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Big Sur Hwy Conditions?

Old 05-23-17, 12:50 PM
  #26  
wgscott
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This just went down, so to speak:

Massive slide covers stretch of iconic California highway - SFGate

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Old 05-23-17, 03:29 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Is the Nacimiento Ferguson Road a viable option? You can get to it from Jolon and it empties onto PCH near Santa Lucia. Big views.
you can. gorgeous road but it is carrying twice the traffic it usually does due to the hwy 1 closures. if you can put off riding hwy 1 from monterey to san simeon for the next riding season or two, it would be advised. riding naciamentp-fergusson under normal conditions is awesome. riding it now is a dicey proposition.
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Old 05-24-17, 01:31 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by carlomdy View Post
And then I guess we would go Carmel Valley Rd. all the way until it meets up with the 101 at Greenfield?
Carmel Valley Rd is a very long steady climb with no services from Carmel Valley Village until the 101.

There seems to be no Strava segment for the climb. Here is a segment with a loop at the end: https://www.strava.com/segments/1584079
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Old 05-25-17, 01:37 PM
  #29  
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FWIW Carmel Valley Rd is an really great riding road. I grew up there and know it well. Once past Carmel Valley Village traffic is sparse and the landscape is beautiful. There is one somewhat brutal 1 mile ~9% climb at about the 22 mile marker, but otherwise it's just a steady rise up to cahoon summit, and you barely notice you're climbing.
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Old 05-26-17, 11:24 AM
  #30  
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carlomdy said they will be traveling with loaded touring bikes. Not impossible, just pointing out that Carmel Valley Rd is not just some side road.

No amenities at all, especially since the Cachagua General Store is now closed (although that side of the loop is very steep when biking southwards).
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Old 05-29-17, 02:42 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Wulf View Post
Is the Nacimiento Ferguson Road a viable option? You can get to it from Jolon and it empties onto PCH near Santa Lucia. Big views.
Nacimiento Ferguson Road (an old favorite of mine) is currently open but it was closed a little while back owing to a slide and that could happen again, so one needs to keep checking. It's very scenic and ends at Hwy. 1 south of Lucia (not Santa Lucia) but you can't get up there now due to the closure at Limekiln, which is a bit more than half the way to Lucia.

Note that motorists driving Nacimiento Ferguson Road must stop at the army base checkpoint outside of Jolon and are required to show ID, proof of registration, and proof of insurance.
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Old 05-29-17, 02:50 PM
  #32  
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Here is a map of what is open/closed:

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Old 05-31-17, 11:49 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
No amenities at all, especially since the Cachagua General Store is now closed (although that side of the loop is very steep when biking southwards).
I noticed the store was gone recently when I was up there and did that ride. When did it shut down?? It had been decades since I last rode the Cachagua loop.

BTW, if on a tour, there really is no reason to divert from Carmel Valley road and go up Cachagua road. It is simply an out of the way detour, and a very steep one at that. There is IIRC a campground in there though, but better to reach it from the back side via Tassajara rd.

There are really quite a few possible routes south on sparsely traveled country roads through the coastal range. It's not the Big Sur coast, but could be very pleasant nonetheless. Less cars to deal with for sure.
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Old 06-04-17, 09:05 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
I noticed the store was gone recently when I was up there and did that ride. When did it shut down?? It had been decades since I last rode the Cachagua loop.
Sometime last year.

Originally Posted by Salamandrine View Post
BTW, if on a tour, there really is no reason to divert from Carmel Valley road and go up Cachagua road. It is simply an out of the way detour, and a very steep one at that.
I did mention it was steep! Great road if you are doing a climbing loop on a road bike, but not if you are touring. The point is moot since the store is closed. Like I said before, there are no amenities from Carmel Valley Village until almost the 101.
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Old 07-16-17, 05:27 PM
  #35  
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Biking San Francisco to San Diego

