Big Sur has as many visitors as some of the busiest national parks in the country, but they don’t have the infrastructure to support this influx of adventurers. Check out this list we’ve curated with Ventana Wilderness Alliance on 6 ways to leave the Big Sur coast better than you found it.
1. Be Prepared:
When planning your trip, remember to share your itinerary with others and download maps when available, as service is extremely limited. Do your research ahead of time to maximize your trip! Need help getting started? Click here.
2. Take Advantage of Rest Stops:
The 91 miles of highway along the coast offers limited locations to stop and rest. Bathroom facilities are limited as well. Many pull offs offer great views but you will want to make sure to plan accordingly where you will stop from beginning to the end of your day. Big Sur does not have as many facilities as a national park so make sure to take those opportunities when they arise.
3. Stay on the Trails:
Due to the harsh weather conditions Big Sur faces during the wet season, staying on the trails is crucial in order to preserve the surrounding ecosystem and prevent further erosion. Plus, staying on the trail means you minimize your risk of injury or getting lost!
4. Camp with Care:
Staying the night in Big Sur? Be sure to follow Leave No Trace principles when camping! Camp at designated campsites (roadside camping is prohibited and carries a $1,000 fine)—remember, a good campsite is found, not made.Reduce the risk of wildfires by cooking on a camp stove versus a campfire. Be aware that campfire restrictions are in place for the majority of the year—permits for campfires (when allowed) as well as use of camp stoves both require a permit (click here). Be kind to your neighbors, both humans and wildlife. Be kind to your neighbors, both humans and wildlife.
5. Have a Backup Plan:
As most of us know, weather changes quickly on the coast and given some road closures on occasion, it’s always good to have a plan B in route. Depending on the time of year you’re visiting, there may be more folks than usual. If a parking area is full, it’s best to refrain from parking on the roadside for your safety. Highway 1 is known for blindspots due to curves, and higher speeds.
6. Pack It Out:
Keep Big Sur beautiful; there are limited trash cans, so it is important you pack out your trash. This includes things like: apple cores, orange peels, pistachio and sunflower shells, bottle caps, gum wrappers, and cigarette butts.