Big Sur Roadtrip: Waterfalls, Seaside Cliffs and Elephant Seals

Big Sur Travel Blog

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McWeigh Falls

I love rocks and water -- the way waterfalls cut through mountains, the way the sea pounds against rocky coasts. So heading down the coast for a sea kayaking trip in the Channel Islands was a no brainer for me. JP and Atousa were excited to go to, and our friend from New Jersey De Niro somehow got involved through a series of drunken prank calls.

Figuring he would never go, Atousa would call him and give the phone to Rita, our friend who was going on the trip and was just dying to see him. "Rita" was just me faking a ridiculously corny "Jersey" accent that sounded more like Rosie Perez on crack. The backstory was that "Rita" had made out with him at "Tino's", a stereotypicall Jersey club, while De Niro was wasted. How Rita ended up in California and friends with JP and I (also with our own Jersey connections) was never explained.

Elephant Seals

Well, lo and behold, the boy actually buys a last minute plane ticket and ends up going on the trip. We fail to provide him with a Rita.

On Friday night, the four of us made it to Atousa's parents' house in San Jose and spent the night. Atousa was supposed to wake us all up at 4AM (to see sunrise over the mountains on the coast), so of course we slept in until 7 and didn't get going until 8. The plan was to take Highway One all the way south, through the jagged Big Sur coastline.

We made it to the Big Sur River Inn in time for breakfast. Atousa and I waded in the river behind the restaurant and relaxed in wicker chairs they had set up in the river.

Our next stop was McWeigh Falls, in Julia Pfeiffer State Park. It's probably Big Sur's most famous waterfall, a picturesque spot where a tall, thin waterfall tumbles over a cliff onto a beach by a beautiful blue inlet.

Unfortunately, you're not allowed to climb down the hillside to get to the falls, as the it's not stable enough for the amount of tourists that go there. The viewing area is easily accessable, however, and is only a few minutes walk from the parking lot on a wooden trail.

Next we stopped by Salmon Creek Falls, an awesome little place with a split waterfall pouring into emerald green swimming hole surrounded by boulders. This place was soo cool I had to go back.

Hours later, the winding cliffside roads of the highway petered out into a flat road surrounded by gorgeous coastal meadows of seaside plant life. We made another stop, and JP and I made our way down to the beach where we saw surfers and some great rock formations. The sunshine was amazing and the sky was clear blue against the pinks and greens and yellows of the meadow.

Next, we pulled over to see the elephant seal viewing area. This place is really cool. The elephant seals come to a beach to molt. You can get up really close to them and watch them sun themselves. They're stacked right next to each other, like a bunch of adorable obese sardines. During other times, the location also serves as a viewing area for migrating whales.

annthansten says:
I like your writing style, the story about how you got your friend to join you is hilarious.
Posted on: Jan 05, 2014
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McWeigh Falls
McWeigh Falls
Elephant Seals
Elephant Seals
McWeigh Falls
McWeigh Falls
Elephant Seals
Elephant Seals
Big Sur River Inn
Big Sur River Inn
Elephant Seals
Elephant Seals
McWeigh Falls
McWeigh Falls
Big Sur
photo by: Ann_Hells