Big Sur Highway News

General Information - PLEASE READ

Due to heavy rains over the winter 2016-17, many sections of Highway One down the Big Sur coast were heavily damaged. During the repair phase (which is anticipated to take until possibly well into 2018) portions of the highway are likely to remain closed to through traffic. This will impact both our Hiking: Big Sur Ecotour, as well as any biking itinerary that comes down that stretch of coast.

6/5/17 update: Highway One is currently closed at three places: bridge at Pfeiffer Canyon at PM 45.50 (projected re-opening late September 2017), Paul's Slide at PM 22.00 (projected re-opening late July 2017) and at Mud Creek at PM 8.88 (no projected re-opening date yet - probably won't open until well into 2018).

Just south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, the bridge at Pfeiffer Canyon (PM 45.50) was critically damaged. The bridge has been demolished and is in the process of being completely rebuilt. Estimated completion is September 30 2017. There is currently no feasible way to construct a temporary bridge that would allow vehicles to bypass the construction site and safely pass over Pfeiffer Canyon. A footpath has been constructed around the construction site, but it is only open to locals and construction workers and is too rough to walk/carry bikes on anyway. The detour around the bridge (coming from the north) involves a lengthy backtrack (3.5-4 hours) all the way to the Monterey Peninsula, out to US 101 and south to Highway 46, and back to the coast.

Mud Creek (PM 8.88) has been a problem all winter and spring and in mid May there was a massive landslide there as well. The highway is closed there with no scheduled re-opening date as of now. The clean up and repair of the road there will most likely take at least the rest of 2017 and Most likely well into 2018. Paul's Slide at PM 22.00 has also had recent landslide activity. Caltrans hopes to have that open by late July 2017, but the date keeps getting pushed back with each new landslide. The sections below detail how the closures will affect our tours.

NOTE ON MILEAGE MARKERS: The mileage markers (PM) are for Monterey County, unless otherwise noted. They count up going north from the Monterey / San Luis Obispo (SLO) County line, which is just north of the Ragged Point Inn, which is in far northern SLO County. The Ragged Point Inn is the only point usually referenced that is in SLO County. You can also think of Ragged Point Inn as essentially PM 0.00. For an excellent series of maps with all locations and mileage markers, please use the link to Big Sur Kate blog.

 

Hiking: Big Sur Ecotour Impacts

6/5/17 update: We are currently able to run a modified version of the Big Sur Ecotour, but only for clients staying at Treebones. The modified tour includes Lime Kiln State Park, where we will do extra hiking, and a visit to Sand Dollar Beach. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is currently inaccessible and closed. The modified tour takes advantage of the fact that one can access approximately 11 miles of Highway One on the Big Sur Coast (between Lime Kiln and Gorda) via Nacimiento Fergusson Road. We call this the "Big Sur Island" because you can not access it any other way and you have to drive back out Nacimiento Fergusson Road, which is a long twisting mountain road. Treebones is the only lodging available on this stretch of Highway One.

Once Paul's Slide re-opens (hopefully by end of July) and assuming Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park re-opens at the same time we will be able to run the regular version of the tour, but only for clients staying at Treebones.

Once Pfeiffer Canyon bridge is open (and assuming Paul's Slide is is open), we will be able run tours as we normally do, but only for clients staying on the Big Sur coast north of Gorda and/or in the Monterey/Carmel area. The bridge closure is expected to re-open September 30.

Please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

 

Bike Tour Impacts

6/5/17 update: Both the closure at Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge (PM 45.50) and at Mud Creek (PM 8.88) will impact any of our multi-day bike tours (both guided and self-guided) that come down the Big Sur coast until the bridge is rebuilt (projected date Sep 30) and the slide at Mud Creek is cleared away and the highway repaired (no projected date - probably sometime in mid 2018). One thing for sure, there will be less traffic for the foreseeable future on Highway One compared to what we normally see!

At Pfeiffer Canyon, there is a temporary foot trail and foot bridge across the canyon that would allow at least foot traffic over the closure, but it is only open to locals and construction workers and is too rough for bikes to be carried/walked across anyway.

For our guided and self guided bike tours until the bridge re-opens (projected date September 30 2017), you will ride to the town of Big Sur (just north of the bridge closure), then shuttle up to 3.5-4 hours on a detour back north to the Monterey/Carmel area then east to US 101 and south to Highway 46 to get you back to the coast at Ragged Point. You miss about 50 miles of Highway 1 with this shuttle. For self guided tours there will be an extra fee for this shuttle as we have to come back out again to do this. Please inquire as to what the extra fee would be for your self guided group.

Once Pfeiffer Canyon bridge is open (projected date September 30 2017), Paul's Slide will probably be open (but no guarantees) but Mud Creek will still be closed. If this is the case, you will most likely be able to ride to Gorda on the Big Sur coast and then we will shuttle you around the closure via Nacimiento Fergusson Road (a twisting winding mountain road), US 101, Hwy 46 and then back north on Hwy 1 to Ragged Point, where you will resume cycling. You'll miss only about 13 miles of cycling on Hwy 1, but the shuttle can take 3-3.5 hours.

Here are some good resources for current updates:

Big Sur Blog

Big Sur Kate