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#932822 by ScoobySu
18 Feb 2017, 18:51
Hi all

Following last years dash hubby and I are taking a more relaxed trip this May, so I've been periodically popping into Trip Advisor for some more ideas.

I've discovered that the Pacific Highway is closed from Pfieffer Canyon Bridge (just past Bixby Bridge) to Ragged Point, and the TA experts think that it's extremely unlikely to be open by this summer as there have been various landslides (caused by the heavy rain to date following the forest fires which burnt away the ground cover last summer) along with Pfieffer Canyon Bridge being severely damaged and highly likely needing to be re-built. And all this before the mega-storm that is impacting between LA and San Francisco this weekend! :-O

Just thought I'd post so that if anybody is planning a road trip they can revisit their plans accordingly! Hubby's already planning our detour which apparently will now include a stop at Laguna Seca!

Here's a link to the CalTrans search on Highway 1: http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi?roadnumber=1&submit=Search showing current status which may be of use.
#932831 by Hev60
18 Feb 2017, 23:28
Such a shame because this stretch of the Highway 1 is lovely to drive along. Mud/rock slides are quite common but obviously not to the same extent after one storm follows another.

I was watching the Fox News earlier and apparently it's not just the state California but also Arizona & Nevada which have had horrendous rain too.

We are off to the Palm Desert in less than 3weeks and have been told there is some dangerous flooding along the Interstates from LA and many parts of the Palm Springs area is flooded. Hoping this might be the end of the bad weather but it's been raining steadily in California since October :-O The drought is well and truly over now, just imagine what'll happen when all the mountain snow melts. Certainly seems our final destination of Yosemite NP is off the agenda this time.
#933024 by ScoobySu
24 Feb 2017, 15:47
No problem Snomo - glad to be of help!

I'm following a group on FB called Big Sur Information and their postings (including pictures) show that Pfieffer Canyon Bridge is very close to collapse now - it moved 7" in 24 hours over the weekend - and will definitely need to be rebuilt :-(
#933030 by Hev60
24 Feb 2017, 21:50
ScoobySu wrote:
I'm following a group on FB called Big Sur Information and their postings (including pictures) show that Pfieffer Canyon Bridge is very close to collapse now - it moved 7" in 24 hours over the weekend - and will definitely need to be rebuilt :-(


OMG that is so sad, just goggled the information you posted :-(

We drove over that bridge a couple times when we lost our way (in the mist!!!) when looking for the Pfeiffer State Park. Such a shame coz the detour must cut out some of the Sur's spectacular scenery.
#933169 by Myf
28 Feb 2017, 17:32
Thanks ScoobySu for this information. I'm due to be driving this stretch between in August / September coming from San Diego to San Francisco, I will have to change my plans somewhat now. I had been plugging the route into google maps and couldn't for the life of me understand why it wouldn't let us go via Highway 1. :(

Any tips for a detour?
#933182 by Hev60
28 Feb 2017, 22:02
Myf wrote:Thanks ScoobySu for this information. I'm due to be driving this stretch between in August / September coming from San Diego to San Francisco, I will have to change my plans somewhat now. I had been plugging the route into google maps and couldn't for the life of me understand why it wouldn't let us go via Highway 1. :(

Any tips for a detour?


Wow that's some drive you are considering, around 500+ miles. Hope you are planning plenty of stops on the way.

Highway 1 starts south of LA around the Dana Point area when you turn off the i5 from San Deigo. Negotiating the city of Los Angeles will be challenging in iteself. But if you want to use the Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway) it will eventually get back as a coastal highway near Santa Monica. Please note that in certain places this road is also known as the 101.

From Santa Monica you will be able to follow the coast road through Santa Barbara, towards Santa Maria, then onto Pismo Beach and finally onwards to Moro Bay. Your next point would have been Cambria but it is my understanding that the detour north starts here, when they turn you off Highway 1 onto state road 46 which will lead to highway 101 north.

