The Julia Pfeiffer Burns State 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
A main feature of the area is McWay Falls, which drops over a cliff 80 feet (24 m) into the Pacific Ocean.
When we visited this location it was raining and the fog was low to the coast.