Monday, March 24, 2014

Big Sur, CA



Besides being the name of a very small town on the coast, we didn’t realize that Big Sur refers to the 90 mile stretch of rugged coastline between San Simeon and Carmel, with the Santa Lucia Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west.


Highway 1 through Big Sur has been designated an American National Scenic Highway, and with good reason. It truly is a spectacular drive, and there are plenty of places to stop and stretch your legs at scenic overlooks, hiking trails, several state parks, a few rustic lodges, restaurants, galleries and  convenience stores. If you’re coming from the south be sure to get gas in Morro Bay or Cambria, or in Monterey if you come from the north. It was going for $5.79/gallon at the only station in Big Sur the other day. (It was just under $4.00/gallon when we left Morro Bay.)

One of the most scenic places we stopped was McWay Falls, at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. Although there is a $10 parking fee if you drive in, there is plenty of free roadside parking where you can access the trail to the overlook.




Another hike was on the Mill Creek trail, about a quarter mile up the road from our site. It starts in the open with a nice view of the mountains but soon becomes a shady trail through the redwoods and stays along the creek most of the way.




It was foggy for a couple days, but just before the fog rolled in we got to watch this sunset over the ocean.




The day after the fog lifted we drove a few miles north to Limekiln State Park, where there is a small, crowded campground, mostly for tents, and a few short trails leading to the fall and the old lime kilns.

All three trails follow branches of the creek.


Four stone and iron furnaces remain from the limestone mine which opened in 1897. It only took the Rockland Lime and Lumber company three years to deplete the lime deposit, along with the redwood forest that was nearly clear cut to use for lumber and fuel.




The 100 foot waterfall.


A very pleasant place for a hike.



So our five days without phone or internet was really not a problem. We may never get another chance for a site with a view like this.


Tonight we’re at the Wal Mart in Salinas, CA. Quite a change in scenery, but we needed to get propane, gas, do laundry, pick up some groceries, and went out to eat at BJs Brewhouse. Tomorrow we’re heading back towards the coast.


  1. Jaw dropping beauty! Your pics are stunning. Now on bucket list...thanks!

  2. I just read a post on a weekly photo challenge. This week's is reflections. The photo of the sunset on your motorhome would be a great entry. Lovely area.

  3. I remember visiting the Pfeiffer about 40 years ago in my hippy days. I can still remember some beautiful hikes up to a waterfall. Thanks for bringing back the memories. You are really in a beautiful area.

  4. Stunning! Just absolutely spectacular photos. Another place to put on the places to go list.

  5. A question. Can you stay the night in some of those roadside pull offs or are they signed no overnight parking?
    Just wondering.


  6. Got yourself some mighty fine photos there. Don't know if we'll ever get over to the coast to see all that beauty or not but maybe someday. Nice trip:))

  7. That is such a gorgeous section of California, and your site was ideal! So glad we got to see it thru your eyes!

  8. Wow......these are some great photos.

    I think I'l put this on my bucket list too.

    What about the overnight parking question?


  9. Wow........some great photos, what a place.

    I'll be placing it on my bucket list also.

    What about overnight parking?


  10. It is illegal to overnight at any of the pull offs along Hwy 1, although we saw people do it and nobody bothered them. Where we stayed was on Nacimiento Fergusson Rd, which is within Los Padres NF. Camping is legal anywhere there but you have to get a permit to build a fire.
    We also found sites along Plaskett Creek Rd and Willow Creek Rd, but they are dirt/gravel roads and we wouldn't drive our motorhome on them. Found some great spots for truck campers or tents, though.