Unfortunately this detour off of the PCH will mean you missing so much of the beautiful Big Sur drive but due to the indefinite closure you cannot drive this stretch. However the highway 101 will take you north towards Carmel and here you could turn off and get back down onto the Highway 1. Stay overnight in the Carmel area and plan to drive south again along the Big Sur. You'll be able to drive a fair way, over the Bixby Bridge towards Pfeiffer State Park. You will have to seek advice how far they let you drive. The bridge which is causing the problem, is about 5 minutes south past Pfeiffer State Park so hopefully they may be keeping this place open.

I would suggest you ask the 'locals' on perhaps the Carmel/Montery Trip Advisor what advice is being given regarding the detour from the Pacific Coast Highway 1.

I hope this helps but you need to seek out as much official advice as possible.
#933183 by ScoobySu
28 Feb 2017, 22:26
Many thanks Hev60 - you beat me to it!

We are driving south from Monterey to LA, so our journey is in reverse of yours.

We will be driving as far down as we can - hopefully we will get to Pfieffer Beach as we missed that last year - before heading back to Monterey. The TA suggestion is to drive down the 101 to Paso Robles before heading back to the coast. At the current time according to the CalTrans website the PCH is open up to Ragged Point.

All this is subject to change however and although it is 75 days till we go we are checking the CalTrans website fairly frequently. Hev60's suggestion of visiting TA is a good one - on the desktop site they have created a "sticky" with regular updates from the local experts.
Last edited by ScoobySu on 01 Mar 2017, 18:36, edited 1 time in total.
#933220 by Myf
01 Mar 2017, 16:15
Thanks Hev60 and ScoobySu great advice!

We have some flexibility with our trip, not having booked anything but our flights out and back again yet.

We are actually starting in LAX, flying to Las Vegas and then driving from there. So we are going LV - San Diego - PCH (as much as we can now) - Tahoe - Napa - SFO. We've only ever done Las Vegas before so we are super excited! We're doing the trip over 4-5 weeks.

Hope your trips are fantastic and can't wait to hear how they went. :)
#933225 by Hev60
01 Mar 2017, 18:33
Myf wrote:Thanks Hev60 and ScoobySu great advice!

We have some flexibility with our trip, not having booked anything but our flights out and back again yet.

We are actually starting in LAX, flying to Las Vegas and then driving from there. So we are going LV - San Diego - PCH (as much as we can now) - Tahoe - Napa - SFO. We've only ever done Las Vegas before so we are super excited! We're doing the trip over 4-5 weeks.

Hope your trips are fantastic and can't wait to hear how they went. :)


Awesome, what a brilliant trip ( apart from the LV bit) :-P
I'm really envious about the length of it, Hev
#933237 by Hev60
01 Mar 2017, 22:30
ScoobySu, when we drove down Highway1 from Carmel back in 2015 we was very disappointed because the weather was horrible, due to hill and sea mist. We had been planning to perhaps factor in another drive down the Big Sur coastline when we visit California next weeek, hence being familiar with the landmarks & roads. However once I saw your post about the road closures that idea kinda went on-hold and now looks like its off the agenda :-(

I think your plan to take the PCH 1 south from Monterey is a good one. We too did not get to that Pfeiffer Beach but did find the McWay Falls right opposite the Julie Pfeiffer State Park. We missed it twice and had to drive over that broken Pfieffer Canyon bridge. We turned back, parked up on the side of the road and walked to the waterfall which was unique and a fantastic sight. Just past the waterfall is where the road is closed off as your link shows.

If you are interested and did not visit before, just past Carmel on PCH1 is the Point Lobos State Reserve. Admission is about $10 but there are wonderful coastal views from numerous trails in the park (also stopping here gives the driver a chance to see the BigSur). You can see the Whales, Seals and Sea Lions in the coves below. Also further along the PCH1 route, actually just a bit further down from Pfeiffer Beach but before the McWay waterfall, we stopped at Cafe Kevah which is on the site of the famous Nepenthe Restaurant. This place would only be accessible from Highway1 heading south as its just before the road closure although there are now other partial road closures in place even around Carmel.
Hopefully it'll dry up and sort itself out by the time you plan your BigSur drive. Hev
#933239 by ScoobySu
01 Mar 2017, 23:10
Hi Hev

Hev60 wrote:We turned back, parked up on the side of the road and walked to the waterfall which was unique and a fantastic sight.


