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attention icon for important storm damage park and highway 1 closuers messageTHE WINTER STORMS HAVE HITTING BIG SUR PRETTY HARD, much damage, flooding causing closuresattention icon for important storm damage park and highway 1 closuers message Here's a brief rundown on some of the closures in Big Sur right NOW...01/20/17...It is usually unsafe to travel in the area during storms and besides Highway 1 is closed in a couple of places. Andrew Molera is closed because of flooding and has no opening date listed. Julia Pfeiffer is also closed with no immediate plans to reopen and Pfeiffer Big Sur is still closed because of damage done during the Soberanes Fire. Garrapata remains open on the west side of Highway 1 and Lime Kiln is also still open although the Highway is closure is located just south of it. On Thursday California State Parks announced it would also be closing Point Lobos State Reserve on Friday Jan 18 because of the forecasted storm.
attention icon for important wildfire messageALSO THE SOBEURANES FIRE HAS DAMAGED MUCH OF THE BIG SUR BACK COUNTRY (132,127 acres). attention icon for important wildfire message Here's a brief rundown on some of what's happening in Big Sur right NOW...12/22/16...Soberanes is Fire 100% CONTAINED:) The Soberanes Fire is no longer affecting California Highway 1, the local highway 1 is opened off and on..GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS: Some popular campgrounds and trails in Los Padres National Forest that burned during the Soberanes Fire will remain closed likely for a year for healing and repairs, some good news is the areas that did not burn have been reopened by U.S. forestry officials effective immediately:) The areas south of the North Coast Trail and east of the Arroyo Seco-Indians Road is now open.
The recreation sites that are also open are Plaskett Creek Campground, Kirk Creek Campground, Limekiln State Park and Campground (you may want to have camp site reservations... you will not find any first come first serve at this time, there is no camping in non-designated areas and deputies are already issuing citations for non compliance; U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers say they will strictly enforce the closure orders. The penalty for using the closed area is a $5,000 fine and/or six months in jail). Pfeiffer Beach Day Use Area, Sandollar Beach Day Use Area and Willow Creek Day Use Area are all open.
Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd is open, and the Ponderosa Campground and Nacimiento Campground may be now open or check they should be open soon.
Andrew Molera State Park Open (west of the highway not east): as of 11-3 the campground and trail camps are open and have  made 3 new walk in campsites available for Hike and Bike camping due to the current closure of Hike and Bike camping at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park; Seasonal footbridges have been removed, all trails are open except the East Molera Trail, and the Trail Camp/ Headlands Trail.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: is open for limited day use and camping
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park remains closed. This is a necessary closure for public safety. State Parks is currently reviewing the situation and will help develop a plan for fall and winter operations but full opening is not expected until December 2017. The Big Sur Lodge and the Buzzard’s Roost Trail are open. Access to the Buzzards Roost trail is at a pullout on the west side of Highway 1, just south of where Highway 1 crosses the Big Sur River. This is approximately .25 mile south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park entrance.
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve is open and Garrapata State Park is open only west of highway 1 including Garrapata Beach; Garrapata Beach Trails, Buzzards' Roost Trails also OPEN. Botcher's Gap Campground, Nacimiento Campground and Ponderosa Campground if not now open should reopen soon.
LOCAL BUSINESSES, RESTAURANTS, AND GALLERIES ARE OPEN: All highway-side businesses are open their usual off season schedules but you should check any desired destination prior to your departure.
ALL THE ABOVE IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE!









Know before you go...
Weather and Road Conditions:

Check Current Big Sur Weather click to check current Big Sur California weather contitions.


Check Highway Conditions click to check current California Higheay contitions.
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Big Sur California and the Tourism Business Changes Through the Seasons:

WINTER HOT TIPS: don't postpone because of California's drought or wild fires...There are many restrictions because of recent wildfires and the drought is still in effect and there is less to do as business cut extra hours and refrain from extra offerings like live music and service may suffer as seasonal staff gets laid off. But some magical things begin to happen as some animals begin their migrations and the wonderful relaxing stillness of the wilderness returns and lodgings begin offering "winter specials". Check desired venues before you leave for your Big Sur road trip.

