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Old 05-17-2011, 08:41 AM   #1
betaztest
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Highway 1 Road Closure Questions

This is our 1st ever trip to Disneyland (have never even been to California before) so getting very excited!!!

But.....the California Dep't of Transportation website has had the following notice posted re: Highway 1 for a while now - "CLOSED 3.2 MI SOUTH OF GORDA (MONTEREY CO) - DUE TO A LAND SLIDE - MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO USE AN ALTERNATE ROUTE" (sorry, the all CAPS is from their website).

Part of our trip includes driving from Monterey to Pismo Beach with a planned stop at Hearst Castle, obviously hoping to drive right down the coast as we've heard how beautiful it is so I have 2 questions:

1. Does anyone have any idea how long this road closure will last? The website gives no timeline or indication of an end date.

2. If the road is still closed, what is the best alternative to get from Monterey to Hearst Castle? Is there a route that will still allow us to see a good portion of the coast / Big Sur or are we stuck taking 101 and doubling back through Cambria?

Google maps is OK but I'm sure 1st hand knowledge from members here is better - thanks!!
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:06 AM   #2
GrandBob
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This was just covered on the local news last night. They said that clearing the slide was taking much longer than expected - apparently it's still unstable. They simply said that now, at a minimum, it will take until mid-June. But I got the impression that they're not guaranteeing that - it's a best-case scenario, and they don't really know yet. Sorry about that.

Your route to Hearst Castle depends on whether you want the fastest route there, of if you still want to see the Big Sur coast on the way, even though it will take longer.

Fastest
Take route 68 to Salinas (short shortcut - exit 68 towards Spreckels, go through that town, and road will head back to 101. Saves going through Salinas traffic). At Salinas, take 101 south to Paso Robles (Paso Robles is about 2 hours from Monterey). Just south of Paso Robles, take 46 west to Cambria. When 46 ends at the Pacific Ocean, take Highway 1 north to San Simeon and Hearst Castle.

This route should take you just over 3 hours from Monterey to San Simeon.

Scenic
Take Highway 1 south from Monterey to Big Sur, just as you were planning. Stop for lunch, either at Nepenthe's (pricey, but views you'll remember for a lifetime) or Big Sur River Inn (unique inn/restaurant where you can sit with your feet in the Big Sur river, which is actually a creek). Then keep going south, past breathtaking views, until you get to Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. Turn left on that road, which you'll take through seemingly endless switchbacks, all the while climbing high above the Pacific Ocean, again with breathtaking views. It will finally level out in Fort Hunter-Liggett. It gets a little tricky there (either a GPS or a good map will help), but basically you'll end up in the little town of Jolon, in the middle of Fort Hunter-Liggett. You then need to take Jolon Rd south toward Lockwood and Bradley. At Bradley, you'll pick up 101. Go just another 20 miles or so south to Paso Robles, and then take 46 west to Cambria and then 1 north to San Simeon, as in the directions for the Fastest route.

This drive will take quite a bit longer, in part because you'll want to stop and sightsee along the way. At least 4-5 hours, but with stops, could be all day. But you'll have fun and see great sights.

-Bob
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:19 AM   #3
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P.S. Also see this thread: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2703524

P.P.S. Also, if you want to see Hearst Castle, be sure to book your tickets online beforehand. They sell out frequently. Also, the last tour of the day usually leaves about 4:30 or so, except for special night-time tours that happen infrequently. So it may be difficult to do both the scenic route and Hearst Castle on the same day. Doable, but I'd leave early.

Last edited by GrandBob; 05-17-2011 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:01 AM   #4
betaztest
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GrandBob - Thank you sooooo much for your detailed reply. I never would have found / considered Nacimiento-Fergusson Road looking at Google Maps without your help. Greatly appreciated. I'd hate to miss out on the coastal views as who knows when we may get back to the west coast. I think we'll plan on leaving Monterey around 8:00am, taking the scenic route and a late day tour at Hearst Castle. Thank you!!!
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:22 AM   #5
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I think leaving at 8 is a good idea -this will allow you time to enjoy the views which will include stopping numerous times, I'm sure. From Hearst you will still have a lengthy ride into Anaheim -I would guess at least 4 hours, so you've got a long day planned. It's beautiful so enjoy!
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:12 AM   #6
betaztest
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Thanks GAN. We're actually going to spend a night in Pismo Beach after going to Hearst as we decided that driving all the way to Anaheim that night was just too long in the car for one day. Still hoping highway 1 will be open be the time we go.....fingers crossed.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:35 AM   #7
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Latest story on the Alder Creek slide on Highway 1 in southern Monterey County. They're still "hoping" to open in mid-June.

