Conserve... be "water wise" don't waste water! The drought is not over yet:(
THE WINTER STORMS HAVE HITTING BIG SUR PRETTY HARD, much damage, flooding causing closures Here's a brief rundown on some of the closures in Big Sur right NOW...01/20/17...It is usually unsafe to travel in the area during storms and besides Highway 1 is closed in a couple of places. Andrew Molera is closed because of flooding and has no opening date listed. Julia Pfeiffer is also closed with no immediate plans to reopen and Pfeiffer Big Sur is still closed because of damage done during the Soberanes Fire. Garrapata remains open on the west side of Highway 1 and Lime Kiln is also still open although the Highway is closure is located just south of it.
On Thursday California State Parks announced it would also be closing Point Lobos State Reserve on Friday Jan 18 because of the forecasted storm.
ALSO THE SOBERANES FIRE HAS DEVISTATED OVER 100,000 ACRES BIG SUR BACK-COUNTRY but is now 100% contained... Here's a brief rundown on some of what's happening in Big Sur right NOW...12/22/16...GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS: Some popular campgrounds and trails in Los Padres National Forest that burned during the Soberanes Fire will remain closed likely for a year for healing and repairs, some good news is the areas that did not burn have been reopened by U.S. forestry officials effective immediately:) The areas south of the North Coast Trail and east of the Arroyo Seco-Indians Road is now open.
Wherever you go you may want to have camp site reservations... you may not find any first come first serve openings at this time, there is no camping in non-designated areas and deputies are already issuing citations for non compliance; U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers say they will strictly enforce the closure orders. The penalty for using the closed area is a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail.
The Big Sur Jade Festival is postponed until spring.
Garrapata State Park is open west of highway 1 including Garrapata Beach; Garrapata Beach Trails, Buzzards' Roost Trails also OPEN.
Point Lobos State Reserve is now open.
Andrew Molera State Park open west of highway 1: as of 11-3 the park is open and has made 3 new campsites available for Hike and Bike camping due to the current closure of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park; Seasonal footbridges have been removed, all trails are open except the East Molera Trail, and the Trail Camp/ Headlands Trail, Andrew Molera Trail Camp is also now open but all parklands east of Hwy 1 closed.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is is open for limited day use and camping. All trails west of Highway 1 are open. Trails east of Highway 1 remain closed for trail maintenance. Anticipated opening of the eastern trails at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is soon.
LOCAL PCH 1 IS OPEN WITHOUT RESTRICTIONS. Most of the coast was untouched by the fire... LOCAL PRIVATE BUSINESSES, RESTAURANTS, AND GALLERIES ARE OPEN: All highway-side businesses are open their usual off season schedules.
ALL THIS INFO COULD CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE!
CLOSED: All park lands east of Highway 1 closed to public entry; Los Padres National Forest Monterey Ranger District CLOSED.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is closed: This is a necessary closure for public safety. State Parks is currently reviewing the situation and will help develop a plan for fall and winter operations. The Big Sur Lodge and the Buzzard’s Roost Trail are open. Access to the Buzzards Roost trail is at a pullout on the west side of Highway 1, just south of where Highway 1 crosses the Big Sur River. This is approximately .25 mile south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park entrance.
Nacimiento Fergusson Road is OPEN but the campgrounds Nacimento and Ponderosa have been closed but should now be open.
Pt. Sur Lighthouse State Historic Park is open.
Pine Ridge Trail to Sykes Hot Springs is closed until further notice.
Bottchers Gap Campground, Nacimiento, Ponderosa, Santa Lucia Memorial and, Escondido Campgrounds if not now open should reopen soon.
Henry Miller Memorial Library (831-667-2574) is Open but schedule of events may have changed due to the fire;
Most Parks and Big Sur Businesses closed by the fire have reopened:
Point Sur Lightstation State Historic Park (831-625-4419 begins normal tours August 26. The East side of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park reopens to the public so McWay Falls viewing is again available. Most parks and businesses on the South Big Sur Coast are open but check before you go;
The following recreational sites are open:
Pfeiffer Beach Day Use (805-434-1996), Mill Creek Day Use (805-434-1996), Willow Creek Day Use (805-434-1996), Sand Dollar Day Use (805-434-1996), Limekiln Calif State Park Campground (805-434-1996), Nacimiento Campground (805-434-1996), Kirk Creek Campground (805-434-1996), Ponderosa Campground (805-434-1996) and Plaskett Creek Campground (805-434-1996).
Entering from south PCH and visiting the southern end of scenic Big Sur is attractive now. One of my favorite winter Hearst Castle tours the wonderful Hearst Castle Evening Tours is ongoing and available also there is a new limited time the Art of San Semion Tour ; and the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse(805) 927-7361 is offering tours of their grounds and facilities every day except Wednesdays and Sundays. Piedras Blancas elephant Piedras Blancas elephant seals are always up to something; the cute baby seals and sea otters are both around now, 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 historic Sebastian’s Store features a tasting room for Hearst Ranch Wines and a hamburger /deli-foods joint with big food and burgers made with Hearst Ranch natural free range grass fed beef! 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 try McPhee's new menu at Sebastian’s Wine Bar & Burger Joint who still feature Hearst Ranch natural free range grass fed beef and try the tasting room of Hearst Ranch Wines! 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 even in winter is generally mild on the coast but it changes quickly and often so it is best to come prepared with extreme heavy warm clothing and light cloths too...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.
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current USFS regulations
The Soberanse fire was started by an illegal campfire !!! DO BE CAREFUL! !! follow the rules, regulations and also note new (11/29/16) fire danger level lowered to II due to rains, fire danger moderate; campfires and barbecues allowed at designated campfire areas...
INFORMATION ON TRAILS, CAMPGROUNDS AND LOCAL STATE PARKS (see the above notice for there are many fire closures): also
Check the Spring Campground Report
PRE-CHECK YOUR VENUE! some Parks, Recreation Areas, Trails and Campgrounds have closed or services have changed or are limited because of fires following the prolonged drought, for instance Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and all burned areas are ALL CLOSED .: Ventana Campground, is back in operation as of last summer. Most parks and recreation areas west of Highway 1 and all to the south like Plasket Creek and Limekiln Creek California State Park's and others are open but could be unseasonably busy because of other closures like Nacimiento Campground and Ponderosa Campground which .
Some places west of the Pacific Coast Highway and to the south you should soon reopen some of the now closed Big Sur back-country so you can... A Night Beneath the Stars on Buckeye Trail! or take a hike up the Salmon Creek Trail.
Before you start any Big Sur adventure you should want phone ahead and 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.
It's always a good idea to check Highway conditions; Pacific Coast Highway One, PCH 1, has 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.