Come early to quietly enjoy one of Big Sur’s most photographed vistas: McWay Falls, an 80-foot (24 km) waterfall that flows directly onto the sands of a secluded cove.
The cove itself is not accessible, but you can view the falls from afar via an easy 0.6 mile (1 km) trail, roundtrip, that leads to a scenic overlook.
Afterwards, double back to the start of the trailhead to flank onto the Ewoldsen Trail, a moderate 4.5 mile (7.2 km) hike, roundtrip, that will take you through redwood groves, past the creek that flows into McWay Falls and up the mountainside to awesome views of the coast.
Trailheads accessible from the Julia Pfeiffer Beach State Park parking lot (note: there are two Pfieffer State Parks in Big Sur (confusing, I know!)
Day use parking $10 (sunrise-sunset)
Walk-in tent camping $30, reservable on ReserveAmerica.com 7 months in advance