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Big Sur Coast, near Coast Gallery

Big Sur Coast, near Coast Gallery


  1. I am planning (hoping) to be able to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles on Thursday June 23… and would like to partake of the visual, visceral and vicarious pleasures of Highway 1. Will it be completely open by then?

    • Caltrans is stating Highway 1 will be open “mid-June.” If they meet their schedule you’ll be fine. Check back when you get closure to your travel date.

  2. Is highway 1 barriered all along the coast ?

  3. Had a Outstanding visit back in March 3-9 with my Wife. Attended Daughters Wedding Pacific Grove. Drove down from SF PCH all the way to Big Sur awesome. Even spent sometime at Ft Ord where I took Basic Training(Jul-Aug 1973) along with two other close friends I grew up with in Upper Darby Pa. What a great area met alot of good people along the way.

  4. We’re 4 Australians hoping to drive Highway 1 from San Francisco to Santa Barbara in the 2nd week of June 2012. With the road-work, is it still possible to get through or is there a detour inland? Any information would be gratefully received

    • You’ll have no problem. Highway 1 is open. There is always roadwork going on along this stretch of Highway 1 but there are no closures at the moment.

    • We are Aussies as well and left Big Sur Mar 28 and got to the road closure about 15 mins after it had happened, heading for LA. We had to turn around and head back to Montery, so our short day became 10 hours on the road. It was the end of our month long trip, we’d driven 9000 kms (5000 miles). We’ve driven Hwy 1 from LA-SFO (both directions) about 5 times, we’ve always been lucky. Have fun and be careful out there.

  5. We are a brasilian family travelling on California ends of april and may – we are planning to drive from carmel to San Luis obispo on april 29th, but I noticed that this day is going to happen the big sur marathon , will I can do this travel? Thanks for help.

  6. Planning on driving to Big Sur from San Simeon on fri June 8th. Will highway 1 be open?

    • Highway 1 is open!

  7. Traveling from LA on Dec 28 to SF via SR1..any major closures or construction detours? Many thanks for a response.

  8. Leaving Anaheim on Saturday, August 24, 2013 and plan to drive the PCH all the way to Carmel. From what I’m reading, it seems like the construction project will almost be complete by then. Do you anticipate any road closures at that point that would prevent us from taking that route?

    • Hi Danielle,
      Should be no closures but check back on this blog and if anything comes up we’ll publish it.

  9. We are an Aussie couple about to embark the Californian road trip from Santa Cruz to LA on this coming Saturday. (Dec 21st 2013). We have been watching the news closely regarding the terrible fires in the big sur – Pfeiffer Ridge. Currently your reports state Hwy 1 is still open, however is it safe for tourist to pass through, especially with the emergency crew and fires so close?

    We do pray that they get the fire under control.

    • Hi Karen,
      Yes, it is safe. The fire is out now and the air quality is returning to normal. I was watching the news last night as well and unfortunately they were showing video clips that were several days old because they had all the fire images in it. This gives the impression the fire is still ongoing but it isn’t. Just sensationalized journalism. Enjoy the drive and keep your eyes out for migrating whales and soaring California condors!

  10. We are planning to hit the Hwy 1 this next coming February 2 from SF to Monterey …. do you think it’s going to be ok ūüė¨

    • Yes, Highway 1 from SF to Monterey is fine. It’s in southern Big Sur where the closure is located.

  11. Hi
    I’m planning to cycle from San Francisco to San Diego starting in April 22nd 2017, will highway 1 be open for cyclists by then?

    Peter (UK)

    • I hope so!

      • I was planning to drive from San Francisco to San Diego starting on Feb, 19. Will Coast Highway One likely be re-opened by then?

      • Hello Kevin,
        Please check back closer to your travel date. If the rain lets up Caltrans may be able to clear the roadway but the continued parade of rain storms has dampened their efforts.

  12. We are a family from europe and we plan to drive with a RV the highway no 1 from San Fransisco to Los angeles at the end of may 2017. Is this possible because we will make a reservation at Kirk creek campground.

    • Hello van Berne,
      I would say yes, you will be able to drive Highway 1 through Big Sur in May. Please keep an eye on this blog for updates in the event there is a major mudslide.

  13. I’m planning a road trip from San Francisco to San Diego starting February 27th. Do you think highway 1 will be open at least up to Morro Bay by then?

