Beautiful Big Sur Scenic Coast Highway 1 is still WIDE OPEN!!!...(except for a few minor construction delays)
Here's a brief rundown on what's happening...
NOW IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WEATHER ! It is ironic that the Big Sur Coast’s best weather comes after the busy summer season is over and the crowds are gone and the only people there to enjoy the beautiful days are the locals and a few privileged others. Fall has begun and typically in the Big Sur during the fall, an area of high pressure builds at the surface over the Great Basin (the area between the Sierra Nevada range to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east) and begins to dominate Central California coastal weather. These conditions most often produce northeasterly (offshore) winds, especially during the night and morning hours. These winds bring the relatively dry air to our shoreline, pushing the marine layer far out to sea, which produces sparkling, clear visibility along our beaches and the warmest temperatures of the year.
The tourists forsake the Big Sur Coast after summer leaving it sometimes eerily peaceful but towards the end of October the colors turning of the deciduous trees in the river and creek valleys and bright red poison oak help brighten things up and the migrating monarch butterflies arrive by the thousands starting late October and the Rufas and Allen's Hummingbirds come to dine and joust in amazing aerial battles with the local Anna’s humming birds as it migrates through to its' winter home in Northern Mexico. The Blue Whales, Humpback Whales and Orcas are swimming off the Big Sur coast at this time of the year and large numbers of Gray Whales appear in November heading south to feed and breed off Mexico.
So NOW IS A FINE TIME TO VISIT BIG SUR CALIFORNIA!!! SPECIAL FALL HAPPENINGS ... You don't want to miss the popular annual Big Sur Food & Wine Festival November 7th though the 10th (events sell out early, some already sold out, must be 21 or over, reserve now!); for more fun Big Sur events check the www.big-sur-lodgine.com calendar of Big Sur things to see & do.
Big Sur businesses are are anxious for your trade; come enjoy this unspoiled paradise; many service people are available and eager to provide you with a memorable Big Sur vacationer experience!
GET OUT OF YOUR CAR ... The the trails to the beautiful natural Big Sur Waterfalls ( waterfalls guide mobile) always provide nice short hikes through the lovely Big Sur forests but after a few rains the rewards are greatly increased by the elegantly flowing waterfalls.
Visiting the southern end of scenic Big Sur is attractive now also, the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse (805) 927-7361 is offering tours of their grounds and facilities Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Ragged Point is always a must stop to at least stretch legs and check the coastal views anyway.
IMPORTANT CAMPGROUND NOTICE: the U.S. Forest Service announced 01/18/13 Kirk Creek is now a “dry campground”; the water is shut off at Kirk Creek Campground for safety reasons and is not scheduled to be returned anytime soon so be prepared carry water from another location and to treat unsafe water from a spring or creek and or take plenty of water when you go.
WHERE TO CAMP ... Camping is one of the best ways to get close to the nature of Big Sur, and now it is easier to get a good site; my first choice campgrounds is the ocean view Kirk Creek Campground or also nice is the camp at Limekiln Creek California State Park which is assigning campsites on a first come first serve basis or you can reserve online: Kirk Creek Campground reservations online or Limekiln State Park campsites online and you should also visit Garrapata State Park , and Morro Strand State Beach (camp on the beach) California State beaches RIGHT NOW!!!!
WHAT TO DO ...The Point Sur Lighthouse goes to the abbreviated tour schedule (1 tour daily 10AM Sat, Sun & Wen at 1PM) in November, regretfully the fun Halloween time Ghost Tours are already all sold out :( LOOKING FOR LIVE MUSIC OR ENTERTAINMENT?; check the calendars at places like the Henry Miller Library (831-667-2574), Fernwood Resort (831-667-2129), Treebones Yurt Camp (877-424-4787), Big Sur River Inn (831-667-2700 or Toll Free: 1-800-548-3610), and Maiden Publick House (831-667-2355); for more options check the www.big-sur-lodging.com calendar of Big Sur things to see & do.
Enjoy paradise unspoiled; many service people are still available and anxious to provide you with a memorable Big Sur vacationer experience!
VISIT MONTEREY ... At the northern end of the highway, there is always something going on in Carmel/Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium is wonderful, the Jellies exhibit is updated and a new octopus section is coming soon. Take a Big Sur road trip, do some exploring and have some coast adventures then get a motel room to stay and warm up by the fireplace along with getting pampered at one of the fine resorts on the scenic Big Sur Coast Highway 1!
