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California

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park / Big Sur Coast

Operating Hours: Open 1/2 hour before sunrise to 1/2 hour after sunset.

This state park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a well respected pioneer woman in the Big Sur country.
The park stretches from the Big Sur coastline into nearby 3,000-foot ridges.
It features redwood, tan oak, madrone, chaparral, and an 80-foot waterfall that drops from granite cliffs into the ocean from the Overlook Trail.
A panoramic view of the ocean and miles of rugged coastline is available from the higher elevations along the trails east of Highway 1.

Location-Directions
The park is 37 miles south of Carmel on Highway 1, and 12 miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur (see our link below).

Seasons/Climate/Recommended Clothing
The weather can be changeable. Layered clothing is advised.

Facilities - Activities

Whale Watching
In December and January the bench at the end of Overlook trail is an excellent place to watch for gray whales migrating southward to their breeding and calving grounds off the Baja California coast. Many whales pass close to shore at this point, and occasionally one will come into the mouth of the cove. In March and April, they can be seen returning north to their summer feeding grounds in the North Pacific.

Sea otters can sometimes be seen in the cove, and harbor seals and California sea lions are occasional visitors. Many sea and shore birds - Sleek black cormorants, seagulls, brown pelicans, and black oystercatchers also make an appearance.

Underwater Area
Between Partington Point and McWay Creek is the Julia Pfeiffer Burns Underwater Area, which was established in 1970 and is now a scuba diving area. The rocky shoreline is the access to the underwater park. Special-use permits allow experienced scuba divers to explore the reserve.

McWay Waterfall House
The terrace is all that remains of Waterfall House, the residence of Lathrop and Helen Hooper Brown. When the Browns began to acquire their Big Sur acreage in 1924, Mrs. Brown became acquainted with Julia Pfeiffer Burns, the daughter of a Big Sur pioneer family. In 1962, Mrs. Brown gave the ranch to the state for use as a state park dedicated to the memory of Julia Pfeiffer Burns.

Big Sur Coast
Many say that this is the most impressive stretch of Highway No.1: on your west side you have the Pacific with a steep coastline and on the east side the 5.000 ft (1,500 m) Santa Lucia Mountains.
Big Sur Coast, that's a 90 miles experience, which ends south of Carmel in the beautiful Monterey Bay. More information? See our Big Sur link below.

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Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: McWay Falls
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: McWay Falls

   
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Source: text and photo: California State Parks; magazineUSA.com™
Last modified: 20070414
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