    • Hello Adriana,
      Please check back closer to your travel date. At the point in time there are several mudslides in the southern section of Big Sur. Caltrans is doing a great job but it is difficult to get ahead of the slides with the steady parade of rain storms we’ve been having.

  14. We are going to be traveling the coast the end of February. How far south of Big Sur can we get before we run into the closure? Just want to plan our travels accordingly. Thank you

    • Hello Ben, Its hard to say right now. The southern section of Big Sur is experiencing several mudslides and in places road damage. You’ll have to check back toward the end of the month. With the continued rain it is very difficult to get ahead of the slides. Thank you for your patience.

  15. Is it possible to bike between Nepenthe and Santa Lucia?

    • Not at this time.

  16. Thanks Stan, I will try again in future. What is typically the best month to drive Highway One from Big Sur to San Simeon?

  17. I will be traveling the coastal highway from March 23rd to April 1st from San Diego to San Francisco. Do you think I will still be running into road closures and will Pfieffer National Park be open?

    • It’s hard to say. Keep an eye on this blog. We update the conditions on Highway 1 daily, at the very least.

  18. Hi there, we are travelling from Australia in March 2017, and I have been keeping an eye on this blog. We were looking forward to driving Highway 1 and the Bixby Bridge on March 16th from LA to Monterey. The scenery and coastline is just so beautiful, it reminds me of the Great Ocean Rd here in Victoria. By looking at the pics for Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge it doesn’t look like it’s going to be re-opened anytime soon. Hopefully they don’t have to rebuild it. If this is the case, as we want to see as much of the coastline as possible, what would be the best possible way and route to take. Thanks in advance

  19. We are travelling from Australia and on March 16th and we are travelling from LA to Monterey via the coast. We were looking forward to travelling this route as it reminds us of the Great Ocean Rd here in Victoria. By the looks of things the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge maybe closed for sometime. What would be the best way to fit in as much of the coastline as possible? I found this blog and it’s been the best way to be informed about the landslides and the ayate of Highway 1. Keep up the great work.

    • Hello Andrew,
      At the moment there are several landslides south of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge which are limiting access to Highway 1. Keep your eye on this blog. We will be reporting daily with updates to the conditions on the roadway. I don’t foresee the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge to be resolved by your travel date. You may be able to get access to southern Big Sur and then take Nacimiento-Fergussen Road east to Highway 101, then north to Highway 68 west back to the coast Highway 1, then south back into Big Sur. It’s a beautiful drive as well.
      Stay tuned here. We are in a very dynamic situation right now so it is next to impossible to predict what will be happening a week out, let alone a month from now.
      Thanks for the kind words! ~Stan

      • Thanks Stan, I just feel for all the businessess that are impacted by this. Similar thing happened here with The Great Ocean Rd. I’ve been keeping an eye on this blog everyday for the past few weeks, hoping for a miracle and I’m sure you guys are as well. Looking forward to the drive still. Thanks and God bless….

  20. Business is taking a hit but we’re a resilient bunch.

  21. Hi Stan,

    First of all I want to send my best wishes, hoping the problems the storms brought you guys (and still bring) will be solved soon.
    I¬īm going to travel to California and intence to drive Carmel-Sta Barbara in March 21st.
    I saw at the Caltrans site that the works in the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge are foresight to be end in March 31st.
    Do you know if is there any possibility (by the local comments) they make a detour or a temporary bridge there?
    Anyway, If it doesn¬īt, can I get the HW101, to get the Nacimiento-Fergusen Road, can I pass through Mission Road (after Jolon Road) near the Fort Hunter Liggett? Saying better: how can I access Nacimiento-Fergusen Road comig from the HW101?
    Thanks for all! Fantastic blog this one!
    My best regards,


    • Hello Marcelo,
      Thank you for your best wishes. Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge was determined to be unusable and will need to be removed and replaced. Engineers will need to do a lot of work determining how to build a new bridge and also the workers will need to remove the failed bridge. I don’t see an alternative route to bypass the bridge by the end of March but Caltrans has worked miracles before. I haven’t heard anything about that yet.
      Yes, you can take Highway 101 to Nacimiento-Fergusson Road and under normal conditions access Highway 1 on the coast. AT this time, N-F is closed from the ridge down to Highway 1. There is a plan to repair this road and I hope that this is completed by your travel date but I can’t guarantee it. You’ll have to stay tuned to our blog. Caltrans is working very hard to clear the slides in that area of Big Sur where N-F road meets Highway 1. If we get a stretch of good weather I feel confident they will make progress. Once again, stay tuned to this blog. We update often and as soon as Caltrans issues updated information.

