Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
|Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park|
The park's iconic McWay Cove with McWay Falls
|Location||Monterey County, California, USA|
|Nearest city||Carmel-by-the-Sea, California|
|Area||3,762 acres (1,522.4 ha)|
|Governing body||California Department of Parks and Recreation|
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a state park of California, United States, on the Big Sur coast. A main feature of the park is McWay Falls, which drops over a cliff 80 feet (24 m) into the Pacific Ocean. The park is also home to 300-foot (90 m) redwoods which are over 2,500 years old. The park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a respected resident and rancher in the Big Sur region in the early 20th century, who lived in the area for much of her life until her death in 1928. It is located 37 miles (60 km) south of Carmel. The 3,762-acre (1,522.4 ha) park was established in 1962.
Location and history
The park is located on land that was originally called the Saddle Rock Ranch, because of a rock formation in McWay Cove that resembles a saddle. Christopher McWay and his wife Rachel originally settled the area in the late 19th century. The land passed through several owners until former U.S. House Representative Lathrop Brown and his wife Helen acquired it in 1924. The Browns constructed an elaborate stone house in McWay Cove, one of the first electrified dwellings in Big Sur, powered by McWay Creek. They befriended Julia Pfeiffer Burns, a local resident, and dedicated the property to her memory in their 1961 bequest to the State of California. The house was torn down as the Browns requested in their will, but some of the walls and fragments of stone staircases remain.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park has two environmental hike-in camping areas, named by Sunset magazine as one of the "four best places to pitch a tent on the Pacific Coast" Both sites have exceptional views of the Pacific Coast, but access is restricted to those with camping reservations. The Julia Pfeiffer Burns Underwater Area is a popular location for scuba diving.
The Summer 2008 California wildfires burned the upper parts of the park, but were stopped at Highway 1 and did not affect the camping sites. In early 2009 the many non-native acacia trees around the campsites were removed in order to restore vegetation native to the Big Sur Coast. Indigenous plants and trees were then planted, but will take time to grow fully.
In 2007 the Mano Seca group installed a bench at Campsite #2 that can be used to sit and peruse the Pacific below. Make sure that you also take the path through the junipers west of the bench to sit on the rocks above the coast below. Evening here can be sublime.
Marine Protected Areas
Big Creek State Marine Reserve and Big Creek State Marine Conservation Area are marine protected areas offshore from Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.
At the county level, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is represented on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors by Supervisor Dave Potter. In the California State Assembly, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is represented by Bill Monning as part of the 27th Assembly district. In the State Senate, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is represented by Sam Blakeslee as part of the 15th State Senate district. In the U.S. House of Representatives, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is part of California's 17th congressional district, represented by Sam Farr.
- Kinneberg, Caroline (2010-08). "America's Most Beautiful Coastal Views". Travel+Lesiure. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Julia Pfeiffer Burns SP". California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- California State Park System Statistical Report: Fiscal Year 2009/10. California State Parks. p. 24. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- Henson, Paul; Donald Usner (1993). The Natural History of Big Sur. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press. pp. 328–29. ISBN 9780520074668.
- "Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park". See Monterey, CA. Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-04.
- "Monterey County Supervisorial District 5 Map (North District 5)". County of Monterey. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- "Bill Monning - Biography". Bill Monning, California State Assemblyman, 27th District. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "District Map". Sam Blakeslee, California State Senator, 15th District. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- "The 17th District: About the 17th District of California". Sam Farr, United States Congressman, California's 17th District. Retrieved 12 October 2012.
- Verduin, Pamela and Ulrich, Larry. Big Sur to Big Basin: California's Dramatic Central Coast 1998. Chronicle Books. ISBN 978-0-8118-1966-4
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