A few days back, we decided to take a family trip to McWay Falls in Big Sur. I’ve been to Big Sur a bunch of times, to go camping, hiking, and of course to the famous Sykes Hot Springs for some epic naked hippie spotting. But for some reason, I’d never been to check out McWay Falls at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park . I’d seen many pictures before, and you may have, too: the 80′ waterfall that pours onto the sand of the beach below, getting lapped up by the stunning aquamarine sea.
Unfortunately, they don’t actually let you go down and splash around under the falls. It’s a steep climb down some almost vertical cliffs to get there, and they have yet to put in an elevator. It may be possible to access it via rubber dingy or something from the ocean, but as a tourist arriving by car, the best you’ll do is to gawk at it from a trail which runs along the northern side of the inlet, a few hundred yards away form the falls themselves.
But that’s OK. I can’t help but feel that if people were allowed to go tromping around the falls, it wouldn’t maintain its majestic beauty for long. Certainly the sand wouldn’t look so pristine for picture taking. Speaking of the sand, I learned something interesting when I was there – not long ago, there wasn’t any sand there whatsoever. A massive landslide in the 1980’s poured gazillions of tons of dirt, sand, and rock into the water, and a lot of it ended up washing up into the inlet and forming the beach. The beach we see there today is very new, and they say some other geologic event might cause it to be washed away again one day. So go check it out while the getting is good!
We had great fun as a family on the trip – that’s one of the great things about Aptos: if you don’t find what you’re looking for here, you’re sure to find it somewhere close by. Between Aptos and Big Sur there’s no end of scenic viewpoints and places to stop and gawk, shop, eat, whatever! I hope you enjoy a selection of photos from our outing.