Winter Big Sur Vacation Travel Tips Logo

Winter in Big Sur is a magical time and it is truly a great time to vacation on the scenic California Coast! Winter doesn't officially start until December 21 but after Thanksgiving weekend the tourist business in Big Sur pretty much dies; this is when many business turn to their "winter specials" in an attempt to lure in the off-season tourist dollars. It almost never freezes on the coast, the weather is often mellow and in-between storms the almost deserted highway 1 can be a real pleasure to travel (at least weekdays and during periods of dry weather). Off-season is my favorite time to visit Big Sur, the fog is the worst during the summer and so is the traffic on the Pacific Coast Highway 1 and waiting lines for lunch and dinner. You will find winter specials and the lowest seasonal prices and Big Sur businesses are hungry for your trade and are willing to dicker for your tourist dollars; in the winter the best dedicated employees are available and anxious to provide you with a memorable Big Sur vacationer experience!
The winter rains turn the hills emerald green and get the creeks all pumped up and the beautiful natural Big Sur Waterfalls are spectacular and provide nice short hikes through the newly greened lush countryside. If you are looking for some entertainment or activities you will still find some live music on weekends, New Year’s celebrations are everywhere and one of the area’s biggest and most popular celebrations the Big Sur Foragers Festival takes place in January.
The whales are migrating south to feed, give birth and ...

click for more vacation information about how Big Sur changes though the seasons and Pacific Coast Highway travel tips for winter, spring, summer and fall
Photo vendors table coverd with beautiful local jate at the Big Sur Jade Festival.
Big Sur Wild
Chanterelle Mushroom

DON'T MISS OUT ON THIS...Tickets are on sale right now for the popular celebration Friday January 13th through Sunday 15th, 2017... a fungus and wild food fun celebration & learning benefit for the Big Sur Health Center known as the "Big Sur Foragers Festival"; this year it is an all weekend-long event filled celebration featuring special dining on an amazing array of wild foods, special drinking of world-class wine and beer, entertainment, expert-led foraging hikes and a friendly chef competition with celebrity judges, local cooks prepare unique fare ranging from rustic to elegant. Festival partners include the Carmel Valley Ranch, sister property of the famous Ventana Inn (831-667-4210) and Post Ranch Inn Toll Free (800-527-2200). These popular events sell out early, if you want to go GET YOUR TICKETS NOW... for more Information contact 831-667-2580...purchase festival event tickets online.the annual fungus and wild food festival and cook-off known as the "Big Sur Foragers Festival"



