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Big Sur, California

Hike the Ewoldsen Trail

4.2 Miles Total - 1500 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Lucas Pols

Stunning hike through the redwood forest up the mountains of Big Sur to a gorgeous overlook of the Pacific.

The Ewoldsen Trail is one of the more accessible yet challenging hikes in Big Sur. 

It is a beautiful ~4-mile loop through the redwood forest that starts in the Julia Pfeiffer state park parking lot, which is across the street from McCay falls. 

During the first part of the hike, you'll pass picnic tables and walk along a stream until you reach a cross point. One trail is to a small waterfall, Canyon Falls, that isn't too far away (can be worth a visit), and the other takes you straight up the mountain to the actual hike. 

You'll hike for a little more than a half mile before you come to the loop. I would suggest going right at the juncture for two reasons:You'll be in the shade for the uphill portion of the hikeYou'll save the stunning overlook as a reward for getting up the mountain.

The hike is not easy as you'll be gaining ~1500 in altitude in a short distance but it is certainly worth it! 

Pro Tips: If you do not want to pay for parking, you can park along side the road of Mccay Falls and this trailFor photography, I would try and catch this hike near the golden hour. I would start an hour or so before it started and be at the top during golden hour. The light during the day is extremely harsh and can be challenging to use.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP Map

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
River
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

worth it

Seriously amazing trail. It has everything you could want in a trip to Big Sur. Sweeping views of the coastline from the Water Trail offshoot. We were able to see a whale and several condors during our hike. Can be slightly steep at times but it was worth it! Took us longer than 3 hours because we stopped to take pictures and eat lunch along the way.

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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