VISIT HEARST CASTLE & CAMBRIA ... Visiting the southern end of scenic Big Sur is attractive now also. The seasonal tour available only in the spring and fall the exceptional Hearst Castle ...Evening Tour is a substantial 1 hour 40 minute twilight tour that has live actors as guests and staff dressed in 1930s period attire to enhance the experience, bringing the Castle to life once again....Also you can tour the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse (805) 927-7361 which is offering tours of their grounds and facilities through June 14 on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10 a.m. leaving the Piedras Blancas Motel at 10AM. Piedras Blancas elephant seals are always up to something; this years young show up September and newborns come in December, see the SEALS ACTIVITIES MONTH by MONTH CALENDAR for the seals routines and look at the new Elephant Seal Webcam to see what they are up to right this second. Ragged Point has the closest restrooms you must stop there to at least check the coastal views anyway. In the tiny village of San Simeon Sebastian’s General Store and Café who feature Hearst Ranch natural free range grass fed beef is getting a reputation for their great food with both tourists and locals alike and their latest addition a tasting room for Hearst Ranch Wines so now have a wine tasting room there! Do some exploring and have some adventures along with getting pampered at one of the fine resorts on the scenic Big Sur Coast Highway 1!
DON'T MISS ... Just a reminder of some of my coastal favorites: Ragged Point
is always a must stop on anytime you are in the neighborhood...at the very least stretch your legs and check the California coastal views...In the tiny village of San Simeon at the south end of the Big Sur Coast visit Sebastian’s General Store and Café who feature Hearst Ranch natural free range grass fed beef is getting a reputation for their great food with both tourists and locals alike and their latest addition a tasting room for Hearst Ranch Wines so now have a wine tasting room there! Do some exploring and have some adventures along with getting pampered at one of the fine resorts on the scenic Big Sur Coast Highway 1!
WHAT TO WEAR... HOW TO DRESS WHEN YOU GO TO BIG SUR CALIFORNIA: The Big Sur area has a large variety of microclimates; weather is generally mild on the coast but it changes quickly and often so it is best to come prepared and layering is the best way to dress for Big Sur any season; peal clothes off when it warms, pile them on when it starts to get cool or damp.
INFORMATION ON TRAILS, CAMPGROUNDS AND LOCAL STATE PARKS: GREAT NEWS !!!: It’s been several years since any major Big Sur forest fires and most all affected trails and campgrounds are back open. The exception is Ventana Campground, coming back in 2014 I am told; Limekiln Creek California State Park's is open and so is the trail to Sykes Hot Springs; there is an alternate for Pfeiffer Falls Trail. In fact most trails that had closed because of the fires have now reopen including Tanbark, Ewoldson trail is open on the ocean side of the loop, while the eastern side is closed and under construction in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park .
Before you start any adventure you may want to check online and double check by telephone that your desired trails and camping destinations are open and passable. Ventana Wilderness Alliance website is a great resource for all Big Sur area trails (V.W.A. Website) and can check for current conditions and closures via telephone or in person at the Big Sur Ranger Station (831) 667-2315. Personnel are available during normal business hours 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM (PST) and have information about hiking, camping, road conditions and more. While in Big Sur you can pick up trail maps, books, posters, and lots of other information. They also have public restrooms. At the more southern end of the Scenic Big Sur Highway you can get help and information via telephone or in person from the Pacific Valley Ranger Station (805)927-4211.
And a final reminder, it's always a good idea to check Highway conditions; Pacific Coast Highway One, PCH 1, has recently been describe by Cal-Trans as geologically unstable and there is highway construction, delays and closures:
PCH 1, Pacific Coast Highway 1 -It is never really safe to travel the scenic Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway 1 during or soon after a rain storm and it is especially dangerous when there has been a lot of rain and the ground is saturated. Although rock slides can happen at any time the more saturated the ground and if there is currently or in the near future a rain storm, especially if it is heavy then the more likely flash flooding and severe rock slides are imminent. It only takes one small falling rock to ruin your day and a one large boulder can end your life! The Pacific Coast Highway 1 remains open unless it is closed by the California Department of Transportation; for current California Highway conditions call 1-800.427.7623, or on the internet you can check California Highway Conditions:
PCH 1 and all California Highway Conditions at the California Department of Transportation website Mobile.