Don’t give up on visiting Big Sur. Here’s what’s still open after that landslide

A massive new landslide along California’s iconic coastal Highway 1 has buried the road under a 40-foot layer of rock and dirt, the latest hit in a winter of crippling slides and flooding.

Sunday’s enormous debris slide at Mud Creek on Big Sur’s southern coast buried about a third of a mile of Highway 1.

“People see video of the massive slide and are canceling reservations,” says Stan Russell, executive director of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce.

Multiple debris slides, punishing winter rains and the demolished Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge leave gaps in what once was Central California’s iconic coastal drive.

But that doesn’t mean you should give up on a visit.

What’s open

Everything north of the bridge closure near Big Sur Station — places with rooms, cabins and camping, such as the Big Sur River Inn, Fernwood Resort and Ripplewood Resort — are open for Memorial Day.

Some state parks that had been shut since February have reopened too.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park in Big Sur offers camping on a first-come, first-served basis at a limited number of sites (131 to 189). Picnic areas and day-use lots 1 and 2 will be open to visitors as well. Popular trails such as Redwood Deck, the Nature Trail, River Trail and others are open too.


Big Sur Lodge, which includes a restaurant, general store and rooms, at 47225 Highway 1 in Big Sur is open. Because of Highway 1 closures, you’ll only be able to enter from the north. Reservations and information: (800) 424-4787

Point Sur Light Station in Big Sur is open for tours. Info: (831) 625-4419

Garrapata State Park, 18 miles north of Big Sur, straddles Highway 1. Only the parkland west of the roadway is open. The larger, eastern portion was badly damaged in the 2016 Soberanes Fire and remains off limits.

Limekiln State Park is open, but getting there is tricky. Highway 1 is closed north and south of this park. You have to cut inland and then come through the mountains on Nacimiento Fergusson Road to Highway 1.

The good news: You’ll have a stretch of roadway between closures to yourself (unless everyone else discovers this too). Nearby Treebones Resort and Gorda Springs Resort on this temporarily cut off bit of the coast are open.

Post Ranch Inn, the posh resort at 47900 Highway 1, is bringing guests in by helicopter because of the road closures. Check out availability for the inn’s Escape Through the Skies package, which starts at $1,725 for two people (room, helicopter, dinner and other perks). You’ll get use of a Lexus to drive on Highway 1. Reservations and info: (831) 667-2200

What’s closed

Highway 1, all traffic in both directions, is closed at Mud Creek (where the big landslide buried the roadway), Paul’s Slide and Ragged Point. These closures are all south of the failed Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge.

Andrew Molera State Park, 20 miles south of Carmel, has been shut since winter because of rain damage and flooding from spring storms.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park with the dramatic beach-side waterfall remains closed. It’s 26 miles south of Carmel.

The famed Nepenthe’s Restaurant in Big Sur at 48510 Highway 1 is open to locals only — and guests who fly in to stay at the Post Ranch Inn. The eatery has been hosting ping-pong matches and plans a Memorial Day luau. Info: (831) 667-2345

Ventana Big Sur at 48123 Highway 1 is closed and shifting guests (and staff) to its sister property, Carmel Valley Ranch, about 20 miles to the north. Info: (800) 628-6500


Massive landslide adds to ‘unprecedented’ damage along scenic Highway 1 in Big Sur area

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