Open main menu

Wikipedia β

Big Sur is a lightly populated, unincorporated region on California's Central Coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The coast is frequently praised for its rugged coastline and mountain views. As the "longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the [contiguous] United States,"[1] it has been described as a "national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development"[2] and "one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation."[3] Big Sur's Cone Peak at 5,155 feet (1,571 m) is only 3 miles (5 km) from the ocean.[4] The stunning views make Big Sur a popular tourist destination.

Big Sur, California
Region of California
The Big Sur Coast
The Big Sur Coast
Map of Big Sur
Map of Big Sur
Country  United States
State  California

The region does not have specific boundaries, but is generally considered to include the 71 miles (114 km) segment of California State Route 1 from Malpaso Creek near Carmel Highlands south to San Carpóforo Creek near San Simeon and the entire Santa Lucia range between the rivers.[4] The interior region is uninhabited, while the coast remains relatively isolated and sparsely populated with about 1,000 year-round residents and relatively few visitor accommodations.

The region is protected by the Big Sur Local Coastal Program which preserves the region as "open space, a small residential community, and agricultural ranching."[5] Approved in 1981, it is one of the most restrictive local use programs in the state,[6] and is widely regarded as one of the most restrictive documents of its kind anywhere.[7] The program protects viewsheds from the highway and many vantage points, and restricts the density of development to one unit per acre in tourist areas or one dwelling per 10 acres (4.0 ha) in the far south. About 60% of the coastal region is owned by a government or private agency that does not allow any development. The majority of the interior region is part of the Los Padres National Forest, the Ventana Wilderness, Silver Peak Wilderness, or Fort Hunter Liggett.

When the region was ceded by Mexico to the United States in 1848, it was the United States' "last frontier."[8] The region remained one of the most isolated areas of California and the United States until, after 18 years of construction, the Carmel–San Simeon Highway (now signed as part of State Route 1) was completed in 1937. The highway has been closed on numerous occasions due to weather and geological hazards and incidents, including a 2 million cubic foot landslide in 2017 that is not expected to be fixed until 2018.

The original Spanish-language name for the unexplored mountainous terrain south of Monterey, the capital of Alta California, was "el país grande del sur" meaning, "the big country of the south."[4] It was Anglicized by English-speaking settlers as Big Sur.



Big Sur is not an incorporated town, but an area without formal boundaries on the Central Coast of California.[9] The boundaries of the region have gradually expanded north and south over time. Esther Pfeiffer Ewoldson, who was born in 1904 and was a granddaughter of Big Sur pioneers Micheal and Barbara Pfeiffer, wrote that the region extended from the Little Sur River 23 miles (37 km) south to Slates Hot Springs. Members of the Harlen family who homesteaded the Lucia region 9 miles (14 km) south of Slates Hot Springs, said that Big Sur was "miles and miles to the north of us."[10]:6 Prior to the construction of Highway 1, the residents on the south coast had little contact with the residents to the north of them.[10] Later on the northern border was extended as far north as Malpaso Creek, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) south of Carmel River. Most current descriptions of the area refer to Malpaso Creek in Monterey County as the northern border.[11] The southern border is generally accepted to be San Carpóforo Creek in San Luis Obispo County.[12] Author Lillian Ross described Big Sur "not a place at all but a state of mind."[13]

Because the vast majority of visitors only see Big Sur's dramatic coastline, some consider the eastern border of Big Sur to be the coastal flanks of the Santa Lucia Mountains, only 3 to 12 miles (5 to 19 km) inland.[14] Visitors sometimes mistakenly believe that Big Sur refers to the small community of buildings and services near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, known to locals as Big Sur Village.[15] Author and Big Sur historian Jeff Norman considered Big Sur to extend inland to include the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean.[16] Others include the vast inland areas comprising the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, Silver Peak Wilderness, and Fort Hunter Liggett about 20 miles (30 km) inland to the eastern foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains.[4]


Big Sur: rocky coast, fog and giant kelp.

The Portolá expedition who first explored the Spanish colony of Alta California were forced to bypass the inaccessible coast and travel around the region, inland through the San Antonio and Salinas Valleys before arriving at Monterey Bay, where they founded Monterey and named it their capital.[17] They referred to the vast, relatively unexplored, coastal region to the south as el país grande del sur, meaning "the big country of the south". This was often shortened to el sur grande.[18][19] Other sources report that the region was simply called "el sur" (the south), and the two major rivers El Rio Grande del Sur and El Rio Chiquito del Sur.[16]:7

When English-speaking immigrants settled the region, they Anglicized the Spanish name to "Big Sur". The locals petitioned the United States Post Office in Washington D.C. to use the name Big Sur, and the rubber stamp was returned in 1915, cementing the name in place.[10]:8[16]:7


Big Sur Coast looking north towards Bixby Creek Bridge

The coast is the "longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the [contiguous] United States."[1] The Big Sur region has been described as a "national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development."[2] The New York Times wrote that it is "one of the most stunning meetings of land and sea in the world."[20] The Washington Times stated that it is "one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation."[3]

Novelist Herbert Gold described Big Sur as "one of the grand American retreats for those who nourish themselves with wilderness."[21]

Scenic designationsEdit

The section of Highway 1 running through Big Sur is widely considered as one of the most scenic driving routes in the United States, if not the world.[22][23][24] It is considered to be one of the top 10 motorcycle rides in the United States.[25]

The 72 miles (116 km) section of the highway from Cambria to Carmel Highlands was the first in the state to be designated as a Scenic Highway in 1965.[26][27] No billboards or advertisements are permitted along the highway. In 1966 first lady Lady Bird Johnson led the official scenic road designation ceremony at Bixby Creek Bridge.[28] It has also been designated as an All-American Road, making it among the nation's most scenic drives.[29][30] Highway 1 was named the most popular drive in California in 2014 by American Automobile Association.

Driving attractionEdit

The drive along Highway 1 has been described as "one of the best drives on Earth."[31] The views are one reason that Big Sur was ranked second among all United States destinations in TripAdvisor's 2008 Travelers' Choice Destination Awards.[32]

Although some Big Sur residents catered to adventurous travelers in the early twentieth century,[10]:10 the modern tourist economy began when Highway 1 opened the region to automobiles in 1937, but only took off after World War II-era gasoline rationing ended in the mid-1940s. In 1978, about 1.5 million visitors are estimated to have visited the Big Sur Coast.[33] In 1980, that number had grown to about 3 million visitors a year.[34] Most of the 3 to 4 million tourists who currently visit Big Sur each year never leave Highway 1, because the adjacent Santa Lucia Range is one of the largest roadless areas near a coast in the entire United States. The highway winds along the western flank of the mountains mostly within sight of the Pacific Ocean, varying from near sea level up to a thousand-foot sheer drop to the water. The highway includes a large number of vista points allowing motorists to stop and admire the landscape.[35]


Despite and because of its popularity, the region is heavily protected to preserve the rural and natural character of the land. The Big Sur Local Coastal Program, approved by Monterey County Supervisors in 1981, states the region is meant to be an experience that visitors transit through, not a destination. For that reason, development of all kinds is severely restricted.[36]


Bixby Creek Bridge, shown here looking southwest, is a popular attraction in Big Sur
Bixby Creek Bridge at night

Besides sightseeing from the highway, Big Sur offers hiking, mountain climbing, and other outdoor activities. There are a large number of state and federal lands and parks, including McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, one of only two waterfalls on the Pacific Coast that plunge directly into the ocean. The waterfall is located near the foundation of a grand stone cliffside house built in 1940 by Lathrop and Hélène Hooper Brown that was the region's first electrified home.

Another notable landmark is Point Sur Lightstation, the only complete nineteenth century lighthouse complex open to the public in California.[37]

Santa Lucia Range from Nepenthe restaurant.

Places of contemplationEdit

Esalen, evening aerial view.

Among the places that draw visitors are the counter-culture Esalen Institute, the luxury Ventana Inn, the Nepenthe Restaurant, built around the house Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth bought to celebrate their six-month-long affair, and far from the coast in the Las Padres forest, the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. Esalen hosted many figures of the nascent "New Age", and in the 1960s, played an important role in popularizing Eastern philosophies, the "Human Potential Movement", and Gestalt therapy in the United States.[21]

Big Sur also is the location of a Catholic monastery, the New Camaldoli Hermitage. The Hermitage in Big Sur was founded in 1957.[38]

Historic menu cover from Nepenthe restaurant, a Big Sur icon since 1949.[39]
McWay Falls and Cove, Big Sur


There are a few small, scenic beaches that are accessible to the public and popular for walking, but usually unsuitable for swimming because of unpredictable currents, frigid temperatures, and dangerous surf.[40] The beach at Garrapata State Park is sometimes rated as the best beach in Big Sur. Depending on the season, visitors can view sea otters, sea lions, seals and migrating whales from the beach. The beach is barely visible from the Highway One.[40]

Pfeiffer Beach is accessible by driving 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of the entrance to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on Highway 1, and turning west on the unmarked Sycamore Canyon Road. The beach is at the end of the road. The wide sandy expanse with views of a scenic arch rock offshore is a favorite among local residents. It is sometimes confused with the beach at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to the south.[40]

In the south, Sand Dollar Beach is the longest stretch of beach in Big Sur. It is popular with hikers and photographers for its views of nearby bluffs. The beach is 25 miles (40 km) south of the Big Sur village on Highway 1. A steep staircase leads down to the beach from the highway.[40]

Two beaches are surrounded by private land owned by the El Sur Ranch and are inaccessible to the public. The first is the beach at the mouth of the Little Sur River. Another is Point Sur Beach, a long sandy beach located below and to the north of Point Sur Lighthouse. Fences around the beaches are posted with “Private Property” and “No Trespassing” signs.[41]

Three other beaches are inaccessible to the public. Swiss Canyon Beach is north of Andrew Molera State Park. McWay Beach at the foot of McWay falls is not accessible from the shore. And to the south near the county line, Gamboa Point Beach is also closed to the public.[41]

Few visitors' servicesEdit

The land use restrictions that preserve Big Sur's natural beauty also mean that visitor accommodations are limited, often expensive, and places to stay fill up quickly during the busy summer season. There are no urban areas, just three small clusters of gas stations, restaurants, and motels: Posts in the Big Sur River valley, Lucia, near Limekiln State Park, and Gorda, on the southern coast.

There are nine small grocery stores, three filling stations, a few gift shops, and no chain hotels, supermarkets, or fast-food outlets, and no plans to add facilities or shopping.[43][44][45] The filling station in Gorda has one of the highest prices in the United States, as it is far from the electrical grid and part of the cost of auto fuel is used to support operation of a Diesel generator.[46][47] Depending on the carrier, there is mobile phone service along much of the highway, except for south of Lucia.[19]

Limited accommodationsEdit

There are fewer than 300 hotel rooms on the entire 90-mile (140 km) stretch of Highway 1 between San Simeon and Carmel. Lodging include a few cabins, motels, and campgrounds, and higher-end resorts.

Short term rental controversy

In 2015, Monterey County began considering how to deal with the issue of short term rentals brought on by services such as Airbnb. They agreed to allow rentals as long as the owners paid the Transient Occupancy Tax. In 1990, there were about 800 housing units in Big Sur, about 600 of which were single family dwellings.[44][48] There are currently an estimated 100 short term rentals available.[49]

Many residents of Big Sur object to the rentals. They claim short term rentals violate the Big Sur Local Use Plan which prohibits establishing facilities that attract destination traffic. Short term rentals also remove scarce residences from the rental market and are likely to drive up demand and the cost of housing. About half of the residents of Big Sur rent their residences.[49]

The Big Sur coastal land use plan states:

The significance of the residential areas for planning purposes is that they have the capacity, to some extent, to accommodate additional residential demand. Unlike the larger properties or commercial centers, they are not well suited for commercial agriculture, commercial, or visitor uses (author’s emphasis); use of these areas, to the extent consistent with resource protection, should continue to be for residential purposes.[50]

As of 2016, the county was conducting hearings and gathering input towards making a decision about short-term rentals on the Big Sur coast.[51] Susan Craig, Central Coast District Manager of the California Coastal Commission, provided the opinion that short term rentals are appropriate within Big Sur.[52]

Flora and faunaEdit

Big Sur Coast looking south near Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

The many climates of Big Sur result in a great biodiversity, including many rare and endangered species such as the wild orchid Piperia yadonii, which is found only on the Monterey Peninsula and on Rocky Ridge in the Los Padres forest. Arid, dusty chaparral-covered hills exist within easy walking distance of lush riparian woodland. Fort Hunter-Liggett is host to about one-fourth of all Tule elk found in California, and provides roosting places for and bald eagles and endangered condors. It also is home to some of the healthiest stands of live valley and blue oaks.[53]

Southern limit of Redwood treesEdit

The mountains trap most of the moisture out of the clouds; fog in summer, rain and snow in winter. This creates a favorable environment for coniferous forests, including the southernmost habitat of the coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens), which grows only on lower coastal slopes that are routinely fogged in at night. Some redwood trees were logged in the early twentieth century but many inaccessible locations were never logged, and in 2008 scientist J. Michael Fay published a map of the old growth redwoods based on his transect of the entire redwood range.[54] The southernmost naturally occurring grove is in the Southern Redwood Botanical Area, just north of the Los Padres National Forest's Salmon Creek trailhead.[55] The southernmost tree is about 15 feet from California State Route 1 at the approximate coordinates 35°49'42 N 121°23'14 W.

