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Big Sur Road Closure

Sydney, Australia
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Big Sur Road Closure

Need help planning drive from SanFrancisco to Los Angeles 28/5/11 -30/5/11.Was planning to drive down coast and stay o/night at Carmel then onto Cambria staying o/nite to see Hearst Castle. Not sure of how road closure will impact on this drive. Don't have a lot of time but thought it was worth 3 days to do the drive to take in scenery. Should we cut the drive down now and continue further down the coast before stopping o/nite. Any help appreciated

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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1. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

No, you should not cut down your drive. You can still take advantage of the coastal route while staying in Carmel. Big Sur is only 45 minutes from Carmel, so allow a few hours to drive the route and enjoy the gorgeous views and scenery. If it's too foggy, spend time at Point Lobos State Reserve, which is just a few miles south of Carmel. Stunning scenery and wildlife viewing.

You can still get to Cambria via the inland route of Highway 68 east to Highway 101 south to Highway 46 West to Highway 1 north. Cambria is 4 miles north of where Highways 46/1 meet. Approx. a 2 1/2-3 hour drive.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

Thank you, appreciate all your info which I've been studying for weeks now.

Norco, California
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3. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

Hi there, sorry to ask a similar question, but I'm not very familiar with Highway 1, so I'm not sure how how the above answer pertains to the opposite direction. I am leaving LA next Friday to head to San Fransisco and would like to take the coastal trip up there. I really want to make sure I see Big Sur on the way...I was wondering how much I may have to detour to still get there while heading North?

Thanks so much for any advice!

Have a great day!

Jen

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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4. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

Hi Jen

You have two options, both of which are time eaters.

Option 1: Take Highway 101 north to just north of the town of Bradley and exit at Jolon Road and head west to Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base and connect with the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road over to Highway 1. This is a narrow, twisty unlined road over the Santa Lucia mountains and it's a very slow drive because of that. But it does put you south of the best sights Big Sur has to offer as you continue driving north on Highway 1.

Options 2: Take Highway 101 up to Salinas and take the Monterey Peninsula exit as you enter town. Follow the signs to Highway 68 West to Monterey, connect with Highway 1 south toward Carmel and drive south to Big Sur. From Monterey, it's about a 1 hour drive.

I hope you're not planning on driving from LA to SF in one day. If so, neither of the above plans would work very well. A straight shot drive is a good 9-10 hours WITHOUT stops WHEN the highway is fully open.

Philadelphia...
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5. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

Thanks so much for this info, Kibblesmom! Very helpful!

Canada
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6. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

I'm confused...

We're driving down from SF to LA in July and when I try to look at driving distances using Google Maps it indicates that you cannot get to Big Sur from Monterey but that you have to drive down Hwy 101 and drive back up to Big Sur from the South. But when I look at the Big Sur information on the California State Parks website it says that there is no Big Sur access from San Luis Obispo.

Is there any chance that we will not be able to drive the coast this summer, espececially the Big Sur area? Any information would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Tulsa
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7. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

My family is planning a trip from LA to San Fran as well. It's scheduled for June 20-28. We really wanted to go to San Simeon and Hearst Castle. After we finish the tour, where would you suggest we go to get up the coast? Will we need to backtrack? Time isn't critical but I just want to make sure we see as much as we can given the road conditions.

Thanks for any info you might have!

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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8. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

@ familytravel

You CAN get to Big Sur from Monterey, but the highway is closed several miles south of Big Sur, so you would have to either drive back up to Monterey and over to Salinas to pick up Highway 101 south to continue the drive south or take the narrow, twisty Nacimiento-Fergusson Road over the mountains to Highway 101 to continue the drive south. You can cut back over to Highway 1 via Highway 46 West just south of Paso Robles. You can then either turn right at the 46/1 junction up to Hearst Castle, the elephant seals or even up to the southern end of the Big Sur area (Ragged Point).

Just an FYI: They are trying to get the slide area cleared by mid June, but it may take until the end of June (or longer) to clear the road. The highway will likely be fully open by the time of your trip, but, if not, you have two alternate routes.

Edited: 02 June 2011, 00:33
Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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9. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

@ TulsaOkieMom

It's possible the road will be open by the time of your trip. We just don't know how much more time they need to clear the huge landslide. If the highway is still closed at the end of June, take Highway 1 south to Highway 46 (12 miles from Hearst Castle) to Highway 101 north.

You have two options:

1) Highway 101 north to Jolon Road just north of the town of Bradley, turn west to Fort Hunter Liggett where you can pick up Nacimiento-Fergusson Road over the mountains and re-join Highway 1 up through Big Sur. Approx. 6 hour drive WITHOUT stops.

2) Continue north on Highway 101 to the Monterey Peninsula exit as you enter Salinas and follow the signs for Highway 68 to the Monterey Peninsula. Approx. 3 hour drive WITHOUT stops.

Tulsa
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3 posts
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10. Re: Big Sur Road Closure

Thanks so much for your information!

FIngers crossed it's cleared by the time of our trip...