Hi there - are there any updates on biking the section between Monteray (Camel by the Sea) and Cambria? Tips on what cyclists can get through on if roads are closed - and what requires a major detour?
Am planning to do the ride in August.
Thanks
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Old 07-16-17, 08:45 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by mbannerman View Post
Hi there - are there any updates on biking the section between Monteray (Camel by the Sea) and Cambria? Tips on what cyclists can get through on if roads are closed - and what requires a major detour?
Am planning to do the ride in August.
Thanks
No first hand experience, but I've been watching it closely as I am hoping to head up in August. It's not looking good. There is a detour if heading down to Big Sur from Carmel - a hiking trail that is apparently open and gets you around the Pfeiffer bridge (which is still down). South of Big Sur looks like Highway 1 is closed to everything and looks like there isn't any work around that will allow you to "ride the coast"
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Old 07-21-17, 08:20 AM
  #37  
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We were in Cambria last weekend and the road going north is closed about 4 or 5 miles above Ragged point ( just below Gorda).
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Old 07-21-17, 12:37 PM
  #38  
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It will be years before anyone can traverse all of PCH at that point.
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Old 04-18-18, 10:43 AM
  #39  
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Thanks for all the comments regarding detours around the slide area. Doesn't look like too much has changed for 2018 regarding getting through there.

It looks like I have two options for my trip in 4 weeks. I will be in the area appx May 29.
1. Get off the PCH North of Monterey and go thru Carmel, Gonzales and Bradley ending up North of Morro Bay.
2. Get off PCH at Kirk Creek. Do the big climb on Nacimiento Ferguson Road, hit Lockwood, Lk Nacimiento, Paso Robles, dropping down Hwy 46 ending up between Cambria and Harmony.

Any Comments from those in the know??
OogaBooga I saw your warning re NF I assume this still applies this year.
Tycho ...sounds like "stock up" for the Carmel ride. There SEEMS to be towns along the way...but I'll believe you.
Camping options for Carmel route? The Big Sur blog says no camping on Nacimiento Ferguson Road but there are at least 3 campgrounds I can see from here.
Attached Images
File Type: png
carmel detour.PNG (294.5 KB, 161 views)
File Type: png
Big Sur Detour.PNG (149.2 KB, 162 views)

Last edited by SEAJAYBIKE; 04-18-18 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 04-19-18, 11:27 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by SEAJAYBIKE View Post
Thanks for all the comments regarding detours around the slide area. Doesn't look like too much has changed for 2018 regarding getting through there.
As I said, it will be years before they can fix that mess.

Tycho ...sounds like "stock up" for the Carmel ride. There SEEMS to be towns along the way...but I'll believe you.
Please note there is a difference between Carmel (technically Carmel-by-the-sea) and Carmel Valley Village. Heading southbound, there are options in between Carmel and CVV, but there is nothing past CVV.

Riding south of Salinas alongside the 101 is barren and hot. No thank you.

Besides, the reason people ride the PCH is for the section between Monterey and Cambria, going through Big Sur. If you have to bypass the best part, I would simply skip the ride.
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Old 04-20-18, 12:22 AM
  #41  
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Thanks for the comments Tycho. I get your point and will investigate further. The Big Sur coast doesn't happen to be my primary reason for this trip, but I understand for many it would be.
It looks like 70 miles to the hills south of Salinas. A day of barren, I can live with that.
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Old 04-26-18, 06:00 PM
  #42  
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I don't know how much you REALLY want to ride on the 101 freeway after greenville. I had to get on it for 7miles and it was ENOUGH. Between shredded truck tires, road cuts and cracks in the pavement, speed was checked to 10mph just to bear with the bumps/cracks in the pavement every 10ft. The hills after Jolan road are STEEP and rolling heading into Paso mind you have 100miles in the legs for the day already. 30 some miles of hills before finally dropping into Paso

Here's what I did in September. 560 miles, 36 hours moving time, 24k ft vertical, 6 days

SF to Santa Cruz
https://www.strava.com/activities/1190807310

Santa Cruz to Carmel VV
https://www.strava.com/activities/1192313364

Carmel to Paso, first 45 miles has zero store, zero cel coverange. Don't do anything stupid here. To avoid the 101, the road/route snakes from one side of the valley to the other side and repeat back into the headwind. Headwind and over 7k ft of climbing took it's toll. I should have started at sunrise if I knew it was going to be like that. I rode over 2.5hrs in the dark, pushed limits of my bike light and burned matches on the hills, rode as fast as I can see w/ the light in eco mode to make it to my hotel in Paso, arriving at 9:30pm
https://www.strava.com/activities/1194008754

Paso to Morro, short recovery day
https://www.strava.com/activities/1195314279

Morro to SB
https://www.strava.com/activities/1196806683

SB to Long Beach, half of it was on slow beach bike trails, good to be away from cars but the speed was checked too.
https://www.strava.com/activities/1198480526


