Named for a local Big Sur rancher of the early 20th century, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is ethereally beautiful from the ancient redwoods to the stunning McWay Falls as they plummet from the rocky cliff directly into the turquoise waters of the cove.
In many state parks, recreation is the main attraction. While Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has wonderful recreational opportunities, the main features are the natural wonders. Truly, this park encompasses the glory of the Golden Coast, seeming like something from a fairy tale and inspiring beautiful dreams.
Nearby the lovely town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a must-see attraction for all traveling groups. Start with an inspiring visit to McWay Cove and explore the secluded beach, gorgeous waterfall, and marine wildlife swimming in the Pacific Ocean. Visitors often catch glimpses of whales, sea otters, California sea lions and harbor seals in the rolling waves and frolicking on the sandy cove shore. After you relax and refresh, hike the Ewoldsen Trail (5.3 miles) through redwood groves, up a steep canyon, and come upon crystal clear waterfalls. As you mount the highest elevation, you will be rewarded with views of Big Sur, the surrounding mountains, cliffs, and of course the Pacific Ocean in the not-so-far distance.
There are a number of other hiking and biking trails, as well as scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities. There are two official campsites for groups desiring a back-to-nature vacation, which include basic amenities.