Rare speciesEdit

The rare Santa Lucia fir (Abies bracteata) is found only in the Santa Lucia mountains. A common "foreign" species is the Monterey pine (Pinus radiata), which was uncommon in Big Sur until the late nineteenth century, though its major native habitat is only a few miles upwind on the Monterey Peninsula, when many homeowners began to plant the quick-growing tree as a windbreak. There are many broadleaved trees as well, such as the tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus), coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), and California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica). In the rain shadow, the forests disappear and the vegetation becomes open oak woodland, then transitions into the more familiar fire-tolerant California chaparral scrub.


A harbor seal on a Big Sur beach

The region was historically populated by grizzly bears who regularly preyed on livestock until the early 20th century. The European settlers paid bounties on them.[10]:4 The Pfeiffer family would fill a bait ball of swine entrails with strychnine and hang it from a tree. The last Grizzly Bear in Monterey County was seen in 1941 on the Cooper Ranch near the mouth of the Little Sur River.[56] :21 In the past 25 years, American black bears have been sighted in the area, likely expanding their range from southern California and filling in the ecological niche left when the Grizzly bear was exterminated.[4]:261

The Big Sur River watershed provides habitat for mountain lion, deer, fox, coyotes and non-native wild boars. The boars, of Russian stock, were introduced in the 1920s by George Gordon Moore, the owner of Rancho San Carlos.[57] The upstream river canyon is characteristic of the Ventana Wilderness region: steep-sided, sharp-crested ridges separating valleys.[58] Because most of the upper reaches of the Big Sur River watershed are within the Los Padres National Forest and the Ventana Wilderness, much of the river is in pristine condition.


The California Department of Fish and Game says the Little Sur River is the "most important spawning stream for Steelhead" distinct population segment on the Central Coast, where the fish is listed as threatened.[59] and that it "is one of the best steelhead streams in the county."[60]:166 The Big Sur River is also a key habitat for the steelhead.[61][62]

A US fisheries service report estimates that the number of trout in the entire south-central coast area—including the Pajaro River, Salinas River, Carmel River, Big Sur River, and Little Sur River—have dwindled from about 4,750 fish in 1965 to about 800 in 2005.

Numerous fauna are found in the Big Sur region. Among amphibians the California giant salamander (Dicamptodon ensatus) is found here, which point marks the southern extent of its range.[63]

California Condor

The California condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is a critically endangered species that was near extinction when the remaining wild birds were captured. A captive breeding program was begun in 1987. After some success, a few birds were released in 1991 and 1992 in Big Sur, and again in 1996 in Arizona near the Grand Canyon.[64]

In 1997, the Ventana Wildlife Society began releasing captive-bred California Condors in Big Sur. The birds take six years to mature before they can produce offspring, and a nest was discovered in a redwood tree in 2006.[65][66] This was the first time in more than 100 years in which a pair of California condors had been seen nesting in Northern California.[67] The repopulation effort has been successful in part because a significant portion of the birds' diet includes carcasses of large sea creatures that have washed ashore, which are unlikely to be contaminated with lead, the principal cause of the bird's mortality.[68]

As of July 2014, the Ventana Wildlife Society managed 34 free-flying condors.[69] There were part of a total population of 437 condors spread over California, Baja California and Arizona, of which 232 are wild birds and 205 are in captivity.[70]

Marine protected areasEdit

The off-shore region of the Big Sur Coast is protected by the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Within that sanctuary are other conservation areas and parks. The onshore topography that drops abruptly into the Pacific continues offshore where a narrow continental shelf drops to the continental slope in only a few miles. The ocean reaches a depth of more than 12,000 feet (3,700 m) just 50 miles (80 km) offshore. Two deep submarine canyons cut into the shelf near the Big Sur coast: the Sur Submarine Canyon, reaching a depth of 3000 ft (914 m) just 8 miles (13 km) south of Point Sur, and Partington Submarine Canyon, which reaches a similar depth of 6.8 miles (11 km) offshore of Grimes Canyon.[4]

Like underwater parks, these marine protected areas help conserve ocean wildlife and marine ecosystems.

Fire impactEdit

FEMA team assesses wildfire damage after the Basin Fire, 2008

Fire plays a key role in the ecology of the upper slopes of the Big Sur region's mountains where chaparral dominates the landscape.[71] Native Americans burned chaparral to promote grasslands for textiles and food.[72] In the lower elevations and canyons, the California Redwood is often found. Its thick bark, along with foliage that starts high above the ground, protect the species from both fire and insect damage, contributing to the coast redwood's longevity.[73] Fire appears to benefit redwoods by removing competitive species. A 2010 study compared post-wildfire survival and regeneration of redwood and associated species. It concluded that fires of all severity increase the relative abundance of redwood and higher-severity fires provide the greatest benefit.[74]

In modern history, fires are known to have burned the Big Sur area multiple times. In 1885, 1894, and 1898 fires burned without any effort by the few local residents to put them out, except to save their buildings.[75] In 1903, a fire burned for three months, the result of an unextinguished campfire. In 1906, a fire that began in Palo Colorado Canyon from the embers of a campfire burned for 35 days, scorching an estimated 150,000 acres (61,000 ha), and was finally extinguished by the first rainfall of the season.[76]

In recent history, the area has been struck by the Marble Cone fire in 1977, the Rat Creek Gorda Complex fire in 1985, the Kirk Complex fire in 1999, the Basin Complex fire in 2008, and the Soberanes Fire in 2016.[77]

Basin Complex Fire
The 2016 Soberanes fire tops a ridge covered in fire retardant adjacent to the Pacific Ocean.

The Basin Complex Fire forced an eight-day evacuation of Big Sur and the closure of Highway 1, beginning just before the July 4, 2008 holiday weekend.[78] The fire, which burned over 130,000 acres (53,000 ha), represented the largest of many lightning-caused wildfires that had broken out throughout California during the same period.[79] Although the fire caused no loss of life, it destroyed 27 homes, and the tourist-dependent economy lost about a third of its expected summer revenue.[80][81]

Soberanes Fire

The July 2016 Soberanes Fire was caused by unknown individuals who started and lost control of an illegal campfire in the Garrapata Creek watershed. After it burned 57 homes in the Garrapata and Palo Colorado Canyon areas, fire fighters were able to build lines around parts of the Big Sur community. A bulldozer operator was killed when his equipment overturned during night operations in Palo Colorado Canyon.

Coast residents east of Highway 1 were required to evacuate for short periods, and Highway 1 was shut down at intervals over several days to allow firefighters to conduct backfire operations. Visitors avoided the area and tourism revenue was impacted for several weeks.[82]

Big Sur land useEdit

Looking south from Carmel River mouth toward the Point Lobos Ranch and the Santa Lucia Mountains

The first master plan for the Big Sur coast was written in 1962 by architect and part-time local resident Nathaniel A. Owings. In 1977 a small group of local Big Sur residents were appointed by Monterey County to the Big Sur Citizens’ Advisory Committee. Committee members met with Big Sur residents and county administrators to draft a new land use plan.[9]

Local plan approvedEdit

The Big Sur Citizens’ Advisory Committee wrote the Big Sur Local Coastal Program with the goal to conserve scenic views and the unparalleled beauty of the area. They developed the plan over four years which included several months of public hearings and discussion, including considerable input from the residents of Big Sur. It states that region is to be preserved as "open space, a small residential community, and agricultural ranching."[5] The plan was approved in 1981 and is one of the most restrictive local use programs in the state,[6][83] and is widely regarded as one of the most restrictive documents of its kind anywhere.[7]

The local land use plan was approved by the Coastal Commission in April 1986. The plan bans all development west of Highway 1 with the exception of the Big Sur Valley. The plan states,

Recognizing the Big Sur coast's outstanding scenic beauty and its great benefit to the people of the State and the Nation, it is the County's objective to preserve these scenic resources in perpetuity and to promote, wherever possible, the restoration of the natural beauty of visually degraded areas.

The County's basic policy is to prohibit all future public or private development visible from Highway 1 and major public viewing areas.[84]

Major public viewing areas include not only highways, but beaches, parks, campgrounds, and major trails, with a few exceptions.[6] It also protects views of Mount Pico Blanco from the Old Coast Road.[50] It allows limited amounts of additional commercial development, but only in four existing areas — Big Sur Valley, Lucia, Pacific Valley, and Gorda.[84][2]

The key provisions of the Big Sur Local Coastal Program that generated the most controversy set density requirements for future building. In areas west of Highway 1, any subdivision of an existing parcels must be at least 40 acres (16 ha). For parcels east of Highway 1, the plan limited parcel size based on slope. Most land is limited to a minimum subdivision of 320 acres (130 ha), although parcels with minimal slope may be subdivided to 40 acres (16 ha). Based on these rules, a coastal commission staff person calculated that only about 12 new parcels could be subdivided within the entire 234 square miles (610 km2) Big Sur coastal planning area.[85]

For dwellings, the limit in tourist areas is one living unit per acre. West of Highway 1, density is limited to one unit per 2.5 acres (1.0 ha), and east of the highway to one unit per 5 acres (2.0 ha). In established communities like Palo Colorado and the Big Sur Valley, only one living unit per 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) is permitted. South of Big Sur Valley, the limit is set to one unit per 5 acres (2.0 ha), and in the far south of the region, only one unit per 10 acres (4.0 ha) is allowed.[9]

Transfer of development rightsEdit

To mitigate the impact on landowners who lost the right to build on their property due to the view shed restrictions, the county adopted an unusual transfer of development rights ordinance. It allows the owner of a property that cannot be developed to transfer that right to another piece of land where building is permitted. To take advantage of the transfer, the owner must dedicate a permanent, irrevocable scenic easement to the county that prohibits residential and commercial use of the property. To encourage adoption of the land use policy, the county offered landowners a two-for-one transfer ratio. Planners recognize that a view of the ocean is worth twice an inland view.[86] For each buildable parcel given up by an owner, they receive the right to transfer their credit to two locations, as long as the usage meets the land use policy restrictions such as density.[43][87] As of 2014, eight impacted parcels have been leveraged into 16 transfer rights, and nine of those have been used since the program was implemented in 1988.[86]

Federal legislation proposedEdit

Several proposals for federal administration of Big Sur have emerged in the past. All of these have been strongly opposed by county officials, local residents, and property owners.