      • Thanks very much!
        I¬īll keep tuned here!
        Congrats for the great job!

  22. Hi Stan. I work with NOAA and was wondering if we could have permission to use your photo that was in the KPCC story. Thanks for your consideration.

    • Yes you may! Please let me know where you’re going to use it so I can check it out! Thanks for asking! ~ Stan Russell

  23. Hi, Stan.
    We are planning to drive from San Francisco to Santa Barbara on april 9. 2017. Can you tell how far on the coast will be able to drive on highway 1?
    Thank you. I¬īll keep checking your blog for updates.
    Best regards.

    • Hello Diana, you can drive as far as 26 miles south of Carmel. 27 miles south of Carmel we have a broken bridge that is not passable. The schedule is to have a new, functioning bridge in 10 months to a year.
      Very sorry for the inconvenience.
      Stan Russell

    • Unfortunately you won’t be able to drive through Big Sur at this time. It will be at least September before the bridge will be fixed.

  24. Hi, Stan, Can I just check with you? We have a possible photo shoot happening in May or June this year and the idea was to drive down from San Fran to LA taking in Highway 1. Is the only alternative route Highway 101? Will highway 1 be completely closed in both directions until September or will it be lets say possible to drive north from Ragged Pt to Lucia for example? Will the national Park be accessible from another route. Sorry to ask you all these questions but I’m contacting you from London and have failed to find a website that can give me clear information. Thanks so much in advance best wishes, Sarah

    • Hello Sarah,
      We have a broken bridge. Highway 1 north of the bridge is open. That is a 26 mile stretch between Carmel and the Big Sur Ranger Station.
      South of the bridge Highway 1 is mostly closed except for a small section accessible via Nacimiento-Ferguson Road. Hopefully, by June, Highway 1 between Ragged Point and Lucia will be open to the public but at this time, that is not available.

      There are no National Parks in Big Sur. Limekiln State Park is fully open. Garrapata State Park of partially open. Andrew Molera State Park is closed. Pfeiffer Big Sur is partially open – 1 small trail. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is closed. Hearst Castle State Historical Monument is open. Point Lobos State Reserve is open. It’s complicated and that’s why its hard to find “clear information.” If you would like to speak with us we can be reached by phone Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time

  25. Hi Stan,
    I am hoping to drive from LA up to Big Sur on Friday this week, March 31st. Will that be possible?

    • No. The new bridge will be completed by September 31, 2017

  26. Hi Stan, we are travelling from ireland to California 14-28 July this year. I appreciate the bridge won’t be in place. But how much of the big sur will we miss at that time of year because of road works etc? its hard to get an idea how easy it would be to navigate especially the bridge. Is there any proposed map of what the available road willl be at that time thanks a lot Andrew

  27. Hi Stan, in August 2017 we are planning to drive from LA to San Francisco with an RV along the Highway 1. Do you think this would be possible or should we take the 101?
    I have booked at Kirk Creek but I am afraid, that the Forest 22S01 is to small for the RV and that the bypass of Big Sur will take too much time.
    Happy to receive some recommendations.

    • Hello Werner,
      Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge is expected to be rebuilt by the end of September 2017. At that point you will be able to drive Highway 1 through Big Sur.
      It is suggested to not drive RV’s on Nacimiento-Ferguson road to Kirk Creek.
      Your alternative is to take Highway 101 but you will miss Big Sur. If you would like to visit the area north of the bridge take, 101 North, 68 West, 1 South. You will have to exit Big Sur the same way you drive in.

  28. Hi we have a trip planned April 18 thru 24 were going to drive hwy 1 from San Diego to San Francisco is this possible

    • Not at this time because the Pfieffer Canyon Bridge is out. You can visit Big Sur from the north by taking 101N to 68W to 1S. Then, you can drive the 26 miles south to where the bridge is out but you’ll have to drive out the same way you drove in.

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