It really was gorgeous and we were planning another stop there this year!

Image

This year's road trip is at a much leisurely pace compared to last year (only 400 miles instead of 2,400!! ;-) ) and we were planning more stops along the PCH. Point Lobos was on the list and so thank you for confirming that it's a good place!

We have two nights in Monterey so will have time to drive as far south as we can on one of two afternoons. We're also planning 17 Mile Drive with a stop off at Pebble Beach - I can't remember if it was your or MrsW's reports from 2015 that had a stop there?

In terms of the southern part (Cambria to Ragged Point) we had already booked to stay in Paso Robles so will be able to drive up to Ragged Point from there.

I do hope that Palm Springs has dried out for your upcoming trip and that you manage to get into Yosemite. In May last year it was amazing with the waterfalls in full flow for the first time in years. Apparently the snow pack is very deep this winter - even deeper than last year's El Nino winter - and Mammoth Lakes has predicted being able to keep their ski runs open until July 4th! :-O

Have a great trip!

Edited to correct image (although if on a desk/laptop it will probably be sideways! 8-) )
#933240 by Hev60
01 Mar 2017, 23:35
Yes ScoobySu we did the 17mileDrive, awesome. We stopped and had lunch at the PeebleBeach golf club. Amazingly it really wasn't that expensive and we sat on the terrace looking out to the greens and pacific ocean, brilliant. On my way out of the clubhouse, this guy held the door open for me and I simply said 'cheers, thanks alot' in my EastLondon accent! The official doorman asked me if I knew who that was? then adding it was Phil Mickelson. Oh well I've never been a celebrity chaser :-D My son was a tad impressed though!!!
#933713 by Hev60
23 Mar 2017, 13:45
Hi just an update on the Highway 1 problems for anyone who is interested.

I am currently in San Francisco and watched on the tv yesterday the total demolition of the Pfieffer Canyon Bridge. Apparently the Big Sur highway will now remain closed in this area until new bridge is completed, which won't be for at least another six months. This is going to mess up a lot of driving plans along this route over the summer. The locals were commenting they feel cut off as the divertion is unbelievably long.

The fields and mountains in California have turned green since we visited in 2015! and that even includes the desert where we spent most of our time. The devastation caused by the floods is amazing and it continued to rain in SF :-(

Trip reports to follow ;-)
#935517 by Myf
25 May 2017, 14:54
I see that another landslide on Saturday 20th May has closed a further section of Highway 1 in the Big Sur area.

I think this has us re-thinking our options for this summer and we might now put off the road trip that we were going to take.
#935530 by ScoobySu
26 May 2017, 07:02
Hi Myf

We've just spent 8 days driving leisurely from SFO to Los Angeles and are now in LV. The Mud Creek land slip was part of the original closure back in January, along with Paul's Slide. The TA experts have been saying all along that the Mud Creek repair would take the longest and that it would probably be 2018 before PCH would be fully re-open, but unfortunately last weekends additional slip will impact further (thanks Sealink for the link!)

Having said that we didn't cancel our trip. Our original plan was to spend two days out of our break driving Big Sur, with an overnight at Ragged Point. Instead we've been to Monterey and spent a day whale watching (humpback whales breath stinks we got that close!), a full day wine tour in Paso Robles, a full day tour in LA plus half day at Warner Bros. We've also been to Point Lobos State Park, which has more trails opening this weekend and Pebble Beach/17 Mile Drive.

From memory your original plans included Lake Tahoe and San Francisco, so there is still plenty for you to do if you decide to continue! We overnighted in Lake Tahoe last year as we couldn't cross Yosemite as it was still snowbound, and wish we had made it a two night stop so we could have cruised the lake. San Francisco has so much going for it and has lots of fans on here - we only had 24 hours there in 2015 and so we haven't explored it as much as others. In terms of PCH you can still drive down to Bixby Bridge and Pfieffer Beach MAY be open. You won't be able to get the to Julia Burns Falls though which is a shame ;-(

I hope this helps!