Big Sur National Scenic Area

In January 1980, while the local leaders worked on their local use plan, U.S. Senator Alan Cranston and U.S. Representative Leon Panetta introduced S.2551 that would create the Big Sur National Scenic Area. The bill would create a 700,000 acres (280,000 ha) scenic area administered by the U.S. Forest Service and budgeted $100 million to buy land from private land owners. The bill was strongly supported by photographer and Carmel Highlands, California resident Ansel Adams, but it was opposed by Senator S. I. Hayakawa and development interests. In February 1980, the Wilderness Society announced its backing for a National Scenic Area in Big Sur. Both the legislation and Wilderness Society proposal were opposed by Big Sur Residents and the legislation did not reach a vote.[88][89][90]

National Forest Scenic Area

In March 1986 California Senator Pete Wilson announced that he planned to introduce federal legislation that would preserved 144,000 acres (58,000 ha) of Big Sur as a National Forest Scenic Area. His plan would have created a Big Sur-based land trust funded by private donations to purchase private property. It was opposed by local residents and politicians who preferred local control. It failed to garner enough votes for consideration.[91][89]

Big Sur National Forest

In 2004, Senator Sam Farr asked the U.S. Forest Service to study how a Big Sur National Forest could be created. They explored options including the Hearst Ranch and Ft. Hunter Liggett if it was the subject of a base closure.[53] Farr did not act on their report until 2011, when he introduced H.R. 4040, the "Big Sur Management Unit Act". It would have created a sub-unit of the Los Padres National Forest. Big Sur residents opposed the legislation in part because when land is designated for wilderness, firefighters must obtain the permission of the Regional Forester to operate heavy equipment such as bulldozers within the wilderness. They contend this bureaucratic chain-of-command slows firefighters' ability to build fire breaks, which they contend occurred during the 2008 Basin Complex Fire. They also expressed concern that federal government doesn't have the resources to manage land it already oversees. They were also distrustful of federal oversight of their local lands.[92][93]

Land ownershipEdit

The bay at the mouth of San Carpoforo Creek, considered to be the southern boundary of Big Sur.

The majority of the Big Sur coast and interior are owned by the California State Department of Parks and Recreation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, the Big Sur Land Trust, and the University of California. Approximately two-thirds of the Big Sur coastal area, totaling about 500,000 acres (200,000 ha), extending from Malpaso Creek in the north to San Carpóforo Canyon in the south, are preserved under various federal, state, county, and private arrangements.[9][44][50]

As of 2016, if public acquisitions now contemplated or in progress are completed, approximately 60% of the land west of the coastal ridge would be publicly owned, although not necessarily open to the public.[44][48] For example, the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve is owned and managed by the University of California Natural Reserve System and the University of California, Santa Cruz. The reserve is only available for research or educational purposes except for a single day each year in May when it is open to the public. Reservations must be made in advance.[94][95] The Big Sur Land Trust owns several parcels of land such as the Glen Deven Ranch and Notley's Landing that are closed to the public or only open to its members.[96]

Mining and oil explorationEdit

Mount Pico Blanco is topped by a distinctive white limestone cap, visible from California's Highway One.[97] The Granite Rock Company of Watsonville, California has since 1963 owned the mineral rights to 2,800 acres (1,100 ha), or all of section 36, which sits astride and surrounds the summit of Pico Blanco Mountain. Limestone is a key ingredient in concrete and Pico Blanco contains a particularly high grade deposit, reportedly the largest in California,[98] and the largest west of the Rocky Mountains.[99] In 1980 Granite Rock applied for a permit from the U.S. Forest Service to begin excavating a 5-acre (2.0 ha) quarry on the south face of Pico Blanco within the National Forest boundary.[50]

After the Forest Service granted the permit, the California Coastal Commission required Graniterock to apply for a coastal development permit in accordance with the requirements of the California Coastal Act. Granite Rock filed suit, claiming that the Coastal Commission permit requirement was preempted by the Forest Service review. When Granite Rock prevailed in the lower courts, the Coastal Commission appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, which in a historic 5–4 decision in 1987, found in favor of the commission.[100]

By this time Granite Rock's permit had expired. In 2010, the company's president stated that he believed that at some point the company would be allowed to extract the limestone in a way that doesn't harm the environment.[100][101] As of 2017, they still own the land, which is zoned WSC/40-D(CZ) for Watershed and Scenic Conservation.[50]

There are oil and gas reserves off the coast, but exploration has not been permitted. In 1982, Interior Secretary James G. Watt proposed opening the Central California coast outer continental shelf to oil and gas exploration.[50] California residents and politicians strongly opposed the proposal and it was defeated.[102] In 1990, President George H. W. Bush used an obscure 1953 law to permanently ban oil and gas development in California’s Monterey Bay. In November, 2017, President Obama used the same law to ban oil exploration from Hearst Castle to Point Arena in Mendocino County, California.[103]

In July 2017, under the direction of Executive Order 13795 from President Donald Trump, the U.S. Department of Commerce began re-evaluating the protected status of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which includes the Davidson Seamount off the coast of Big Sur. The seamount, at 23 nmi (43 km; 26 mi) long, 7 nmi (13 km; 8.1 mi) wide, and 7,480 feet (2,280 m) high, is one of the largest in the world. Opening the area to oil and gas exploration was opposed by many environmentalists and residents.[104]

Real estateEdit

Due to development restrictions, real estate prices are high. As of 2016, the median price of property is $1,813,846, and the average price is $3,942,371. The average home sold is 1,580 square feet (147 m2) and has 2.39 bedrooms. The median lot size is 436,086 square feet (40,513.7 m2), or just over 10 acres (4.0 ha).[105] Less than half of the land along the coast is privately owned. The remainder is part of the federal or state park systems or owned by other agencies, while the interior is largely part of the Los Padres National Forest, Ventana Wilderness, Silver Peak Wilderness, and Fort Hunter Liggett.

About 76% of the local population is dependent on the hospitality industry. Due to the shortage of housing and the high cost of rents, some of them have to move out of the area and commute 50 miles (80 km) or more to their work.[106]

As of 2016 there are about 1,100 private land parcels on the Big Sur Coast. These are from less than an acre to several thousands of acres. Approximately 790 parcels are undeveloped. Many of the developed parcels have more than one residence or commercial building on them. Residential areas include Otter Cove, Garrapata Ridge and the adjacent Rocky Point, Garrapata and Palo Colorado Canyons, Bixby Canyon, Pfeiffer Ridge and Sycamore Canyon, Coastlands, Partington Ridge, Burns Creek, Buck Creek to Lime Creek, Plaskett Ridge, and Redwood Gulch.[44]

Small parcels of 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) or less are generally located near the highway, including Palo Colorado Canyon, Garrapata Redwood, Rocky Point, Big Sur Valley, Coastlands and Partington. These areas have the greatest number of developed parcels.[44]

Coastal trailEdit

In 1972, California voters passed Proposition 20, calling for establishing a coastal trail system.[107] It stipulated that "a hiking, bicycle, and equestrian trails system be established along or near the coast" and that "ideally the trails system should be continuous and located near the shoreline." The California Coastal Act of 1976 requires local jurisdictions to identify an alignment for the California Coastal Trail in their Local Coastal Programs.[108] In 2001, California legislators passed SB 908 which gave the Coastal Conservancy responsibility for completing the trail.[109]

In Monterey County, the trail is being developed in two sections: the Big Sur Trail and the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Trail.[107] In 2007, the Coastal Conservancy began to develop a master plan for the 75 miles (121 km) stretch of coast through Big Sur from near Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County to the Carmel River.[110] A coalition of Big Sur residents began developing a master plan to accommodate the interests and concerns of coastal residents,[107] but progress on an official trail stalled.

The coastal trail plan is intended to be respectful of the private landowner's rights.[108] One of the largest private land holdings along the coast is El Sur Ranch. It extends about 6 miles (9.7 km) along Highway 1, from near the Point Sur Lighthouse to the mouth of the Little Sur River at Hurricane Point, and it reaches 2.5 miles (4.0 km) up the Little Sur valley to the border of the Los Padre National Forest.[111] The landowner Jim Hill supports the trail, but his land is already crossed by two public routes, Highway 1 and the Old Coast Highway. He is opposed to another public right-of-way through the ranch.[112] In 2008, Representative Sam Farr from Carmel told attendees at a meeting in Big Sur that "I don't think you're going to see an end-to-end trail anytime in the near future." He said, "The regulatory hassle is unbelievable. It's like we're building an interstate freeway."[107] Within Monterey County, about 20 miles (32 km) of the trail would cross private lands.[113]

The acquisition of lands by the Big Sur Land Trust and others has created a 70 miles (110 km) long wildland corridor that begins at the Carmel River and extends southward to the Hearst Ranch in San Luis Obispo County. From the north, the wild land corridor is continuous through Palo Corona Ranch, Point Lobos Ranch, Garrapata State Park, Joshua Creek Ecological Preserve, Mittledorf Preserve, Glen Deven Ranch, Brazil Ranch, Los Padres National Forest, and the Ventana Wilderness.[114] Many of these lands are distant from the coast, and the coastal trail plan calls for placing the trail, "Wherever feasible, ... within sight, sound, or at least the scent of the sea. The traveler should have a persisting awareness of the Pacific Ocean. It is the presence of the ocean that distinguishes the seaside trail from other visitor destinations."[108]

As an alternative to the trail called for by the act, hikers have adopted a route that utilizes existing roads and inland trails. The trail currently follows State Highway One and the Old Coast Road from Bixby Bridge. The trail south of Bixby Creek enters Brazil Ranch, which requires permission to enter. From Brazil Ranch the trail drops back to Highway One at Andrew Molera State Park. From Highway One, the trail then follows the Coast Ridge Road from the Ventana Inn area to Kirk Creek Campground. The trail then moves inland and follows the Cruikshank and Buckeye trails on the Santa Lucia Mountain ridges to the San Luis Obispo County line.[115][116]

Special eventsEdit

Big Sur Folk Festival Edit

Nancy Carlen, a friend of singer Joan Baez, organized a weekend seminar at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur in June 1964 titled "The New Folk Music". Sunday afternoon they invited all the neighbors for a free, open performance. This became the first festival.[117]

The Big Sur Folk Festival featured a lineup of emerging and established artists, including Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, The Beach Boys, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Country Joe McDonald, John Sebastian, Arlo Guthrie, Dorothy Morrison & the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Julie Payne, and Richard and Mimi Fariña. The festival was held yearly on the grounds of the Esalen Institute, except for 1970, when it was held at the Monterey County Fairgrounds.

The concerts were small events emphasizing quality and atmosphere over publicity and commercial profit. Even when then well-known acts like Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or the Beach Boys performed, the event was purposefully kept small with no more than a few thousand in attendance.[118] The last festival was held in 1971.

Big Sur International MarathonEdit

The Big Sur Marathon is an annual marathon that begins south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and ends at the Crossroads Shopping Center in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. The marathon was established in 1986 and attracts about 4,500 participants annually.[119]



Pictures taken on afternoons in March (upper) and October (lower). The October picture shows a typical fog bank nearly 1,000 feet (300 m) thick. Note the difference in vegetation between the winter rainy season and early fall.

Big Sur typically enjoys a mild climate year-round, with a sunny, dry summer and fall, and a cool, wet winter. Coastal temperatures range from the 50s at night to the 70s by day (Fahrenheit) from June through October, and in the 40s to 60s from November through May. Farther inland, away from the ocean's moderating influence, temperatures are much more variable. The weather varies widely due to the influence of the jagged topography, creating many microclimates. This is one of the few places on Earth where redwoods grow in close proximity to cacti.[citation needed]

Big Sur Coast after a wet winter, photo taken April 1969


The record maximum temperature was 102 °F (38.9 °C) on June 20, 2008, and the record low was 27 °F (−2.8 °C), recorded on December 21, 1998, and January 13, 2007. Average annual precipitation at the state park headquarters is 41.94 inches (1,065 mm). The wettest calendar year on record was 1983, when it rained 88.85 inches (2,257 mm). The driest year on record is 1990, with only 17.90 inches (455 mm). In January 1995 it rained a record 26.47 inches (672 mm). More than 70 percent of the rain falls from December through March. The summer is generally dry. Snowfall is rare on the coast, but is common in the winter months on the higher ridges of the Santa Lucia Range.[120]


The Santa Lucia Mountains rise suddenly from the Pacific Ocean, creating a steep coastline. The mountains contain some of the most complex geology in California. The range is made up of rock originating in seafloor volcanoes, ancient mountains, stream beds, and seafloor sediment. The region is laced with a series of faults. Some geologists believe that the rock underlying the mountains was originally located 1,800 miles (2,900 km) to the south, near the southern end of the present-day Sierra Nevada Mountains, and may have been buried as deep as 14 miles (23 km) beneath the surface.[4]:7–8 The rock is believed to be from 15 to 21 million years old and had been moved north by transform motion along the San Andreas Fault system.

