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I am going to visit California next month and want to drive down Highway 1 from Santa Cruz to San Diego.

There was a mudslide 2 months back and they said that sections of Highway 1 will be closed for months.

What would be the best route for me to drive down the coast? I want to drive as much of Highway 1 as possible without missing out on any sights. If I have to bypass a section, what do I miss if I do not drive back up the part behind the closed section? Are there any other parts that are inaccessible at the moment? Thanks in advance!

Post is related to a rapidly changing event.

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You can check route conditions on the CalTrans web site, which shows the portions of the route affected:

Current State Route 1 Conditions

Before driving, check with the Caltrans Highway Information Network (CHIN) 800.427.7623

SR 1 in the Central California Area

  • is closed from 4.6 miles north of Ragged Point to Gorda (Monterey County), due to mudslide removal. Motorists can access SR 1 from Gorda to Limekiln State Park by using Naciemiento-Ferguson Road

  • is closed from Limekiln Creek Bridge to 0.5 miles south of Big Sur State Park, in Big Sur (Monterey County), due to mudslide removal and bridge replacement

  • is closed from 1 mile north of Muir Beach at Slide Ranch to 0.2 miles south of Stinson Beach (Marin County) due to mudslide removal

Trip Savvy has suggestions how to navigate around the affected area.

What To Do If You Are Traveling South
The best thing to do is to drive on Highway One from Carmel to the turnoff for Andrew Molera State Park, then turn around and go back north to Monterey. From Monterey go to Salinas and catch US Hwy 101 south.

You can reconnect with Highway 1 through Paso Robles or San Luis Obispo and go north from there to get to Hearst Castle if you want to see it.

Taking that route, you will see the scenic Bixby Creek Bridge, the Big Sur Lighthouse and the Big Sur River running into the ocean. You'll also get good coastal views that are typical of Big Sur.

Checking road closures is easy.
Go to the CalTrans website, enter 1 (the highway number) and search. You can get the same information on mobile devices with internet browsers - or by phone at 800-427-7623.

CalTrans also has an app, but it's not as helpful as it could be. You can also check their map of road closures.

  • Backtracking up to Hearst Castle might be worthwhile if you have time for it. It's supposed to be quite the sight, though I've never managed to go, because every time I get close, my trip is interrupted by a family emergency or a rather large earthquake or some other calamity. – Zach Lipton Jul 16 '17 at 20:33
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    Should note that the Marin County closure isn't relevant to OP's plans. – The Photon Jul 17 '17 at 16:49
  • @ZachLipton I heard Hearst Castle was a tourist trap. Might need to do research on that to decide. – Ian Jul 18 '17 at 6:35
  • @ian_itor If you do go, I'll try to stay well away, since I seem to be cursed every time I try to go. – Zach Lipton Jul 18 '17 at 6:50

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