutes total.

  • Guanaka Art

    When are the trees this lush? Around What time of the month did you go on this trail?

    • This was in July, but unfortunately the last couple years have been dry so it is hard to know when the best time would be.

  • Karen Mitchell

    Thanks for the review Josh. I’m going to be there first part of April and understand the whole trail is now open. How would you grade the incline? I’ve read other reviews that rate this as a hard trail with steep inclines.

    • When I was there the full trail was not open so we only did as much as we were able to. There was not a lot of incline on this part but I heard there is a lot more at the end. Hope that helps.

    • Patricia

      The state website seems suggest only the coastal part is open. Can you confirm if it was opened in your hike?

      • When I went the entire trail was not open. I am not sure if they have opened it since then as I went a couple years ago. Even the part that was open was great when I was there though!

  • Patricia

    Great photos!!