The Palo Colorado-San Gregorio fault system transitions onshore at Doud Creek, about 7 miles (11 km) south of Point Lobos,[121] exposing the western edge of the Salinian block. Stream canyons frequently follow the north-westerly trending fault lines, rather than descending directly to the coast. The Salinian block is immediately south of the Monterey Submarine Canyon, one of the largest submarine canyon systems in the world, which is believed to have been an ancient outlet for the Colorado River.[121]:14

The region is also traversed by the Sur-Hill fault, which is noticeable at Pfeiffer Falls in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The 40 feet (12 m) waterfall were formed when the stream flowed over the hard gneiss of the Salinian block and encountered the softer Santa Margarita Sandstone. The falls were formed when the softer sandstone was worn away.[4]:325 The interior canyons are typically deep and narrow, and even in the summer sunshine only reaches many of the canyon bottoms for a few hours. The land is mostly steep, rocky, semi-arid except for the narrow canyons, and inaccessible. The Little Sur River canyon is characteristic of the Ventana Wilderness region: steep-sided, sharp-crested ridges separating valleys.[58] At the mouth of the Little Sur river are some of the largest sand dunes on the Big Sur coast.[4]:355

Marine influenceEdit

Along with much of the central and northern California coast, Big Sur frequently has dense fog in summer. The summer fog and summer drought have the same underlying cause: a massive, stable seasonal high pressure system that forms over the north Pacific Ocean. The high pressure cell inhibits rainfall and generates northwesterly air flow. These prevailing summer winds from the northwest drive the ocean surface water slightly offshore (through the Ekman effect) which generates an upwelling of colder sub surface water. The water vapor in the air contacting this cold water condenses into fog.[4]: 33–35 The fog usually moves out to sea during the day and closes in at night, but sometimes heavy fog blankets the coast all day. Fog is an essential summer water source for many Big Sur coastal plants. While few plants can take water directly out of the air, water condensation on leaf surfaces slowly precipitates into the ground like rain.[citation needed]


The Santa Lucia range rises to more than 5,800 ft (1760 m), and the amount of rainfall greatly increases as the elevation rises and cools the air. At Pfeiffer–Big Sur State Park on the coast, rainfall averaged about 43 in. (109 cm) annually from 1914 to 1987. Scientists estimate that about 90 in. (230 cm) falls on average near the ridge tops. But actual totals vary considerably.[4]

Monterey County maintains a remote rain gauge for flood prediction on Mining Ridge at 4,000 ft (1200 m) near Cone Peak. The gauge frequently receives more rain than any gauge in the San Francisco Bay Area.[4][122] During the winter of 1982–1983, it rained more than 178 in. (452 cm) but the total is unknown because the rain gauge failed at that point. In 1975–1976, it rained only 15 in. (39 cm) at Pfeiffer–Big Sur State Park, compared to 85 in. (216 cm) in 1982–1983. Rainfall amounts decrease sharply inland away from the coast.[4]


Native AmericansEdit

Three tribes of Native Americans — the Ohlone, Esselen, and Salinan — are the first known people to have inhabited the area. The Ohlone, also known as the Costanoans, are believed to have lived in the region from San Francisco to Point Sur. The Esselen lived in the area between Point Sur south to Big Creek, and inland including the upper tributaries of the Carmel River and Arroyo Seco watersheds. The Salinan lived from Big Creek south to San Carpóforo Creek.[124] Archaeological evidence shows that the Esselen lived in Big Sur as early as 3500 BC, leading a nomadic, hunter-gatherer existence.[125][126]

The aboriginal people inhabited fixed village locations, and followed food sources seasonally, living near the coast in winter to harvest rich stocks of otter, mussels, abalone, and other sea life. In the summer and fall, they traveled inland to gather acorns and hunt deer.[127] The native people hollowed mortar holes into large exposed rocks or boulders which they used to grind the acorns into flour. These can be found throughout the region. Arrows were of made of cane and pointed with hardwood foreshafts.[127] The tribes also used controlled burning techniques to increase tree growth and food production.[4]: 269–270

The population was limited as the Santa Lucia Mountains made the area relatively inaccessible and long-term habitation a challenge. Their natives who lived in the Big Sur area are estimated from a few hundred to a thousand or more.[128][129]

Spanish exploration and settlementEdit

The first Europeans to see Big Sur were Spanish mariners led by Juan Cabrillo in 1542, who sailed up the coast without landing. Two centuries passed before the Spaniards attempted to colonize the area. On September 13, 1769, an expedition led by Gaspar de Portolà were the first Europeans to enter the Big Sur region when they arrived at San Carpóforo Canyon.[4]: 272 While camping there, they were visited by six indigenous people who offered pinole and fish and received beads in exchange. The Spanish elected to turn east, where they thought the saw a break in the mountains, and were forced to "make a road with crowbar and pickaxe".[130][131] Thirteen days later they reached the Salinas Valley.

When the Spanish colonized the region beginning in 1770 and established the California missions, they baptized and forced the native population to labor at the missions. While living at the missions, the aboriginal population was exposed to unknown diseases like smallpox and measles for which they had no immunity, devastating the Native American population and their culture. Many of the remaining Native Americans assimilated with Spanish and Mexican ranchers in the nineteenth century.[4]: 264–267

In 1909, forest supervisors reported that three Indian families still lived within what was then known as the Monterey National Forest. The Encinale family of 16 members and the Quintana family with three members lived in the vicinity of The Indians (now known as Santa Lucia Memorial Park west of Ft. Hunger Liggett). The Mora family consisting of three members was living to the south along the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road.[132]

Spanish ranchosEdit

Along with the rest of California, Big Sur became part of Mexico when it gained independence from Spain in 1821. Parts of the Big Sur region were included in land grants given by Mexican governors José Figueroa and Juan Bautista Alvarado.

Rancho Tularcitos

Rancho Tularcitos, 26,581-acre (10,757 ha) of land, was granted in 1834 by Governor José Figueroa to Rafael Goméz.[133] It was located in upper Carmel Valley along Tularcitos Creek.[134]

Rancho Milpitas

Rancho Milpitas was a 43,281-acre (17,515 ha) land grant given in 1838 by governor Juan Alvarado to Ygnacio Pastor.[135] The grant encompassed present day Jolon.[136] When Pastor obtained title from the Public Land Commission in 1875, Faxon Atherton immediately purchased the land. By 1880, the James Brown Cattle Company owned and operated Rancho Milpitas and neighboring Rancho Los Ojitos. William Randolph Hearst's Piedmont Land and Cattle Company acquired the rancho in 1925.[137] In 1940, in anticipation of the increased forces required in World War II, the U.S. War Department purchased the land from Hearst to create a troop training facility known as the Hunter Liggett Military Reservation.[138]

Rancho El Sur

On July 30, 1834, Figueroa granted Rancho El Sur, two square leagues of land totalling 8,949-acres (3,622 ha), to Juan Bautista Alvarado.[139]:21[140] The grant extended between the Little Sur River and what is now called Cooper Point.[141][142] Alvarado later traded Rancho El Sur for the more accessible Rancho Bolsa del Potrero y Moro Cojo in the northern Salinas Valley, owned by his uncle by marriage, Captain John B. R. Cooper.[143]

Rancho San Jose y Sur Chiquito

In 1839, Alvarado granted Rancho San Jose y Sur Chiquito, also about two square leagues of land totalling 8,876-acre (3,592 ha), to Marcelino Escobar, a prominent official of Monterey.[144] The grant was bounded on the north by the Carmel River and on the south by Palo Colorado Canyon.[145]

In 1848, two days after the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill, Mexico ceded California to the United States as a result of the Mexican–American War.

First surveyEdit

During the first survey of the coast conducted in 1886, the surveyor reported:

The country between the shore-line and the Coast Range of mountains, running parallel with the shore-line from San Carpojoro to Point Sur is probably the roughest piece of coast-line on the whole Pacific coast of the United States from San Diego to Cape Flattery.

The highest peaks of the crest of the coast range are located at an average distance from the coast of three and a half miles [5.6 km]. In this distance they rise to elevations of from three thousand six hundred to five thousand feet [1,100 to 1,500 m] above the sea-level. From San Carpoforo Creek to Pfeiffer's Point, a distance of 5 miles (8.0 km), the shore-line is iron-bound coast with no possible chance of getting from the hills to the shore-line and back except at the mouths of the creeks and at such places as Coxe's Hole and Slate's Hot Springs, where there are short stretches of sandy and rocky beaches from fifty to one hundred yards [meters] in length. In many places the sea bluffs are perpendicular, and rise from one thousand to one thousand five hundred feet [300 to 460 m] above the sea. The country is cut up by deep cañons [canyons], walled in with high and precipitous bluffs. These canyons are densely wooded with redwood, oak, and yellow and silver pine timber.

The redwood trees are from three to six feet [0.91 to 1.83 m] in diameter and from one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet high [30 to 46 m]. The oaks and pines are of the same average dimensions. Beautiful streams of clear cold water, filled with an abundance of salmon or trout, are to be found in all the cartons. The spurs running from the summits of the range to the ocean bluffs are covered with a dense growth of brush and scattering clumps of oak and pine timber. The chaparral is very thick, and in many places grows to a height of ten or fifteen feet [3–5 m] ... The spurs, slopes, and canons are impenetrable ...[146][147]


Joseph W. Post House, a historic structure built in 1877. William B. Post arrived in California in 1848, and homesteaded 640 acres (260 ha) in Big Sur in 1867. The Post House is on the grounds of the Ventana Inn resort.

The first known European settler in Big Sur was George Davis, who in 1853 claimed a tract of land along the Big Sur River. He built a cabin near the present day site of the beginning of the Mount Manuel Trail,[4]:326 just above the location of a cabin later built by John Bautista Rogers Cooper. Born John Rogers Cooper, he was a Yankee born in the British Channel Islands who arrived in Monterey in 1823.[148] To marry and obtain land, he became a Mexican citizen, converted to Catholicism, and was given a Spanish name at his baptism. He married Native American Encarnacion Vallejo and acquired considerable land, including Rancho El Sur, on which he built a cabin in April or May 1861.[149] The Cooper Cabin is the oldest surviving structure in Big Sur.[150] In 1868, Native Americans Manual and Florence Innocenti bought Davis' cabin and land for $50. The second European settlers were the Pfeiffer family from France. Michael Pfeiffer and his wife and four children arrived in Big Sur in 1869 with the intention of settling on the south coast. After reaching Sycamore Canyon, they found it to their liking and decided to stay.[4]:326

After passage of the federal Homestead Act in 1862, a few hardy settlers were drawn by the promise of free 160-acre (65 ha) parcels. After the claimant filed for the land, they had gained full ownership after five years of residence or by paying $1.50 per acre within six months. Each claim was for 160 acres, a quarter section of free government land.[132] The first to file a land patent was Micheal Pfeiffer on January 20, 1883, who claimed two sections of land he already resided on near and immediately north of the mouth of Sycamore Canyon.[151] They had six more children later on.

Other settlers included William F. Notley, who homesteaded at the mouth of Palo Colorado Canyon in 1891. He began harvesting tanoak bark from the canyon, a lucrative source of income at the time. Notley's Landing is named after him. Many other local sites retain names from settlers during this period: Bottcher, Swetnam, Gamboa, Pfeiffer, Post, Partington, Ross, and McWay are a few of the place names.

Industrial era and gold rushEdit

A major forest product of Big Sur coast was the bark of Tanbark Oak.
Bixby Landing in 1911 was used to transport products to and from ships off shore.