http://www.thecalifornian.com/articl...reek-landslide
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:00 AM   #8
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According to today's update, 1 will be opened by Friday, June 10


"FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

***TRAFFIC ADVISORY #44***

HIGHWAY 1 CARMEL TO CAMBRIA ROADWAY UPDATE

HIGHWAY 1 WILL OPEN AT ALDER CREEK

JUST NORTH OF THE MONTEREY/SLO COUNTY LINE BY FRIDAY, JUNE 10

MONTEREY COUNTY:

Highway 1 at Alder Creek (Post Mile 7.5), 40 miles south of Big Sur, will re-open by Friday, June 10, Caltrans officials announced today.

A devastating slide had closed the roadway completely in both directions to all public, including motorized vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists since April 14.

Caltrans wants to thank the affected communities for their patience and especially wants to thank Windsor Construction for their efforts."
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:23 AM   #9
GrandBob
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rbbs, you beat me to it! I was just coming here to post this. Thanks for keeping on top of it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:31 PM   #10
rbbs
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No problem! We are watching it closely as we are supposed to be camping in Big Sur starting on June 30th. I still have lots of questions....


1. Even if open by June 10th what type of time delay are we looking at? Is it going to be a slow drive as they may be still partially constructing things?

2. I heard that it takes 4 hours to go from Carmel to Big Sur? Tell me this was a big exageration?

3. Other factors that may dealy the drive? We are planning on driving from Santa Barbara to Big Sur and don't want too many delays as it will be a bit of a drive to begin with

Thanks if anyone knows or cares to guess at the answers!!
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:35 PM   #11
GrandBob
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No problem! We are watching it closely as we are supposed to be camping in Big Sur starting on June 30th. I still have lots of questions....


1. Even if open by June 10th what type of time delay are we looking at? Is it going to be a slow drive as they may be still partially constructing things?
Probably not. Usually, if they need to keep doing construction, they'll open just one lane and have a light to allow traffic from one direction and then the other. And even in that case, it's usually no more than a 5-10 minute delay. But they didn't say they're doing that, they said they're opening the road, period. I would expect normal traffic.

2. I heard that it takes 4 hours to go from Carmel to Big Sur? Tell me this was a big exageration?

Carmel to the town of Big Sur is 26 miles. Usually takes me 40 minutes or so. But "Big Sur" refers to the entire coast. In 4 hours, you can get all the way down the entire Big Sur coast, all the way to San Simeon. And that's with stopping to do lots of sight-seeing.

3. Other factors that may delay the drive? We are planning on driving from Santa Barbara to Big Sur and don't want too many delays as it will be a bit of a drive to begin with
OK, so you're going north, not south? Because Carmel to Big Sur is the southbound direction. If you're going north from Santa Barbara, it will easily take 4 hours to get all the way up to the town of Big Sur. By that time, you'll have seen the whole Big Sur coast. Indeed, if you want to take time to sightsee, you may want to allow more like 6 hours, to give you time to take in all the sights. But by the time you get to the town of Big Sur, you're not far at all from Carmel.

Thanks if anyone knows or cares to guess at the answers!!

You're welcome.
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:07 PM   #12
rbbs
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Thanks!! This is most helpful and likely convinced me to continue going the way I originally intended to.....#1 all the way!! Did this trip in 2009 and loved every minute of it and want the experience to be similar and don't really feel ready for a let down. I was thinking of going up the 101 to Carmel and heading south to Big Sur where we are camping but would prefer to go North from Santa Barbara to Big Sur and enjoy the best drive I have ever experience again!! Thanks for your clarification and inside awareness of the situation as it allows me to fill in the blank for this portion of our holiday!! I guess we will get to stop for the Elephant Seals and other attractions along the way to Big Sur instead of zoning out on highway 101
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