CURRENT TRAVEL INFORMATION: Big Sur Highway 1 & State Park closure/reopen updates 11/18/17: It’s important now to plan and call ahead, Big Sur is in a state of flux and under repairs...
...and now there is only one full closure on Big Sur’s scenic highway 1, yeah! The new Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge (MON 46.3), is now open but the highway closure from the massive slide at Mud Creek near Gorda (PM 8.8) won’t be repaired until end of summer 2018 they now say but PCH 1 from the south is open north to Salmon Creek (Mon 2.2). All parks and businesses are mostly back open although some have limitations. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road cutoff via Highway 101 may still provide a good alternate route for some visitors and certain trips.
The Soberanes Fire Footprint area remains closed and
fire season is still in full swing so follow the rules and use caution.
FOR LATEST BIG SUR AREA TOURIST INFORMATION VISIT: www.bigsur.tips
THE PRECEDING IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE!
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 begins here September 22nd and typically 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 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.
Also help prevent wild-fires, note recent new level III fire restrictions because of the heightened wild-fire danger ...do be careful and follow regulations.
If you don't want to take the time and trouble to access the Highway 1 available middle Big Sur from Pfeiffer Canyon to Treebones/Gorda you can vacation in Monterey/Carmel at the northern end or entering from south PCH-1 and visiting the southern end of scenic Big Sur Coast Scenic Highway up to Salmon Creek...
Entering from south PCH and visiting the southern end of scenic Big Sur is attractive now. Enjoy one of my favorite Hearst Castle tours the wonderful Hearst Castle Evening Tours is ongoing and available now; 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 live streaming Elephant Seal Webcam to see what they are up to right this second. Ragged Point Inn
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 Inn
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 be aware fire danger level, **ALERT** NO CAMPFIRES IN THE BACKCOUNTRY; Campfires are only allowed in designated campfire use sites (developed car campgrounds)...
NEWS & INFORMATION ON TRAILS, CAMPGROUNDS AND BIG SUR LOCAL CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS READ BELOW:
New State Parks Reservations Website: www.reservecalifornia.com/...
PRE-CHECK YOUR VENUE! (updated 11/03/17): some Parks, Recreation Areas, Trails and Campgrounds have closed or services have changed or are limited because of wildfire damage and the prolonged drought followed by the "great deluge ", for instance Garrapata State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park are OPEN but the recently burned areas are closed; Pfeiffer Beach is now open and so is Ventana Campground, updated by new management. Also all 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; also a good alt choice near Fort Hunter Liggett Nacimiento Campground and Ponderosa Campground; for more info about campgrounds call Parks Management Co 805-434-1996.
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 but right now you can spend... A Night Beneath the Stars on Buckeye Trail! or take a hike up the Salmon Creek Trail; now again accessible from the south on PCH 1.
Some of the best of the trails in the Big Sur backcountry like Pine Ridge Trail and trail to Sykes Hotsprings are still closed because of fire and/or storm damage. The authorities are working with lack of funds and labor trying to devise a plan to deal with the trails damaged by Soberanes Fire and 2017 storms. Trails in areas that are currently OPEN include the Cone Peak Trail Network, the Arroyo Seco area, The Indians, and the trails in the Silver Peak Wilderness.
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.
Also… here is good information on the Big Sur backcountry trail closures etc in this article from Monterey County Weekly “Many Big Sur trails have been closed for a year. Work to repair them has barely begun.”
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.