Along with industries based on tanoak bark harvesting, gold mining, and limestone processing, the local economy provided more jobs and supported a larger population than it does today. From the 1860s through the start of the twentieth century, lumbermen cut down most of the readily accessible coast redwoods. Redwood harvesting further inland was always limited by the rugged terrain and difficulty in transporting the lumber to market. Pioneer William F. Notley was one of the first to harvest the bark of the Tanbark Oak from the Little Sur River canyon.[152]

Tanbark was used to manufacture tannic acid, necessary to the growing leather tanning industry located in Santa Cruz, and to preserve fish nets.[153] The tanbark was harvested from the isolated trees inland, left to dry, corded, and brought out on mules or hauled out on "go-devils". The go-devil was a wagon with two wheels on the front, while the rear had rails for pulling. Notley constructed a landing at the mouth of the Palo Colorado River like that at Bixby Landing to the south. The tanbark was loaded by cable onto waiting vessels anchored offshore at Notley's Landing. In 1889, as much as 50,000 cords of tanbark were hauled out from the Little Sur River and Big Sur River watersheds.[4]:330 A small village grew up around Notley's Landing from 1898 to 1907.[154][155] Near the start of the 20th century, the tan oak trees were becoming seriously depleted, which slowly led to the demise of the industries they had created.[152]

A point on the Palo Colorado Road is still nicknamed "The Hoist" because of the very steep road which required wagon-loads of tanbark and lumber to be hoisted by block and tackle hitched to oxen.[156] The old block and tackle on a beam is still mounted between mailboxes.[157]

In the 1880s, gold was found in the Los Burros District at Alder Creek in the mountains east of present-day Gorda. The gold rush town of Manchester at 35°52′48″N 121°23′31″W / 35.880°N 121.392°W / 35.880; -121.392 existed for a few short years.[50][158][159] The town boasted a population of 200, four stores, a restaurant, five saloons, a dance hall, and a hotel, but it was abandoned soon after the start of the twentieth century and burned to the ground in 1909.[10][160]

The 30-mile (48 km) trip from Monterey to the Pfeiffer Ranch could take three days by wagon. It was a rough road that ended in present-day Big Sur Village and could be impassible in winter. Local entrepreneurs built small boat landings like what is known today as Bixby Landing at a few coves along the coast from which supplies could be received and products could be shipped from schooners via a cable hoist.[161] None of these landings remain today, and few other signs of this brief industrial period are visible. The rugged, isolated terrain kept out all but the sturdiest and most self-sufficient settlers.[162] Travelers further south had to follow a horse trail that connected the various homesteaders along the coast.[28]

Highway 1Edit

Before Highway 1Edit

Prior to the construction of Highway 1, the California coast south of Carmel and north of San Simeon was one of the most remote regions in the state, rivaling at the time nearly any other region in the United States for its difficult access.[163] It remained largely an untouched wilderness until early in the twentieth century.[1]

After the brief industrial boom faded, the early decades of the twentieth century passed with few changes, and Big Sur remained a nearly inaccessible wilderness. As late as the 1920s, only two homes in the entire region had electricity, locally generated by water wheels and windmills.[4]: 328[10]:64 Most of the population lived without power until connections to the California electric grid were established in the early 1950s.[163]

Prior roadsEdit

The region has always been relatively difficult to access and only the sturdiest and most self-sufficient settlers stayed. A rough trail from Carmel to Mill Creek (present-day Bixby Canyon) was in use by about 1855.[163]:4–2

Charles Henry Bixby arrived in the Big Sur area in 1868. He built a sawmill on what was then called Mill Creek. Bixby tried to persuade the county to build a road to his ranch, but they refused, replying that "no one would want to live there." It was impossible to build a wharf from the cliffs that dropped into the ocean, and he instead built a hoist that could be used to ferry goods to and from ships anchored slightly offshore.[164][165] In 1870, he and his father hired men to improve the track and constructed the first wagon road including 23 bridges from the Carmel Mission to Bixby Creek.[9]

Sometime later Bixby partnered with William B. Post and extended what became known as the Old Coast Road south to his ranch near Sycamore Canyon. At Bixby Creek, the road was necessarily built 11 miles (18 km) inland to circumvent the deep canyon. It also went inland to circumvent the wide canyon mouth of the Little Sur River. The road then led to the Post Ranch on the Rancho El Sur near present-day Andrew Molera State Park.[165][163]:4–2 The 30-mile (48 km) trip from Carmel could take three days by wagon or stagecoach.[166]:24 The single-lane road was closed in winter when it became impassable. Coast residents would occasionally receive supplies via a hazardous landing by boat from Monterey or San Francisco.[163]:4–4

The Old Coast Road was connected to trails farther to the south. The southern portion became known as the "Coast Ridge Road."[4] It is one of the few stretches of trail in the United States that was converted from a horse trail to a paved road without having first been a wagon road. Both coast roads were often unusable during and after winter storms.[163] When the region was first settled by European immigrants in 1853, it was the United States' "last frontier."[8]

Due to the limited access, settlement was primarily concentrated near the Big Sur River and present-day Lucia, and individual settlements along a 25 miles (40 km) stretch of coast between the two.[163]

Highway originsEdit

Bixby Creek Bridge under construction in 1932

During the 1890s, Dr. John L. D. Roberts, a physician and land speculator who had founded Seaside, California and resided on the Monterey Peninsula, was summoned on April 21, 1894 to assist treating survivors of the wreck of the S.S. Los Angeles (originally USRC Wayanda),[30] which had run aground near the Point Sur Light Station about 25 miles (40 km) south of Carmel-by-the-Sea. The ride on horseback took him ​3 12 hours, and he became convinced of the need for a road along the coast to San Simeon, which he believed could be built for $50,000.[30]

The Dolan Creek Bridge south of Slates Hot Springs was a three-pinned arch design built from redwood timber in 1934-35. It was replaced by a precast concrete girder bridge in 1961.

In 1897, Roberts traveled the entire stretch of rocky coast from Carmel to San Simeon, and photographed the land, becoming the first surveyor of the route.[167]

Funding and constructionEdit

Bixby Creek Bridge, May 2013

Dr. John Roberts initially promoted the road for allowing access to a region of spectacular beauty. Roberts was only successful in gaining attention to the project when State Senator Elmer S. Rigdon, a member of the California Senate Committee on Roads and Highways, promoted the military necessity of defending California's coast. The state first approved building Route 56, or the Carmel – San Simeon Highway,[164] to connect Big Sur to the rest of California in 1919. A $1.5 million bond issue was placed on the ballot, but construction was delayed by World War I.[30]

Federal funds were appropriated and in 1921 voters approved additional state funds. San Quentin State Prison set up three temporary prison camps to provide unskilled convict labor to help with road construction. One was set up by Little Sur River, one at Kirk Creek and a third was later established in the south at Anderson Creek. Inmates were paid 35 cents per day and had their prison sentences reduced in return. Locals, including writer John Steinbeck, also worked on the road.[167]

Construction required extensive excavation utilizing steam shovels and explosives, cutting into exposed promontories and filling canyons. The work on the steep slopes was dangerous, and accidents and earth slides were common. Equipment was frequently damaged and lost. Machines were brought in by boat and hoisted to the road level using steam-powdered donkey engines.[30]

Many members of the original families were upset by the damage to the environment caused by the construction.[50] Some construction debris were pushed downslope into the ocean.[168] Prior to the creation of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, CalTrans routinely pushed slide debris into the nearshore littoral environment.

The road necessitated construction of 33 bridges, the most difficult of which was the bridge over Bixby Creek, about 13 miles (21 km) south of Carmel. Upon completion, the Bixby Creek Bridge was 714 feet (218 m) long, 24 feet (7.3 m) wide, 260 feet (79 m) above the creek bed below, and had a main span of 360 feet (110 m).[169] The bridge was designed to support more than six times its intended load.[170] When it was completed on October 15, 1932, Bixby Creek Bridge was the largest arched highway structure in the Western states. Five more reinforced concrete bridges were built at Rocky, Granite, Garapata, Malpaso, and Wildcat Creeks. But the entire highway was not completed for another five years.[30] All of the concrete arch bridges were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.[30]


After 18 years of construction, aided by New Deal funds during the Great Depression, the paved two-lane road was completed and opened on June 17, 1937.[171] On June 27, 1937, Governor Frank Merriam led a caravan from the Cambria Pines Lodge to San Simeon, where dedication ceremonies began. The wife of Dr. Rigdon, who had died, dedicated a silver fir to her husband's memory. The Native Sons of the Golden West dedicated two redwood trees. The caravan then drove north to Pfeiffer Redwoods State Park, where a larger dedication ceremony was held.[30]

The road was initially called the Carmel-San Simeon Highway, but was better known as the Roosevelt Highway, honoring then-current President (Franklin D. Roosevelt). Actual cost of the construction was around $10 million. The road was frequently closed for extended periods during the winter, making it a seasonal route. During 1941, 160 inches (4,100 mm) of rain fell on Big Sur, and the state considered abandoning the route. Slides were so common that gates were used to close the road to visitors at the northern and southern ends during the winter.[172] During World War II, nighttime blackouts along the coast were ordered as a precaution against Japanese attack.[28]


The route was incorporated into the state highway system and redesignated as Highway 1 in 1939. In 1940, the state contracted for "the largest installation of guard rail ever placed on a California state highway", calling for 12 miles (19 km) of steel guard rail and 3,649 guide posts along 46.6 miles (75.0 km) of the road.[28] After World War II and gas rationing ended, tourism and travel boomed along the coast. When Hearst Castle opened in 1958, a huge number of tourists also flowed through Big Sur.

Aside from Highway 1, the only access to Big Sur is via the winding, precipitous, 24.5 miles (39.4 km) long Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, which passes through Fort Hunter Liggett and connects to Mission Road in Jolon.[14]

Transportation priorityEdit

When the highway was first opened, average daily vehicle traffic was over 2,500 in 1937, the year the highway opened, but dropped to 1,462 the next year. It rose somewhat until World War II, when due to gasoline rationing extremely few visitors made the trip to Big Sur. The number of vehicles rose dramatically in 1946 and increased steadily during the 1960s, due in part to the opening of several major attractions in the area, especially the Esalen Institute. The filming of The Sandpiper in 1964 and its release in 1965 dramatically increased public awareness of the region. In 1970, the average daily vehicle count was 3,700, and as of 2008, reached about 4,500.[173]

Highway 1 is currently at or near capacity much of the year. The primary transportation objective of the Big Sur Coastal Land Use plan is to maintain Highway 1 as a scenic two-lane road and to reserve most remaining capacity for the priority uses of the act.[50]

Economic impactsEdit

Rockslide on Highway 1 near San Luis Obispo County line on February 18, 1994.

The opening of Highway 1 dramatically altered the local economy. Monterey County gained national attention for its early conservation efforts when it successfully prevented construction of a service station billboard. The landmark court case before the California Supreme Court in 1962 affirmed the county's right to ban billboards and other visual distractions on Highway 1.[174] The case secured to local government the right to use its police power for aesthetic purposes.[175]

History of closuresEdit

Highway 1 has been closed on more than 55 occasions due to damage due from landslides, mudslides, erosion, and fire.[176]:2–2 On January 15, 1952, the highway was closed 7 miles (11 km) north of San Simeon to Big Sur due to "numerous heavy slides."[177] In April 1958, torrential rains caused flood conditions throughout Monterey County and Highway 1 in Big Sur was closed in numerous locations due to slides.[178] A series of storms in the winter of 1983 caused four major road-closing slides between January and April, including a large slide near Pfeiffer Burns State Park which closed the road for more than a year.[176]:2–10 In 1998, about 40 different locations on the road were damaged by El Niño storms, including a major slide 2 miles (3.2 km) south of Gorda that closed the road for almost three months.[168] The Associated Press described the damage as "the most extensive destruction in the 60-year history of the world famous scenic route."[177]

In March 2011, a 40 feet (12 m) section of Highway 1 just south of the Rocky Creek Bridge collapsed, closing the road for several months until a single lane bypass could be built.[179][180] The state replaced that section of road with a viaduct that wraps around the unstable hillside.[14] On January 16, 2016, the road was closed for portions of a day due to a mudslide near Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.[181]

2016 and 2017 closuresEdit

During the summer of 2016, the road was closed on several occasions due to the Soberanes Fire. During the following winter, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park received more than 60 inches of rain,[182] and in early February 2017, several mudslides blocked the road in more than half a dozen locations.

The May 22, 2017 mud slide at Mud Creek covered Highway 1 for more than a quarter-mile.

