Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offers a dramatic meeting of land and sea - attracting visitors, writers, artists and photographers from around the world. The same geologic, climate and marine processes that shape the character of this beautiful park keep it undeveloped, susceptible to natural forces. Wildfires and landslides are common. This state park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a well respected pioneer woman in the Big Sur country. The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges. It features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail. A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1. In December and January the bench at the end of Overlook trail is an excellent place to watch for gray whales migrating southward to their breeding and calving grounds off the Baja California coast. Many whales pass close to shore at this point, and occasionally one will come into the mouth of the cove. In March and April, they can be seen returning north to their summer feeding grounds in the North Pacific. Park temperatures range from the mid-80s at higher elevations inland to the mid-40s, with heavy winter rains and frequent coastal fog. Layered clothing is advised. Open 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.