Big Sur Highway News

General Information - PLEASE READ

Due to heavy rains over the winter 2016-17, there was a massive slide at Mud Creek and this is still keeping Highway One closed between Gorda and Ragged Point. The highway is being completely rebuilt at that point and is currently projected to re-open on July 20, 2018. This will impact both our Hiking: Big Sur Ecotour, as well as any biking itinerary that comes down that stretch of coast. We have also been offering shuttles around the affected area to independent cyclists. See below for details. Updated 7/4/2018.


Hiking: Big Sur Ecotour Impacts

7/4/2018 update: We are currently able run tours as we normally do, but only for clients staying on the Big Sur coast north of Gorda (i.e. at Treebones) and/or in the Monterey/Carmel area.


Bike Tour Impacts

7/4/2018 update: The closure at at Mud Creek will impact any of our multi-day bike tours (both guided and self-guided) that come down the Big Sur coast until the highway is re-opened on July 20. One thing for sure, there will be less traffic until the re-opening of Highway One compared to what we normally see!

For our guided and self guided bike tours you can cycle down Highway One as far as Gorda, which is where the highway is closed for the Mud Creek landslide. We would then shuttle you to around from Gorda to Ragged Point or Salmon Creek (3-3.5 hours drive time including many miles on a twisty winding mountain road) to continue your tour. You'd miss about 10-15 miles of cycling on Highway One. 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.


Independent cyclists can also get a shuttle around the Mud Creek slide on the Big Sur coast from us. Advance reservations are required and are subject to availability. Best to call us directly to see if we are available. Cost is $320 flat rate for our Prius and driver (capacity 1-3 cyclists) and $600 flat rate for our van and driver (capacity 1-11 cyclists) and is a private charter. Note that one or both of our vehicles may not be available on the date or dates you are looking for or if you are smaller group and we only have our larger vehicle available we will need to charge for the larger vehicle. If you can coordinate with other cycling groups needing the same service at the same time, you may be able to spread the cost over more people. Plaskett Creek Campground has hike/bike sites and is just a few miles north of the closure at Gorda and we can meet you there. We will shuttle you around to Ragged Point, Salmon Creek or the Cambria/San Simeon area. Total shuttle time is 3-3.5 hours and you miss 10-15 miles of cycling on Hwy 1 if you shuttle to Ragged Point/Salmon Creek. You miss an additional 20 miles of cycling on Hwy 1 if you shuttle to Cambria/San Simeon. As an added bonus if you book a shuttle around the Mud Creek slide with us, we'll send you links to detailed maps and directions for each section our entire SF to LA route.

Please don't wait until the last minute to arrange this as we may not be available on short notice!


Cycling Detour Around Mud Creek Slide

While there is a cycling detour around the Mud Creek slide closure, it is rather lengthy, contains a lot of climbing (including a 7 mile climb with about 2500 feet of elevation gain and grades up to 11%), goes through areas with minimal services and has summer and early fall temperatures that can easily exceed 100 degrees.

Below is a link to one example of the detour. Note that once you climb and descend on Nacimiento Fergusson Road, there are several ways to eventually make it back to Hwy 46 and then to Hwy 1 just south of Cambria (all of which are hilly). Furthermore, there is no way to avoid the big climb on Nacimiento Fergusson Road. Services (including places to get water) are very sparse on the detour. Nacimiento Fergusson Road also crosses through a military area and is subject to closure if there are military excercises (but that is rare). There are two small National Forest Service campgrounds on Nacimiento Fergusson Road. There are campgrounds at Lake San Antonio and Lake Nacimiento as well. Paso Robles has RV parks and hotels.

The detour is a little less than 100 miles and you miss about 50 miles of some of the most scenic part of Hwy 1 (unless you back track at the start and end of the detour). Budget at least one extra day of riding overall compared to just going straight down Hwy 1 (perhaps two days riding the detour, but missing one full day on the coast - assumes riding about 50 miles per day).

Note that some cyclists have told us they have mapped out routes that use dirt roads in the Plaskett Creek/Gorda/Ragged Point area. Beware such routes. We are not aware of any bypass like this that one could feasibly do on a regular bike loaded with gear. Some of the routes we have been told about are actually on backpack hiking trails, and not very easy trails either!

Here are some good resources for current updates:

Big Sur Blog

Big Sur Kate