Just south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, shifting earth damaged a pier supporting a bridge over the 320 feet (98 m) deep Pfeiffer Canyon. CalTrans immediately closed the highway and announced the next day that the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge was damaged beyond repair and would have to be replaced.[183] Highway 1 remained closed.[184][185] CalTrans immediately began planning to replace the bridge and contracted with XKT Engineering on Mare Island to construct a replacement single-span steel girder bridge. The new roadway was designed without support piers. The rebuilt bridge opened on October 13, 2017 at a cost of $24 million.[186][187]

To the south, a slide in February at Mud Creek blocked the road 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of Gorda, about 60 miles (97 km) south of Monterey. When the Nacimiento-Ferguson Road was temporarily closed, many businesses like the Esalen Institute and residents were isolated between the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and Mud Creek, and supplies and residents were ferried in and out by helicopter.[188][189]

Repair work at Mud Creek enabled intermittent one-way traffic for residents and delivery trucks until May 22, when an extremely large slide beginning 1,100 feet (340 m) up the side of the mountain dumped more than one million tons of dirt on the road and more than 250 feet (76 m) into the ocean. It covered one-quarter-mile (.40 km) of the highway and buried it up to 80 feet (24 m) deep in some places. CalTrans estimated the road would take up to a year to repair.[190][191][192] On August 2, 2017, CalTrans announced it would rebuild the highway over the slide instead of clearing it.[193] They expect to finish repairs at Mud Creek and to reopen the road in June 2018 at a cost of $40 million.[194][195]

Public transportationEdit

Public transportation is available to and from Monterey on Monterey–Salinas Transit. The summer schedule operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day three times a day, while the winter schedule only offers transport on weekends. The route is subject to interruption due to wind and severe inclement weather.[196]


Big Sur is sparsely populated with about 1,000 year-round residents, according to the 2000 United States Census, about the same number of residents found there in 1900.[19] Big Sur residents include descendants of the original ranching families, artists and writers, service staff, along with wealthy home-owners. These wealthy homeowners, however, are usually only part-time residents of Big Sur.[citation needed] The mountainous terrain, environmental restrictions imposed by the Big Sur Coastal Use Plan,[174] and lack of property and the expense required to develop available land, have kept Big Sur relatively unspoiled. The economy is almost completely based on service industries associated with tourism.[citation needed]

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park after fire

Census dataEdit

93920 ZCTA for US 2000 Census

The United States does not define a census-designated place called Big Sur, but it does define a ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA), 93920. Because Big Sur is contained roughly within this ZIP Code Tabulation Area, it is possible to obtain Census data from the 2000 United States Census for the area, even though data for "Big Sur" is unavailable.[197]

According to the 2000 United States Census, there were 996 people, 884 households, and 666 housing units in the 93920 ZCTA. The racial makeup of this area was 87.6% White, 1.1% African American, 1.3% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 5.5% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.6% of the population.[197]

In the 93920 ZCTA, the population age was widely distributed, with 20.2% under the age of 20, 4.5% from 20 to 24, 26.9% from 25 to 44, 37.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.2 years.[197]

The median income in 2000 for a household in 93920 ZCTA was $41,304, and the median income for a family was $65,083.[197] These estimates exclude the sizeable number of residents who live in Palo Colorado Canyon, who are included in the Carmel Valley Zip Code Tabulation Area.[198] As of 2004, there were about 300 households in the Palo Colorado Canyon area.[199]


View of Gorda, one of the small clusters of services in Big Sur

Existing settlements in the Big Sur region, between the Carmel River and the San Carpoforo Creek, include:

State and federal landsEdit


At the county level, Big Sur is represented on the Monterey County Board of Supervisors by Supervisor Dave Potter.[201]

In the California State Assembly, Big Sur is in the 17th Senate District, represented by Democrat Bill Monning, and in the 30th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Anna Caballero.[202]

In the United States House of Representatives, Big Sur is in California's 20th congressional district, represented by Democrat Jimmy Panetta.[203]

Notable residentsEdit

In the early to mid-twentieth century, Big Sur's relative isolation and natural beauty began to attract writers and artists, including Robinson Jeffers, Henry Miller, Edward Weston, Richard Brautigan, Hunter S. Thompson, Emile Norman, and Jack Kerouac. Jeffers was the first, arriving in Big Sur with his bride Una in 1913.[204] Beginning in the 1920s, his poetry introduced the romantic idea of Big Sur's wild, untamed spaces to a national audience, which encouraged many of the later visitors. In the posthumously published book Stones of the Sur, Carmel landscape photographer Morley Baer later combined his classical black and white photographs of Big Sur with some of Jeffers' poetry.

Big Sur acquired a bohemian reputation with these newcomers. Henry Miller recounted that a traveler knocked on his door, looking for the "cult of sex and anarchy."[205] Apparently finding neither, the disappointed visitor returned home.

Henry MillerEdit

The Henry Miller Memorial Library. Author Henry Miller lived in Big Sur from 1944–1962.

Henry Miller lived in Big Sur for 20 years, from 1944 to 1962. His home was a wooden cabin that had been owned by his friend Emil White. His 1957 essay/memoir/novel Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch described the joys and hardships that came from escaping the "air conditioned nightmare" of modern life. The Henry Miller Memorial Library is a nonprofit bookstore and arts center that opened in 1981 as a tribute to the legendary writer. It is a gathering place for locals and has become the focal point of individuals with a literary mind,[206] a cultural center devoted to Miller's life and work, and a popular attraction for tourists.[207]

Other writersEdit

Hunter S. Thompson worked as a security guard and caretaker at a resort in Big Sur Hot Springs for eight months in 1961, just before the Esalen Institute was founded at that location. While there, he published his first magazine feature in the nationally distributed Rogue (men's magazine), about Big Sur's artisan and Bohemian culture.[208][209]

Jack Kerouac spent a few days in Big Sur in early 1960 at fellow poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti's cabin in the woods, and wrote a novel, Big Sur, based on his experience there. Miller is referenced in Brautigan's A Confederate General at Big Sur, in which a pair of young men attempt the idyllic Big Sur life in small shacks and are variously plagued by flies, low ceilings, visiting businessmen with nervous breakdowns, and 2,452 tiny frogs whose loud singing keeps everyone awake.

Other well-known people have called Big Sur home, including diplomats Nicholas Roosevelt, famed architects Nathaniel A. Owings and Philip Johnson, Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, show business celebrities Kim Novak and Allen Funt, and business executives Ted Turner and David Packard.[210]

Other former residents include:

In popular cultureEdit

Film settingEdit

The area's increasing popularity and incredible beauty has attracted the attention of Hollywood. Orson Welles and his wife at the time, Rita Hayworth, bought a Big Sur cabin on impulse during a trip down the coast in 1944. They never spent a single night there, and the property is now the location of a popular restaurant, Nepenthe.[211]

Among the well-known films located in Big Sur were The Sandpiper starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Eva Marie Saint and Charles Bronson. The 1974 film Zandy's Bride, starring Gene Hackman and Liv Ullmann, was based in Big Sur.[212] In 2013, Jack Kerouac’s novel Big Sur was adapted for the film of the same name, starring Kate Bosworth and directed by the actress’ husband, Michael Polish. As of 2017, 19 movies had been filmed in the Big Sur region, beginning with Suspicion in 1941.[213]


The Beach Boys' single "California Saga: California" on the band's 1973 album Holland is a nostalgic depiction of the rugged wilderness in the area and the culture of its inhabitants. The first part describes the region's environment, the second part is an adaption of the Robinson Jeffers poem The Beaks of Eagles, and the third part references local literary and musical figures.[214] It is also the namesake of the Live How You Live song from the studio album "The Venice Sessions".