6 Things You Need To Know Before You Go To Big Sur via PCH 1:

Pacific Coast Highway Traveler Big Sur Vacation Travel Tips Logo
#1 -- It is Best to Plan Ahead: Cell phone service and internet access is spotty so do your research and make your plans before you go. A well researched good plan will help keep you from getting taken to the cleaners; dedicate a minimum of at least one full vacation day to Big Sur and many more if you can. If you are planning a stay you may want to make a reservation to be sure you get exactly what you want especially if it is a weekend; although if money is a major concern now is the time you can still show up at the motel registration desk after sunset and dicker for a cut rate.
#2 -- With the damaged back country the Scenic Big Sur Pacific Coast Highway 1 is a good bet, It’s about the PCH 1 Picturesque Drive:
Go Slow, Be Conscientious, Careful and Considerate: It’s hard not to look at the scenic views but keep your mind on driving, traffic and the road (even if you are copilot or back seat) and pull over to let faster traffic pass; drivers can often get impatient and drive stupid. Even on what seems like a slow day you may think the highway is all yours don’t be surprised by a bicyclist, big rock or distracted driver in your lane when you come around a blind curve. The vista points provide a safe place to pull off and offer the best pictures.
Slow Your Pace and Consider Your Start Time: Early is usually better but later starts can avoid the any heavy traffic too. Leave extra time for sightseeing and to take pictures. If the highway is going to get busy in the morning leave early or later; have breakfast were you stayed or stop along the way to avoid the bumper to bumper Pacific Coast Highway morning rush. Traffic is more of a concern during the tourist season but is still a consideration during most weekends.
#3 -- You Should Enjoy Some Fine Big Sur Food & Dining: Nice Weather Dining Tip: The weather can get quite nice in-between rains even during the winter, if that should be the case during your visit look for places which offer some dining outdoors; you can enjoy Big Sur beauty and nature, the forest, a river, ocean view and take your well behaved pet along too. The flavors even seem enhanced and it becomes more of an "experience", not just a meal. Two of my favorite places to dine outdoors are Ragged Point, 805-927-5708, Nepenthe
831-667-2394 and the California Market 831- 622-5450.
You can picnic or fine dine but enjoying some good local Big Sur type grub is mandatory for a great Big Sur area vacation. Picnicking allows you to mix with the environment and save some $$$ but out in the Big Sur boondocks there are actually some world class cutting edge gourmet dining to be had at several restaurants. Big Sur has always had a great attraction for artistic genius and a great chef falls into this category. READ MORE: information about restaurants near Big Sur California -- READ MORE: information about PICNICS near Big Sur
# 4 -- Staying Overnight in Big Sur Proper is NOT Crucial but if You Stay do your Research and be Motel Smart and Well Informed (Big Sur thrives on suckers): You can save lots of money and be much closer to services and entertainment if you stay on one end or the other of the Big Sur…I usually like to stay in Carmel just north of Big Sur at the Carmel River Inn or at the southern end and get a room at the Best Western Cavalier Oceanfront Resort right on the beach to appreciate the great Pacific; either one will save you big $$$$ compared to the normal Big Sur gouging. If you have some money to burn on your vacation and want to get a little taste of the Big Sur Coast ocean view experience you might consider Ragged Point down in the southern portion of the Big Sur only 15 miles north of Hearst Castle and less pricey than many. If you have a LOT of money to burn kick out the stops and go for the paramount of all Big Sur Lodgings Post Ranch Inn.
Myself if I want to stay in Big Sur I quite enjoy the majestic Redwood Forest and Big Sur River from the historic Big Sur Lodge located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park; the Ragged Point Inn like the Lodge carries a medium high cost. During the off-season you can show up at the motel lobby desk after sundown and dicker for a discount price. READ MORE: information about staying near Big Sur
# 5-- Big Sur Is Isolated, Spread Out, Extremely Popular and a Real Tourist Trap, Which Can Be Quite Expensive: Because of their locations the tourist businesses have a captive audience, a steady stream of new customers coming down PCH 1. They charge high prices and they have underpaid, and at times overworked amateurish service people and this goes for the luxury resorts as well as the more rustic businesses. Sure it’s all highway robbery but be patient and prepared; go for the options you find most important and you will get taken for as little or as much as you are comfortable. Looking to save $$$, pack a picnic lunch, be sure to gas up outside of Big Sur, enjoy some attractions and lodgings to the north or south of Big Sur. You can actually vacation Big Sur on a shoestring or lavishly like a king it’s your choice.
# 6 -- The Rainy Season Is Happening RIGHT NOW: A storm can increase road hazards, falling rocks, rocks on the highway, slips and slides can even cause highway closures. Cal Trans takes great care of the highway but it is a never ending challange...still don't let a little rain spoil your vacation plans. Check Highway 1 Road Conditions.
The upside is rain provides much needed drought relief and pumps up the beautiful Big Sur waterfalls. READ MORE about Big Sur waterfalls...(waterfalls mobile)
More Information Travel Tips and Vacation Tricks by Clicking button: Hiking trails and sightseeing the beautiful natural waterfalls of Big Sur California.
   
 
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