The Big Sur coast is one of our favorite places in California, and there is typically an abundance of recreation opportunities and camping available in the area. However, mother nature has not been very kind to Big Sur as of late. After battling the Soberanes Fire for 3 months in the summer of 2016, the coast got drenched like much of California with winter storms. This has caused land slides, fallen trees, and flooding.
As a result four California State Parks on the Big Sur Coast have closed indefinitely and one is only partially open while work crews work on repairing the damage and making the parks and trails safe again. In addition, CalTrans is working on options to replace the crumbling Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on CA Highway 1, which has been damaged by a sinking hillside.
Andrew Molera State Park: Closed until further notice due to flooding and mudslides from recent heavy rains.
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park: This park closed in summer 2016 due to the Soberanes Fire and will continue to be closed due to flooding from recent heavy rains.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: Closed indefinitely due to road closures, rock slides and dangerous conditions on Highway 1. No beach access, which means both Saddle Rock and McWay Falls are inaccessible.
Limekiln State Park: Closed until further notice due to road closures, rock slides, fallen trees and dangerous conditions on Highway 1.
Garrapata State Park: Open only on the west side of Highway 1. All park lands east of Highway 1 closed to public entry, due to the 2016 Soberanes Fire.
Damage & Cleanup
The Soberanes Fire burned for three months last summer. The hot fire burned more than 132,000 acres in the Big Sur area, consuming the lush vegitation and forests that literally hold the ground together. So when the extremely wet winter season came along, the hillsides started to give way with nothing to hold them in place. This has left California State Parks and the surrounding Los Padres National forest with the daunting task of cleaning up. In some instances hiking trails have been completely erased from the hillside and campgrounds have been washed out.
Los Padres National Forest has closed nearly its entire northern half due to the damage from the fire and storms, which has impacted dozens of campgrounds in the area. California State Parks is hoping to try and get some of the impacted parks open by mid-summer, however it will be in a limited fashion with only a handful of campsites and trails opening at a time.