American composer John Adams wrote an electric violin concerto titled The Dharma at Big Sur.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Marvinney, Craig A. (1984). "Land Use Policy Along the Big Sur Coast of California; What Role for the Federal Government?". UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy. Regents of the University of California. Accessed 22 August 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Lindsay, Robert (January 28, 1986). "Plan for Big Sur Severely Restricts Development". New York Times. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Big times in Big Sur". Washington Times. July 7, 2006. Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Henson, Paul; Donald J. Usner (1993). "The Natural History of Big Sur" (PDF). University Of California Press. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 17, 2010. Retrieved 12 August 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "Letter from Karin Strasser Kauffman". The Big Sur Local Coastal Program Defense Committee. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Barnett, Mary (March 1981). "Big Sur LCP Adopted by County Planners" (PDF). Big Sur Gazette. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Diehl, Martha V. (May 15, 2006). "Land Use in Big Sur: In Search of Sustainable Balance between Community Needs and Resource Protection" (PDF). California State University Monterey Bay. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 April 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "The Big Sur – Last Frontier of United States" (11). Reading, Pennsylvania: Reading Eagle. February 7, 1960. p. 75. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d e walton, John (2007). "The Land of Big Sur Conservation on the California Coast" (PDF). California History. 85 (1). Archived from the original (PDF) on August 22, 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "walton" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Woolfenden, John (1981). Big Sur: A Battle for the Wilderness 1869–1981. Pacific Grove, California: The Boxwood Press. p. 72. 
  11. ^ Surfer Magazine (21 February 2006). Surfer Magazine's Guide to Northern and Central California Surf Spots. Chronicle Books. p. 97. ISBN 978-0-8118-4998-2. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  12. ^ a b Chatfield, Michael (5 May 2014). "Big Sur Magic – Carmel Magazine". Carmel Magazine. Archived from the original on 28 April 2017. Retrieved 14 December 2016. 
  13. ^ Thompson, Hunter S. (1997). The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967. Brinkley, Douglas (first ed.). New York: Villard. ISBN 9780345377968. OCLC 36011636. 
  14. ^ a b c "The Big Sur Community". Big Sur International Marathon. Archived from the original on August 22, 2016. Retrieved August 10, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Station and Equipment". Big Sur Volunteer Fire Brigade. Archived from the original on 24 September 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c Big Sur: Images of America, Jeff Norman, Big Sur Historical Society, Arcadia Publishing (2004), 128 pages, ISBN 0-7385-2913-3
  17. ^ Bolton, Herbert E. (1927). Fray Juan Crespi: Missionary Explorer on the Pacific Coast, 1769–1774. HathiTrust Digital Library. Archived from the original on 2014-03-22.  (This book also contains a translation of Crespi's diary from the Fages 1772 expedition.)
  18. ^ "History of Big Sur California". Archived from the original on 2016-08-01. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  19. ^ a b c Road Trip USA: Cross-Country Adventures on America's Two-Lane Highways Archived 2016-11-30 at the Wayback Machine. Jamie Jensen
  20. ^ Lindsey, Robert (January 28, 1982). "Plan For Big Sur Severely Restricts Development". New York Times. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. 
  21. ^ a b Gold, Herbert (January 29, 1984). "To (And In) Big Sur, The Way is Clear". New York Times. Archived from the original on March 12, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016. 
  22. ^ Thomas, Amelia. "Driving California's Big Sur". Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Top 5 Best Driving Roads in America". Buick. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016. 
  24. ^ "Pacific Coast Highway". Retrieved 2017-12-06. 
  25. ^ "Top 10 Motorcycle Rides in the U.S. -- National Geographic". 2015-05-12. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 
  26. ^ Cadd, Brian Shultis, Dennis. "Route 1 - Scenic Highway". Retrieved 2017-12-06. 
  27. ^ "California Highways: State Highway Types". Retrieved 2017-12-06. 
  28. ^ a b c d Pavlik, Robert C. (November 1996). "Historical Overview of the Carmel to San Simeon Highway" (PDF). Historic Resource Evaluation Report on the Rock Retaining Walls, Parapets, Culvert Headwalls and Drinking Fountains along the Carmel to San Simeon Highway. California Department of Transportation. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  29. ^ "Road Trip: California's Pacific Coast Highway -- National Geographic". 2010-09-14. Retrieved 2017-12-06. 
  30. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Building of Highway One". Historical Moments. Cambria Historical Society. Archived from the original on 23 January 2012. Retrieved 30 June 2013. 
  31. ^ Pfeuffer, Charyn (January 28, 2016). "Big Fun in Big Sur". Retrieved 2017-12-11. 
  32. ^ "Trip Advisor Crowns Monterey County With Three 2008 Travelers' Choice Destination Awards". Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Archived from the original on December 23, 2008. 
  33. ^ Knickerbocker, Brad (July 14, 1978). "Big Sur: Love it or Leave it" (PDF). Christian Science Monitor. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 7, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2016. 
  34. ^ Sinclair, Ward (1980-10-15). "Big Sur Coastline Caught Up in a Riptide on Potomac". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  35. ^ "Road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway - LosApos". Archived from the original on 2016-09-23. 
  36. ^ "Big Sur Land Use Plan". Archived from the original on 2016-09-16. 
  37. ^ Vincent, David (June 20, 2009). "To Sur, With Love". Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  38. ^ "New Camaldoli Hermitage- Who We Are". New Camaldoli Hermitage. Archived from the original on 3 September 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  39. ^ "Granddaughter writes history of Nepenthe,". San Francisco Chronicle. November 13, 2009. Archived from the original on 14 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  40. ^ a b c d Strong, Kathy (December 15, 2015). "Wild curves, waves — and food in Big Sur". Desert Sun. Archived from the original on May 25, 2017. 
  41. ^ a b "Best Beaches You'll Never See in California – California Beaches". California Beaches. Retrieved 6 December 2016. 
  42. ^ "California – Monterey County – Historic Districts". National Register of Historical Places. Archived from the original on December 20, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2007. 
  43. ^ a b Parachini, Allan (April 20, 1986). "Big Sur Development: Who's in Charge Here? Sen. Wilson's Bill, U.S. Supreme Court May Upset State Panel's Land-Use Plan". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 10 September 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  44. ^ a b c d e f Heinrich, Ben. "The Development Of Big Sur". The Heinrich Team. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  45. ^ "Big Sur Lodging Guide, Big Sur California". Archived from the original on 2016-09-07. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  46. ^ "The Most Expensive Gas In America?". ABC News. March 26, 2008. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2013. 
  47. ^ McKinley, Jesse (March 12, 2008). "Most Stunning View in Town Is the One at the Pump". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. 
  48. ^ a b Nedeff, Nicole (December 1, 2004). "Garrapata Creek Watershed Assessment and Restoration Plan Riparian Element" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 23 May 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  49. ^ a b "Why Defense". The Big Sur Local Coastal Program Defense Committee. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  50. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Big Sur Coast Land Use Plan" (PDF). Monterey County Planning Department. February 11, 1981. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2009. 
  51. ^ "Short Term Rental Ordinances (Coastal – REF130043 & Inland – REF100042)". Monterey County Resource Management Agency Planning. Archived from the original on 28 August 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  52. ^ "Susan Craig – Correspondence". Archived from the original on 2016-08-28. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  53. ^ a b Weiss, Kenneth R. (2004-04-09). "Forest Vision Extends Into Hearst Tract". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2017-10-27. 
  54. ^ Fay, J. Michael (September 30, 2008). "Redwood Transect-Big Sur Redwoods 2.0". Archived from the original on 25 January 2009. Retrieved January 1, 2009. 
  55. ^ "Los Padres National Forest". Archived from the original on 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  56. ^ Cross, Robert (2010). Big Sur tales. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse. ISBN 978-1456711498. 
  57. ^ Moore, George Gordon. "The Origin of Wild Boar in Monterey County". Archived from the original on 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2017-10-31. a letter from George Gordon Moore to Stuyvesant Fish 
  58. ^ a b "Pico Blanco Scout Reservation" (PDF). Monterey Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 January 2015. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  59. ^ "Camp Pico Blanco Fish Ladder and Dam Retrofit". WaterWays Consulting. Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  60. ^ Becker, Gordon S.; Reining, Isabelle J. (October 2008). "Steelhead/Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) Resources South of the Golden Gate, California". Center for Ecosystem Management and Restoration. Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. 
  61. ^ "North-Central California Coast Recovery Domain 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation of Central California Coastal Steelhead DPS Northern California Steelhead DPS" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2011. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2014-02-21. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  62. ^ "Ventana Wild Rivers Campaign Little Sur River". Archived from the original on June 5, 2009. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  63. ^ Hogan, C. Michael (2008). Stromberg, Nicklas, ed. "California Giant Salamander: Dicamptodon ensatus". GlobalTwitcher. Archived from the original on 2009-01-30. 
  64. ^ "Species factsheet: California Condor Gymnogyps californianus". BirdLife International. 2007. Archived from the original on October 13, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  65. ^ "Condors End 100-Year Absence In Norcal Woods". Ventana Wildlife Society. 2006-03-29. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  66. ^ Rogers, Paul (October 11, 2016). "California condors: Chick born in wild flies from nest at Pinnacles National Park for first time in a century". The Mercury News. Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 14 October 2016. 
  67. ^ "Fresh Hope For Condors". Sky News. March 30, 2006. Archived from the original on December 9, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2007. 
  68. ^ Thornton, Stuart (May 25, 2006). "Condors make a meal of a beached gray whale". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 3 September 2014. 
  69. ^ Wright, Tommy (September 1, 2016). "Soberanes Fire could be beneficial for condors". The Monterey County Herald. Archived from the original on 3 September 2016. Retrieved 4 September 2016. 
  70. ^ "California Condor Recovery Program (monthly status report)" (PDF). National Park Service. 31 July 2014. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 September 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  71. ^ "Concepts of Biology: Introduction to the Chaparral". Archived from the original on 24 August 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  72. ^ Vale, Thomas R., ed. (2002). Fire, Native Peoples, and the Natural Landscape. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. ISBN 9781559638890. 
  73. ^ Earle, CJ (2011). "Sequoia sempervirens". The Gymnosperm Database. Olympia, Washington: self-published. Archived from the original on 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  74. ^ Ramage, B.S.; OʼHara, K.L.; Caldwell, B.T. (2010). "The role of fire in the competitive dynamics of coast redwood forests". Ecosphere. 1 (6): article 20. doi:10.1890/ES10-00134.1. 
  75. ^ Rogers, David (2002). "History of the Monterey Ranger District Part I". Ventana Wilderness Association. Archived from the original on 29 May 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  76. ^ Rogers, David. "The Big Sur Fire of 1906". Double Cone Quarterly. Archived from the original on 28 June 2016. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  77. ^ Rowntree, Lester (October 1, 2009). "Forged by Fire Lightning and Landscape at Big Sur". Archived from the original on August 26, 2016. Retrieved August 18, 2016. 
  78. ^ Fehd, Amanda (July 3, 2008). "Big Sur evacuated as massive wildfire spreads". Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 25, 2009. Retrieved 2008-07-07. 
  79. ^ "Threat to Big Sur eases by Steve Rubenstein, John Coté, and Jill Tucker". San Francisco Chronicle. July 9, 2008. Archived from the original on January 25, 2009. 
  80. ^ Uncredited (July 19, 2008). "Progress Reported in California Fires". New York Times. Associated Press. Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  81. ^ Cathcart, Rebecca (August 1, 2008). "Fire Damage Takes a Toll on the Economy in Big Sur". New York Times. New York Times. Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  82. ^ Murphy, Mike (August 1, 2016). "Wildfire cripples tourism in California's scenic Big Sur". MarketWatch. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  83. ^ Newman, Morris (28 April 1991). "Focus: Big Sur, Calif.; An Environmentally Correct Resort Hotel". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  84. ^ a b "California Big Sur Coast Land Use Plan". Monterey County, California. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2016. 
  85. ^ Coast Property Owners Association (October 27, 2017). "Changes Proposed to the Big Sur Management Unit Act by the Coast Property Owners Association (CPOA)" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-11-16. 
  86. ^ a b Abraham, Kera. "In a flipped script, Coastal Conservancy sells rights to build homes in Big Sur". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  87. ^ "Monterey County, California". Smart Preservation. 2011-12-05. Archived from the original on 2016-08-12. Retrieved 2017-11-08. 
  88. ^ TURNAGE, ROBERT (1980-03-04). "Ansel Adams - The Role of the Artist in the Environmental Movement". Ansel Adams Gallery. Archived from the original on 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017-10-27. 
  89. ^ a b STAMMER, LARRY B. (1986-03-06). "Bill Proposed to Ban New Development in Big Sur Area". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Archived from the original on 2016-12-01. Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  90. ^ "County Local Coastal Plan Lacks Funds" (PDF). February 27, 1980. p. 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-02-07. Retrieved October 30, 2017. 
  91. ^ STAMMER, LARRY B. (March 6, 1986). "Bill Proposed to Ban New Development in Big Sur Area". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2016-12-01. Retrieved October 27, 2017. 
  92. ^ COUNTS, CHRIS (June 17, 2011). "110617-4". Archived from the original on October 28, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-27. 
  93. ^ "Help protect communities near the Los Padres National Forest". Archived from the original on 2017-10-28. Retrieved 2017-10-27. 
  94. ^ "Big Creek State Marine Reserve and Conservation Area". Archived from the original on 28 July 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  95. ^ "Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve". University of California. Archived from the original on 9 May 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  96. ^ Trust, Big Sur Land. "Landscapes (Big Sur Land Trust)". Big Sur Land Trust. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-10-31. 
  97. ^ Elliot, Analise (2005). Hiking & Backpacking Big Sur: A Complete Guide to the Trails of Big Sur, Ventana Wilderness, and Silver Peak Wilderness (1st ed.). Berkeley, CA: Wilderness Press. ISBN 978-0-89997-326-5. Archived from the original on 2016-11-30. 
  98. ^ "SummitPost—Pico Blanco—Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering". Archived from the original on July 24, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2009. 
  99. ^ Elliot, Analise (January 2005). Hiking & Backpacking Big Sur: A Complete Guide to the Trails of Big Sur. Wilderness Press. p. 323. ISBN 0-89997-326-4. Archived from the original on 2017-02-14. 
  100. ^ a b Counts, Chris (March 12, 2010). "Not just another Big Sur mountain, Pico Blanco has quite a story to tell". Carmel Pine Cone. Archived from the original on 9 July 2016. Retrieved 22 September 2016. 
  101. ^ Text of California Coastal Comm'n v. Granite Rock Co., 480 U.S. 572 (1987) is available from:  Findlaw 
