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Overlook Trail to McWay Falls [CLOSED] is a 1.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Big Sur, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from September until December.

Length 1.1 mi Elevation gain 170 ft Route type Out & Back

Wheelchair friendly

Kid friendly

Stroller friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Beach

Partially paved

Views

Waterfall

Wildlife

Closed

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (3)
Contact

Note: This trail is currently closed due to COVID-19. This short hike will give you some of the most stunning views in all of Big Sur for the least amount of effort. The 1-mile out-and-back hike leads you to a trail on the cliffs along the coast. At the viewpoint you can see McWay Falls pouring down on the sandy beach below in McWay cove. * Note that the McWay Falls Overlook Trail is only partially open due to trail erosion that has caused dangerous conditions. McWay Falls can still be seen from the section of the trail that is open. This wheelchair accessible trail can be accessed from the south parking lot or the stairs near the entrance kiosk. The trail passes under the highway and then heads north around McWay Cove, overlooking the waterfall and beach that was created from a 1983 land slide. It ends at an observation deck with a magnificent panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean - a good location to see migrating whales. California Condors are often seen in the Eucalyptus trees here. NOTE: There is no beach access here. Any attempt to get down to the beach is a citable and arrestable offense. This area is extremely hazardous. Please stay on the trail.

California State Parks Website http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=578

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (283)
Photos (246)
Recordings (140)
Completed (1109)
Jessica Mattos
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Hiking

Park is still closed to get to the trail, but you can park on the side of the road and still have the same view. Highly recommend!

Jackie Moreno
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 11, 2020
Hiking

Entire Park closed due to Covid and can’t enter on foot either. Signs saying you’ll be cited if you pass through. They gated up the tunnel as well :( still decent views

Jay Jay
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2020
Hiking

Trail Closed due to Covid. You can see the falls from the scenic viewpoint though

Chris Nguyen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 3, 2020
Hiking

Easy trail with a stunning waterfall. Enjoy!

Tina C.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
Hiking

Trail that leads to the famous waterfall photo. Easy path anyone can walk. If you get there at a good time, real early, you can avoid the crowds of people. Worth a peak if you’ve never seen.

Yasmin Karimi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 17, 2020

Easy, flat trail that can be done by the young and elderly alike. Took my in laws who are not very mobile- they were able to complete it and they thoroughly appreciated the falls and coastal views. Recommend adding this as a quick stop to any Hwy 1 / Big Sur roadtrip. Takes no more than 30 min (and half that time if you are fit and healthy).

Nyssa Bevacqua
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Hiking

It’s short and sweet with beautiful views!!!

anotherdayout @.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 6, 2020
Hiking

Family friendly, kinda a walk not a hiking, nice view.

View anotherdayout's Recording
Erick marquez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 29, 2020

is this still close ?

Amanda Mamo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 1, 2020
Hiking

State park is currently closed and the pull offs on the side of the road are blocked off with cones. There was one pull off before the blocks that you could walk a minute down the road to view the waterfall which really is stunning and only 1 of 2 tidefalls in California! Definitely worth a stop if you're driving down the coast but not accessible for hiking.

Marvin Wiser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 20, 2020
Hiking

To be honest, this trail really doesn’t qualify as hiking, but the view can be spectacular, weather and foliage permitting. Definitely worth the stop. Don’t forget to pay for your parking!

Avi C.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 23, 2020
HikingFee

Not worth the time. Not for hikers. It’s very easy 7 minute walk to the viewpoint of the so called “FALLS” just fooling people! You to pay $10 if you want to park your car inside the local park. Rather you can park it outside the park by thw curb/shoulders.

View Avi's Recording
Ml M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 19, 2020
Nature trips

superbes chute d'eau. reposantes et calmes. Très faciles d'accès

Austin R G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 11, 2020
HikingClosed

Very crowded, even in January. Very easy walk.

Dana A
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 1, 2020
HikingClosedFee

We parked in the side of route 1 and walked in. Quick, flat walk to the overlook. Super crowded.

View Dana's Recording
Sarah Hopp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 3, 2019
Hiking

For those who respect hiking and nature, it is never a problem to support the parks department, even if it is short, easy trail that costs $10. How exactly do people think that washed out or damaged trails like this get fixed? It certainly doesn't flow unending from state or government funds - it comes from YOU, the tourist. That money will help FIX the pathways for future generations to enjoy the views. So stop complaining about the cost - if you really want to see it, you will. It is a beautiful view and hopefully will be around for many many more centuries.

Leah Swart
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 18, 2019
Hiking

Most of the trail closed. Waterfall is a trickle. Lots of people. Not worth $10.

View Leah's Recording
E M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 31, 2019
Hiking

Less than 0.5 mile out and back as most of the trail is closed. Pretty view of the waterfall and cove at McWay Falls at the end. All flat, not strenuous. More of a leisurely stroll than a hike.

Anabelle's Song
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 18, 2019
Hiking

The best part of this trail is closed but I snuck through and enjoyed this paradise all to myself for about an hour. Like many things in life, it's the things you're not supposed to do that bring incredible richness and reward.

Bo Zhou
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 24, 2019
Hiking

Yes the fall is pretty, just as you see online. But, the trail really doesn’t offer much more than what you get from the pullout right by the highway. Definitely doesn’t worth the $10 unless if you’re planning to visit other state parks on the same day. That’s not to say all of the parks. Both Limekiln and Pfeiffer beach, the only other two spots I planned to visit on the same day, do not accept the payment I made here. Basically a waste of money.

Stephanie Poe
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 11, 2019
Hiking

Wouldn’t call it a hike just a leisurely stroll but nonetheless still beautiful. Mind you parking is limited and lots of traffic but worth the view.

Caitlin Lindsey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 10, 2019
Hiking

Not a hike anymore, more of a short walk to the overlook. Very crowded, only downside was it was hard to see the actual falls because of the multitudes of people trying to get selfies. Otherwise very beautiful and still worth the walk out there!

Justin Ziegmont
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2019
Hiking

Only a portion of the trail is currently open. It is $10 to park unless you previously visited another state park that day. It was pretty to look at but jammed packed full of people waiting to get picks with it. Definitely wouldn’t come back if given the opportunity. It was pretty but nothing that I would need to see again.

View Justin's Recording
Tony Rappa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 19, 2019
Hiking

Trail is closed at first overlook. But still a unique view and easy walk to get there.

View Tony's Recording
Grandma D E.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarApril 8, 2019
Hiking

You can’t get down on the beach or close to the falls. The view is pretty.

Reshmi Basu
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HikingClosed
View Reshmi's Recording
Regina Carol
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 25, 2019
HikingClosed

Outside of the trail being closed it was one of the most beautiful gifts from God I’ve seen! We had a great day and took pics as close as we could get!

Shayan Saeed
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 31, 2018

Probably one of the most phenomenal views in the entire US.

Nathaniel Carter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 30, 2018
Hiking

Breathtaking view especially at sunset. Of course a must on every drive down Hwy 1!

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