If you are loading food n water, you can walk the land side after the ranger leaves at night. People were doing it back in Sept, my friend did it earlier this month. But now there is a beaten path across the dirt. I didn't want to do it in Sept, I wasn't packing extra day of food and water on my rig for Big Sur so I did the 101 bypass. I only traveled with 3 bottles, 2 on t he bike, one in my Jersey. keep it light and travel farther
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Old 04-26-18, 07:33 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
As I said, it will be years before they can fix that mess.
Caltrans is reporting that the mudslide area between Gorda and Ragged Pt. will remain closed through the end of September, 2018. I'd certainly check before assuming that it'll be open in October, but am at least somewhat hopeful that it'll be open again next year - and maybe in time for a late fall trip this year.
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Old 04-27-18, 04:39 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
. . . . Here's what I did in September. 560 miles, 36 hours moving time, 24k ft vertical, 6 days
Awesome!
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Old 04-28-18, 12:55 PM
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I finally took the time to look at your rides... holy cats, that's some sturdy riding.
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Old 04-30-18, 03:52 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by SEAJAYBIKE View Post
It looks like I have two options for my trip in 4 weeks. I will be in the area appx May 29.
1. Get off the PCH North of Monterey and go thru Carmel, Gonzales and Bradley ending up North of Morro Bay.
2. Get off PCH at Kirk Creek. Do the big climb on Nacimiento Ferguson Road, hit Lockwood, Lk Nacimiento, Paso Robles, dropping down Hwy 46 ending up between Cambria and Harmony.
Just did your option #2 last week after attending 1st day of Sea Otter Classic. I rode on a Friday from Monterey to Kirk Creek. Wasn't a whole lot of traffic once south of Carmel, and once south of Julie Pfeiffer Burns SP it felt like I had the road to myself for the last 20 miles (okay a few cars but for Hwy 1 it was eerily quite). Kirk Creek CG is National Forest Service. Has biker sites with grass ground cover (not dirt), picnic tables, but no trees or potable running water. The camp host will sell you a gallon of water for $5 but I just got water out of the creek (no development upstream) without treating it and still alive. It was a 10 minute RT walk from my site. Limekiln State Park is a few miles north of Kirk Creek and probably has nicer facilities but for more $ and not sure if they have biker sites.

As for the climb up Nacimiento Ferguson Rd, it is about 2,800 feet gain over 7.8 miles. I have low gears (22T front 32 T rear) so was just a slow grind. Took 1 hour 45 min saddle time to reach the summit, 2 hours with stops for photos. Note that once over the summit there are 2 national Forest Campgrounds about 4 and 6 miles down the road (Pioneer adn Nacimiento CG),; the 2nd one looked real nce from teh road so they are also an option. Interlake Road (County Road G14) after it passes Nacimento Lake going to Paso Robles can be unpleasant. Its rolling for those last 20 or so miles with narrow/non-existent shoulders and a fair amount of traffic (lots of people apparently want to live on Ranchettes in the country).

Two years ago, the wife and I did somehing close to your option 1. However, we took (and I would recommend you) take County Rd G14 (Jolin Road) out of King City rather than parallel Hwy 101. Its not a bad climb up to Fort Hunter Ligget (where you meet your Option 2 route coming from the coast) and its very scenic. If it was me, and climbing doesn't scare you, I would do the Big Sur coast on any week day right now with the road being closed.

Have fun on your tour.
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Old 04-30-18, 11:19 PM
  #47  
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Jsig and Egg,
Thank you much for your detailed and helpful replies. Digging through the details now.
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Old 05-07-18, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
I finally took the time to look at your rides... holy cats, that's some sturdy riding.
That was a fun week, only a few sketchy moments like jumping unpainted speed bumps at 30 some mph, landing rear wheel first and rolling it out, dab that rear brake to bring the front back down

I hope I can do it again, maybe pack even lighter and hotel it each night. Better/more food that way!! Sleeping system was 7lbs = 1p tent, down bag, airpad
Having a friend or two would be better then Solo in all that wind again...
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Old 06-14-18, 09:52 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
Caltrans is reporting that the mudslide area between Gorda and Ragged Pt. will remain closed through the end of September, 2018. I'd certainly check before assuming that it'll be open in October, but am at least somewhat hopeful that it'll be open again next year - and maybe in time for a late fall trip this year.
Good news. Apparently the work is being completed early than first thought. Current schedule for reopening the mudslide area is now the end of July this summer.
https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/artic...y-12993888.php
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Old 07-15-18, 02:46 PM
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I was just in Big Sur and they said PCH will be opened next week.
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