ScoobySu

PS The Paso Robles wineries all said they export to Napa!
#935562 by SNOMO
27 May 2017, 15:24
Fingers crossed this is all sorted by the time we go in September. We are staying in Yosemite for 3 nights then driving to San Simeon then, hopefully up to Carmel before the trip back to San Francisco ! Any advice on possible interesting diversions if needed, gratefully received.
#935563 by Eggtastico
27 May 2017, 15:44
SNOMO wrote:Fingers crossed this is all sorted by the time we go in September. We are staying in Yosemite for 3 nights then driving to San Simeon then, hopefully up to Carmel before the trip back to San Francisco ! Any advice on possible interesting diversions if needed, gratefully received.


Maybe drop San Simeon for something else? Maybe Start at Lake Tahoe, followed by Yosemite & Carmel
#935565 by Hev60
27 May 2017, 17:08
SNOMO wrote:Fingers crossed this is all sorted by the time we go in September. We are staying in Yosemite for 3 nights then driving to San Simeon then, hopefully up to Carmel before the trip back to San Francisco ! Any advice on possible interesting diversions if needed, gratefully received.


Wow that is a heck of a drive from Yosemite to San Simeon. I assume you want to visit Hearst Castle.

There has been another massive rock slide again (as Sealink pointed out) on the Pacific Highway 1 in addition to the January problems.

Sadly No this will definitely not be sorted out by September - they are predicting another 12months of Big Sur Road closures. These are really bad and damaging mud/rock slides.

Highway 1 from the south, LA area, diverts onto route 46 just before Cambria due to road closures. You then head north using the 101. Of course this is not a spectacular drive like the Pacific Highway 1. You would have no choice but to use this route now.

Once you see the sign for Carmel signposted, you can turn left down towards the town. Like ScoobySu said there is plenty to do around Monterey and then from Carmel you can pick up the Big Sur road heading south until you hit the road closure sign. When we went to the area a short while back, we too loved Point Lobos (just south of Carmel) The State park was so so interesting with many many trails to walk and the views are just amazing - remember to take your own food & drink though.

It is a shame about the road closure along one of the most spectacular parts of the Big Sur but you certainly do not need to alter your plans as I am sure you will have a wonderful tour. However i would reconsider a visit to SanSimone under the present circumstances.
#935617 by FLYERZ
28 May 2017, 21:17
The heads up is much appreciated. Doing a West Coast trip at the end of Aug/Sep. In terms of making the most of the situation would you say the best bet is Monterrey - Carmel then work your way south? From Carmel what road/highway should we follow? Also I assume alternative routes are clearly signposted? With the closures/diversions is it still possible to drive down to LA in a similar time frame?

Sorry for all the questions, thanks in advanced!
FLYERZ
#935646 by SNOMO
29 May 2017, 16:31
Hev60 wrote:Wow that is a heck of a drive from Yosemite to San Simeon. I assume you want to visit Hearst Castle.

There has been another massive rock slide again (as Sealink pointed out) on the Pacific Highway 1 in addition to the January problems.
Sadly No this will definitely not be sorted out by September - they are predicting another 12months of Big Sur Road closures. These are really bad and damaging mud/rock slides.

Highway 1 from the south, LA area, diverts onto route 46 just before Cambria due to road closures. You then head north using the 101. Of course this is not a spectacular drive like the Pacific Highway 1. You would have no choice but to use this route now.

Once you see the sign for Carmel signposted, you can turn left down towards the town. Like ScoobySu said there is plenty to do around Monterey and then from Carmel you can pick up the Big Sur road heading south until you hit the road closure sign. When we went to the area a short while back, we too loved Point Lobos (just south of Carmel) The State park was so so interesting with many many trails to walk and the views are just amazing - remember to take your own food & drink though.

It is a shame about the road closure along one of the most spectacular parts of the Big Sur but you certainly do not need to alter your plans as I am sure you will have a wonderful tour. However i would reconsider a visit to San Simeon under the present circumstances.


Thanks for the info Hev. We are thinking about 6 hours drive from Yosemite to San Simeon? We will both do some driving so hope it will be ok. Yes want to see Hearst Castle & visit a friends vineyard a bit further down from there so San Simeon a good place for us to stay. Doing the diversion for Carmel via the 101 would you have any idea how long that will take?
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