Big Sur Highway News

Highway One down the Big Sur coast is one of the most spectacular roads to cycle in the country. However, due to it's rugged terrain and isolated location, there are often issues with the road that cyclists and other travelers need to be aware of. Issues can include trail and highway closures due to wildfires, large highway construction projects, and highway closures due to lanslides caused by heavy rain. Please click on links below for specific topics:

Fires

 

Construction

 

Rain and Landslides

 

Policy - Self Guided Bike Tours

 

 

Fires

Updated 11/7/21

Although Hwy 1 is currently open and there are no active wildfires, all of the trails we hike at Limekiln State Park are still closed due to damage from the Dolan Fire. There is no projected timeline we are aware of for re-opening these trails. Therefore,  the Hiking: Big Sur Ecotour is still suspended indefinitely.

 

construction projects

Although there are almost always some construction projects on Hwy 1 along the Big Sur coast, some have more impact on cyclists than others.

 

Updated 11/7/21

No major construction projects that we are aware of are currently being done on the Big Sur coast, although there are almost always intermittent one lane sections due to numerous regular small scale construction or maintenance projects

 

closures due to rain and landslides

Closures of Hwy 1 along the Big Sur coast can happen from late fall through spring due to landslides caused by heavy rain storms. These closures can often happen with little to no advance warning. In recent history:

  1. There were multiple closures in 2017 due to multiple large storms, including the closure at Mud Creek that lasted well into 2018.
  2. A large storm in Jan 2020 forced closure of the highway at Rat Creek for several months.
  3. A large storm in late Oct 2021 forced closure of Hwy 1 north of Ragged Point for several days.

 

Here are good resources for current updates about highway conditions:

  1. Big Sur Blog
  2. Caltrans Highway Closures

 

Policy on potential highway closures for Biking: Self Guided tours

Any highway closures due to landslides will have an impact on whether or not you will be able to cycle down the Big Sur coast on Hwy 1 during a self guided bike tour. If closure(s) occur, you have the following options:

 

  1. If the closure(s) occur before the tour starts, you can cancel with a full refund.
  2. You may be able to cycle an inland detour that adds significant miles and hills (see below).
  3. We may be able to shuttle you around for an added fee.
  4. If the tour has already started you can end in Monterey/Carmel, north of the closure(s). Usually no refund for this option.

 

Inland Detour

Inland detours around the potential closures are quite lengthy and hilly. Depending on where you are if/when closures are announced, a cycling detour may add up to 50-100 miles to the tour and you would miss all or most of the Big Sur section of the coast. It may also require cancelling some accommodations, booking new accommodations along the detour and possibly changing dates for other accommodations. We will also reschedule a trip end meet date and time as necessary at no extra cost to you, although we can't guarantee we will be available on the exact date requested and we may need to meet you 1-2 days later than your desired reschedule date.

 

Note that if you start the detour in the Monterey/Carmel area and go all the way around to just south of Cambria it adds about 50-55 miles. If you are willing to cycle some much longer days during the detour, it is usually possible to finish the tour within the original time allotted.

 

Shuttle Around

Depending on our availability of vehicles and guides, we may be able to pick you up and shuttle you around the closure(s) for an additional fee. While it is highly unlikely we would not be available to do a shuttle on most days in the winter, there is no absolute guarantee we will be available on short notice and you may have to wait up to a day or longer for us to get to you. Furthermore, the cost of a potential shuttle is not covered in the cost of the tour and will cost a minimum additional $450 flat rate for groups of 1-3 people.

 

End in Monterey/Carmel

If any closures are announced after you start your tour but before you get to the Big Sur coast (and you don't want to do a cycling detour or pay for a shuttle), it is also possible to end the tour in the Monterey/Carmel area. We will drive up to meet you there as soon as we can, but can not guarantee it will be the same day you arrive in Monterey/Carmel. Due to the cost and time for us to drive to the Monterey/Carmel area instead of the trip end there will be no refund of our fees (except for a small refund for tours originally scheduled to go all the way to Santa Monica/LA).