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Old 08-25-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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Carmel to Big Sur Highway 1, Grades?

Has anyone done this drive to Big Sur and found it scary? We are new and taking a 25 foot airstream up? We will just go from Carmel to Big Sur than back to San Francisco. We are also looking for a great place to store and airstream in the Bay area if you have any suggestions we would love to know.

best, Lisa
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:38 PM   #2
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It's a great drive - in fact it's probably one of the most scenic drives in the world. Grades are not the problem, just lots of twisty turns. But there are tons of RV and trailers that go that way all the time. It's been very foggy lately - but in a few weeks when we start to turn to fall weather, it should be sunny more often.

If you want to overnight, Pfeiffer Big Sure state park has campsites for trailers up to 27 feet - and it's a fantastic park right on the big sur river. Also many great hikes.

Other favorite places on your drive:

Point Lobos Marine Reserve - park on the road out front and walk in. One of the most special places on the west coast, lots of Sea Otters.

Nepenthe - Just south of big sur, expensive, amazing view, good bar, lots of Cougar watching.

Garapata State Park - A moderate hike up a stream leading to an unexpected grove of Redwood Trees. Amazing views, regularly see Blue Whales migrating.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park - Hike 0.5 miles to see McWay Falls - ever seen a waterfall that lands on a beach?

There is lots more, but this is a start. If you hit good weather, you are going to find yourself wanting to stop and get out about every 10 minutes.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:50 PM   #3
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If you like butterflies check out the Monarchs, hope the link works.
Monarch Butterflys of Pismo Beach, California
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:55 PM   #4
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Lisa here is a link that will help you with road conditions.
Highway One Closure - Information - Detours - In Case California Hwy 1 is Closed
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Old 08-26-2012, 12:27 AM   #5
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We took our 24' Trade Wind from Carmel to Big Sur 2 summers ago. You shouldn't have any problem. The road is winding in places BUT the drive is so beautiful you will not need or want to be in a hurry. If you hit Kirk Creek Campground just at the right time you might just get a site there. Just Beautiful!
Neil
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:19 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FreshAir View Post
We took our 24' Trade Wind from Carmel to Big Sur 2 summers ago. You shouldn't have any problem. The road is winding in places BUT the drive is so beautiful you will not need or want to be in a hurry. If you hit Kirk Creek Campground just at the right time you might just get a site there. Just Beautiful!
Neil

That's a beautiful photo. Looks like a perfect candidate for the August photo contest thread.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:39 PM   #7
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The road has a lot of blind curves, steep drop offs and impatient drivers behind you. There are plenty of pull offs so the impatient ones can pass you.

We are used to steep drop offs and blind curves, so no big deal for us, but since you are from Kansas, this may be new to you. Just take it slow. We did this drive with a 25' Safari a couple of years ago without a problem.

There are a few private campgrounds in Big Sur, none that good, but the state parks are often booked up. Check to see if you can make reservations beforehand at the parks, then try to private ones.

Cafe Nepenthe has great views. There are 2 levels to the restaurant—the lower level is cheaper though the menu is short. Then go upstairs where you can get a drink and look at the views (if it isn't foggy).

Big Sur is just a collection of places along the highway—no real town. Gas is very expensive, so fill up before you get to Carmel (also interesting to look around in, but park the trailer first).

Driving along the Pacific coast is a wonderful experience both north and south of SF.

Gene
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
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We did the drive down to Pfeiffer Big Sur SP on Highway 1 not that long ago with our 27FB. It was fine, just take it slow and enjoy! We didn't go any further than Pfeiffer, though, and I've heard that the section south of that is a bit more hairy.

As for storing in the Bay Area - our Airstream lives at Store Inside in Milpitas and we are very happy with them. It is a bit out of the way for us, but worth it.
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