  102. ^ Lindsey, Robert (May 11, 1982). "Many on Coast Fight Oil Lease Move". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2017-10-26. Retrieved October 25, 2017. 
  103. ^ Parenteau, Patrick (January 2, 2017). "Will Obama's offshore drilling ban be Trumped?". The Conversation. Archived from the original on September 25, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-25. 
  104. ^ "California's marine sanctuaries may face new drilling threat". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2017-10-26. Retrieved 2017-10-25. 
  105. ^ "How's the Market? Big Sur". Heinrich Real Estate. Archived from the original on 21 August 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  106. ^ Big Sur: Country Club on Edge Archived 2016-12-20 at the Wayback Machine. Robert Wernick
  107. ^ a b c d Agha, Laith (February 16, 2008). "Blazing a new coastal trail". The Monterey County Herald. Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  108. ^ a b c "Completing the California Coastal Trail" (PDF). State of California. Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  109. ^ Scheinbaum, Chase. "A Brief History of the California Coastal Trail". KCET. Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  110. ^ "Big Sur Coastal Trail Master Planning". California Coastal Conservancy. Archived from the original on 15 September 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  111. ^ "State Parks to Acquire Garrapata, Little Sur, and J.P. Bums Extension" (PDF). Big Sur Gazette. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 February 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  112. ^ Agha, Laith. "Blazing a new coastal trail". The Monterey County Herald. Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  113. ^ "Completing the Trail". Coastwalk, California Coastal Trail. Archived from the original on 2 September 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  114. ^ Kihslinger, Rebecca L.; McElfish, James M. (2009). Nature-Friendly Land Use Practices at Multiple Scales. Washington, D.C.: ELI Press, Environmental Law Institute. pp. 98–99. ISBN 9781585761401. Archived from the original on 30 November 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  115. ^ "Monterey Section 16". Archived from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 31 August 2016. 
  116. ^ "Monterey Southern County". Coastwalk, California Coastal Trail. Archived from the original on 26 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  117. ^ Baez, Joan. "Chronology". Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  118. ^ "Looking Back at Monterey County". November 2014. Archived from the original on 6 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  119. ^ Benyo, Richard; Henderson, Joe (2002). "B: BAA to Bush, George W.". Running Encyclopedia: The Ultimate Source for Today's Runner. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics. ISBN 978-0-7360-3734-1. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  120. ^ Western Regional Climate Center website
  121. ^ a b Leech, Mary (April 21–22, 2006). "Geology of the California Central Coast" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2016. 
  122. ^ "Mining Ridge: Rainiest Spot in Central California". Archived from the original on 13 October 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016. 
  123. ^ "NOWData – NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on April 12, 2012. Retrieved April 14, 2012. 
  124. ^ "Cultural History ]". Archived from the original on 2016-08-25. 
  125. ^ Analise, Elliott (2005). Hiking & Backpacking Big Sur. Berkeley, California: Wilderness Press. p. 21. 
  126. ^ Pavlik, Robert C. (November 1996). "Historic Resource Evaluation Report on the Rock Retaining Walls, Parapets, Culvert Headwalls and Drinking Fountains along the Carmel to San Simeon Highway" (PDF). California Department of Transportation. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 26, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2016. 
  127. ^ a b Meighan, Clement W. (1952). "Excavation of Isabella Meadows Cave, Monterey County California" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2015. 
  128. ^ Breschini, Gary S.; Trudy Haversat. "A Brief Overview of the Esselen Indians of Monterey County". Montery County Historical Society. Archived from the original on November 22, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  129. ^ "Santa Lucia Range ecological subregion information". Archived from the original on March 15, 2005. Retrieved February 22, 2014. 
  130. ^ "Big Sur Magic – Carmel Magazine". Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  131. ^ "PacificaHistory - Portola Expedition September 13 1769 Diaries". Archived from the original on 2016-06-16. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  132. ^ a b Blakely, Jim; Barnette, Karen (July 1985). Historical Overview: Los Padres National Forest (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-02-07. 
  133. ^ Ogden Hoffman, 1862,Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
  134. ^ "Diseño del Rancho Los Tularcitos". State of California. 
  135. ^ Ogden Hoffman, 1862, Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
  136. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho Milpitas
  137. ^ "Monterey County Historical Society, Local History Pages—Overview of Post-Hispanic Monterey County History". Archived from the original on 2006-05-22. 
  138. ^ "Draft Fort Hunter Ligget Special Resource Study & Environmental Assessment: Chapter 2 Cultural Resources" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on February 21, 2017. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 
  139. ^ Blakley, E.R. "Jim"; Karen Barnette (July 1985). Historical Overview of the Los Padres National Forest. privately published. p. 54. 
  140. ^ Diseño del Rancho El Sur (in Spanish). Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  141. ^ "Diseño del parage llamado el Sud y solicitado por Juan Bauta. Alvarado: Rancho El Sur, Calif". 
  142. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho El Sur
  143. ^ "Land Case 1 SD Sur [Monterey County]" (in Spanish). United States District Court (California: Southern District) Land Case 1 SD. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  144. ^ Hoffman, Ogden (1862). Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. San Francisco: Numa Hubert. Archived from the original on 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  145. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9. 
  146. ^ Report of the Superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey Showing the Progress of the Work during the Fiscal Year Ending with June 1886. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. 1887. p. 66. Archived from the original on 2016-11-30. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  147. ^ Theberge, Albert "Skip" (August 20, 2016). "Some Notes From Lieutenant Charles Pierce Part 1: The California Coast 1932– 1933". The American Surveyor. Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  148. ^ Ingersoll, Luther A. (1893) Monterey-San Francisco County CA Archives Biographies, The Lewis Publishing Company
  149. ^ "Spanish and Mexican Heritage Sites". California Department of Parks and Recreation. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  150. ^ Davis, Kathleen. "Big Sur Cabin". California Department of Parks & Recreation. Archived from the original on September 30, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2011. 
  151. ^ "Micheal Pfeiffer, Patent #CACAAA-090364". The Land Patents. Retrieved 25 August 2016. 
  152. ^ a b Lehmann, Susan. "Santa Cruz County History – Making a Living". Santa Cruz Count Library. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  153. ^ BarrInaton, Mary (May 14, 1979). "Partington Landing" (PDF). Big Sur Gazette. p. 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-02-07. 
  154. ^ "A Guide to California's Big Sur". Archived from the original on June 11, 2010. Retrieved November 14, 2009. 
  155. ^ "Lucia in Big Sur, California". Sunset Beach, California: California Travel News. Archived from the original on January 4, 2010. Retrieved September 1, 2009. 
  156. ^ "Mill Creek Redwood Preserve". Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District. 2009. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2009. 
  157. ^ Fischer, Meade. "Five Great Winter Hikes in Big Sur". Retrieved November 14, 2009. 
  158. ^ "Manchester of the Los Burros – Hobbit Mine". Archived from the original on 2015-07-15. 
  159. ^ "Manchester – Big Sur – CA – US – Historical Marker Project". Archived from the original on 2015-07-15. 
  160. ^ Thornton, Stuart. "A Dirty Journey to the Lost City of the Santa Lucias". 
  161. ^ Wall, Rosalind Sharpe. A Wild Coast and Lonely: Big Sur Pioneers 1989, Wide World Publishing; San Carlos, California; pages 126–130
  162. ^ Eliott, page 24
  163. ^ a b c d e f g JRP Historical Consulting Services (November 2001). "Big Sur Highway Management Plan" (PDF). Corridor Intrinsic Qualities Inventory Historic Qualities Summary Report. CalTrans. p. 38. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved November 14, 2009.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "caltrans" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "caltrans" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  164. ^ a b Newland, Renee. "Bixby Creek Bridge". Monterey County Historical Society. Archived from the original on 16 July 2004. Retrieved 13 November 2011. 
  165. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference weekly was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  166. ^ Elliott, Analise (2005). Hiking & Backpacking Big Sur. Berkeley, California: Wilderness Press. 
  167. ^ a b Longfellow, Rickie (April 7, 2011). "Back in Time". Back in Time. U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  168. ^ a b "Resource Issues: Landslide and Debris". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  169. ^ Bixby Creek Bridge (1933) at Structurae
  170. ^ Vitousek, Sean. "Big Sur Bixby Bridge". Archived from the original on November 19, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011. 
  171. ^ Glockner, Joseph A. (June 1, 2008). "Naval Facility (NAVFAC) Station History". The Navy CT / SECGRU History. Archived from the original on September 28, 2011. 
  172. ^ "Is Big Sur's Highway 1 worth saving?". Archived from the original on 2017-06-07. 
  173. ^ Bridgehunter – Historic Bridges of the U.S.: Bixby Creek Bridge Archived July 24, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  174. ^ a b Text of National Advertising Co. v. County of Monterey, 211 Cal.App.2d 375 (1962) is available from:  Findlaw  Justia 
  175. ^ "Big Sur Use Plan". The Big Sur Local Coastal Program Defense Committee. Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016. 
  176. ^ a b "A History of Road Closures Along Highway 1, Big Sur Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, California" (PDF). CalTrans. November 2001. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 February 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2016. 
  177. ^ a b "What price beauty? On Highway 1, Mother Nature decides". sanluisobispo. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  178. ^ "Historical Flooding". Monterey County Water Resources Agency. Archived from the original on 28 November 2016. Retrieved 5 October 2016. 
  179. ^ "Highway 1 To Be Closed At Least 1 Month". KSBW. 2011-03-18. Archived from the original on October 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  180. ^ "Landslide shuts famed Californian Highway 1 as big chunk falls into the sea". Daily Mail. 2011-03-18. Archived from the original on 2011-08-15. Retrieved 2011-08-14. 
  181. ^ Magallon, Stephanie. "UPDATE: Hwy 1 at Big Sur back open after rock slide". KION. Archived from the original on 9 October 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2016. 
  182. ^ CNRFC, NOAA's National Weather Service -. "California Nevada River Forecast Center". Archived from the original on 2017-02-06. 
  183. ^ "News, Breaking News and More: Monterey County Herald". Archived from the original on 2017-02-23. 
  184. ^ Marino, Pam. "UPDATE: Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 closed to traffic until further notice". 
  185. ^ Pogash, Carol (21 February 2017). "Big Sur ravaged by floods, mudslides and storms: 'Paradise can turn on you'". Archived from the original on 15 March 2017 – via The Guardian. 
  186. ^ "Big Sur: Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge to open Oct. 13". 4 October 2017. Archived from the original on 6 October 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-04. 
  187. ^ Serna, Joseph. "A vital Highway 1 bridge connection in Big Sur set to reopen next week, Caltrans says". Retrieved 2017-11-07. 
  188. ^ Wright, Tommy (February 22, 2017). "Highway 1: Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge condemned". The Mercury News. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  189. ^ Johnson, Lizzie (February 25, 2017). "Bridge failure severs Big Sur's ties to outside world". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 26 February 2017. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  190. ^ "Big Sur coast has grown 13 acres from new landslide". 31 May 2017. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. 
  191. ^ Janie Har Landslide on California highway part of $1 billion in damage Archived 2017-05-25 at the Wayback Machine. Associated Press May 23, 2017
  192. ^ Nicole, Chavez; Allen, Keith; Hanna, Jason. "Landslide buries California's scenic highway in Big Sur". CNN. Archived from the original on 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017. 
  193. ^ Schmalz, David Caltrans announces plan to reopen Highway 1 at Mud Creek
  194. ^ Caltrans, State of California,. "SR1 Road Information - California Highway Information". Archived from the original on 26 September 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017. 
  195. ^ Forgione, Mary (September 12, 2017). "Highway 1 south of Big Sur now won't be completely reopened until late summer 2018". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 12, 2017. 
  196. ^ "22 Big Sur – Monterey" (PDF). Monterey Salinas Transit. Archived (PDF) from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  197. ^ a b c d "93920". American Fact Finder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 8 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  198. ^ "93923, California". US Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  199. ^ Howe, Kevin. "Palo Colorado Canyon, California Station To Go Up". Archived from the original on 12 October 2016. Retrieved 7 September 2016. 
  200. ^ "Ragged Point". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  201. ^ "Monterey County Supervisorial District 5 Map (North District 5)". County of Monterey. Archived from the original on 27 June 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  202. ^ "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Archived from the original on February 1, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  203. ^ "California's 20th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. 
  204. ^ Eyerman, J. R. (1959), "Rugged, Romantic World Apart", Life, 47 (1): 65, archived from the original on 2016-05-16 
  205. ^ Miller, Henry (1957). Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch. New York:New Directions Publishing; page 45
  206. ^ Ghan Patel. "Henry Miller Memorial Library". Archived from the original on 2016-10-04. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  207. ^ "Henry Miller Memorial Library". Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  208. ^ "Rogue Magazine - October 1961". Gonzo Gallery. Retrieved 2017-12-11. 
  209. ^ "Hunter S. Thompson – Gonzo Frontiersman". Beatdom. 2012-09-22. Retrieved 2017-12-11. 
  210. ^ Big Sur: Country Club on the Edge Archived 2016-12-20 at the Wayback Machine. Robert Wernick (1997)
  211. ^ "Tales from Nepenthe: Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles". Archived from the original on 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  212. ^ "Movies Made in Monterey – Z". Archived from the original on 2016-05-10. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  213. ^ "Monterey Film History by Location | Films Made in Monterey". Monterey County Film Commission Blog. Archived from the original on 2017-11-07. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  214. ^ Cooke, Douglas. "The Big Sur Folk Festival, 1964–1971". Archived from the original on 2008-03-31. 

Further readingEdit

  • Big Sur, Jack Kerouac, Penguin Books, Reprint edition (1962, reprinted 1992), 256 pages, ISBN 0-14-016812-5
  • Big Sur: A Battle for the Wilderness 1869 – 1981, John Woolfenden, The Boxwood Press (1981), 143 pages, ISBN 0-910286-87-6
  • Big Sur: Images of America, Jeff Norman, Big Sur Historical Society, Arcadia Publishing (2004), 128 pages, ISBN 0-7385-2913-3
  • Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch, Henry Miller, New Directions Publishing Corp (1957), 404 pages, ISBN 0-8112-0107-4
  • Hiking & Backpacking Big Sur, Analise Elliott, Wilderness Press (2005), 322 pages, ISBN 0-89997-326-4
  • The Natural History of Big Sur, Paul Henson and Donald J. Usner, University of California Press (1993), 416 pages, ISBN 0-520-20510-3
  • A Wild Coast and Lonely: Big Sur Pioneers, Rosalind Sharpe Wall, Wide World Publishing, (1989, reprinted April 1992), 264 pages, ISBN 0-933174-83-7

External linksEdit

This article incorporates public domain content from United States and California government sources.