Big Sur campers rejoice! Scenic Highway 1 reopened 2 months early after a section of road had been completely cut-off by the Mud Creek Slide last May of 2017.
Cal Trans’ completed road construction means the windy, breathtaking curves of Highway 1 give campers better access to those campgrounds along the route. But better yet, driving time is shorter to access the off-road sections for dispersed camping along the ridge route overlooking the Pacific coastline of Big Sur. I got to drive the new section of the highway and see how the coastline was changed by the huge mudslide. The slide adds 16 acres to the coastline, looking like the land is dipping its big toe into the ocean.
Camping in Big Sur along the Ridge Route
If you are ready to find dispersed camping along the 4×4 roads over the Coast Ridge Route in the Big Sur wilderness check out my posts of how to get there and where to camp; Big Sur’s Mud Creek Slide and Big Sur’s South Coast Ridge.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.” – Edward Abbey
Be mindful that despite being close to the ocean the summer temperatures can get very hot on the Ridge Route. Bring your repellent as the gnats and ticks are very pesky during the spring and summer months.
Hike at Salmon Creek Falls
A popular hiking destination is the Salmon Creek Falls, located in between Ragged Point and Gorda along Hwy 1. There is parking off the road by a ranger station there. After a spring rain, the beautiful waterfalls can be seen roaring from the road.
Now you can reach Gorda
Since May 2017 campers like me had to make a 2-hour detour over the Nacimiento Fergusson Road to access the Coastal Ridge Routes and the tiny hamlet of Gorda. The store there can provide provisions you may have forgotten but be prepared to pay much higher prices than back home. At Gorda, you can get gas, a deli sandwich or eat at their restaurant. The yummy mochas at their coffee station are a great refreshment after a hot hike.
Before and after video of Mud Creek Slide on Hwy 1
Watch a video showing some of the 1st vehicles that got to drive across the new section of highway courtesy of The Tribune SLO. You can read the full story with before and after pics of the massive mudslide.