Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: TRAILS

UPDATE (September, 2023): Several trails east of Highway 1 (including Ewoldsen, Canyon, and Waters) remain closed due to damage from the Dolan Fire and debris flows caused by heavy rains.  These areas contain numerous compromised trees and trail hazards.  Please adhere to closure notices.  Assessment and repair of damaged areas is ongoing.  Thank you for your patience.
UPDATE (September 27, 2023): Partington Cove trail will be CLOSED October 9th - 20th, 2023 in order for crews to complete repairs to damages from last winter's storms.

.5 miles roundtrip
This trail can be accessed from the stairs near the entrance kiosk. The trail passes under the highway and then heads north around McWay Cove, overlooking the waterfall, and beach that was created by a 1983 land slide.  The McWay Falls Overlook Trail is closed at the halfway point due to trail erosion that has caused dangerous conditions.  NOTE: This trail is currently not wheelchair accessible. The accessible portion of the trail is currently closed due to hazards caused by a slide. Until this portion is able to be fixed, this trail is only accessible from the stairs near the north parking lot. There is no beach access. Any attempt to get to the beach is a citable offense. This area is extremely hazardous. Please stay on the trail.

.25 miles to waterfall
The trail starts at the east end of the parking lot and follows McWay Creek to a 60 foot waterfall where the trail ends.  Please stay on the trail in this area. The habitat is sensitive and recovering from the Basin Complex Fire in 2008. 

5 miles
The Ewoldsen trail starts from the Canyon trail and gains elevation through a redwood forest. This trail splits into a loop around the canyon after 1.5 miles. The loop is just over 2 miles long.  The total trail with the loop from the parking lot and back is about 5 miles / 8km. Pocket views of the coast can be seen from the western side of the loop. 

1 mile one way
The Waters Trail leads south from the Tin House fire road until it connects with the Ewoldsen Trail.

3.2 miles one way
The trail starts at the Partington Cove turnout and heads east following Partington Creek before a series of switchbacks that lead to the coastal ridge tops.  The trail ends at Tin House Fire Road. 

2.3 miles one way
Tin House Road is a dirt road closed to public vehicle access but accessible for hiking. It starts on the east side of Highway 1 near the Partington Vista Point turnout and leads to the top of the ridge where the remains of a historic tin house are located. The Tan Bark Trail can be accessed from this fire road. The Waters Trail is currently closed at its' junction with the Tin House fire road.

1 mile roundtrip
Identified by a green gate at Highway 1, this trail is a dirt wagon road leading down to the Pacific Ocean starting at the Partington Cove turnout. At the bottom of the trail, where it reaches Partington Creek, it splits north and south. The north trail leads to a small rocky beach. Surf conditions can be very rough and swimming or wading is not advised. The south fork of the trail leads through a historic tunnel to an overlook which once was a loading dock for ships.  Do not venture past the overlook bench as the surf can be unpredictable and the rocks are unstable.

Ewoldsen Trail

Photograph courtesy of Sharon Pieniak