Big Sur Information

Header Photo by bigsurkate


For the most thorough and complete guide to Big Sur on the internet see:

Big Sur Visitor’s Guide




Interactive Highway Map with Mile Markers and slide names is to the right, under “Pages” first one *Big Sur Interactive Maps... if the following link doesn’t work. *Big Sur Interactive Slide Maps will answer any questions you may have about where something is in relation to something else.


(Size for any header photos you may wish to submit it is 760×151 pixels.)

Fuel Moisture levels dangerous

Do not be fooled by the thick fog these last few days. It is not rain, and won’t lower the fire danger risk.

From Daniel Swain, Weather West ( : “Strong warming trend across California into weekend & next wk, w/record highs possible (into 80s & even 90s in few spots). Still no rain next 7-9 days. Beyond that, mixed signals. Modest possibility of precip, but also of offshore wind events. Which will come first?”

I finally bought myself a personal “weather station” like the ones firefighters carry. I got the 3000 because that is what a fire photographer online friend uses. Next time, the 3500. Here is what it will measure:

Long cord for hanging around neck, and a protective cover. This is what it looks like:

Now I need to figure out how to use it!

Prescribed burn planned

Trust me, I get the irony of posting the severe fire restrictions by the Unites States Forest Service for Los Padres National Forest yesterday , and then Cal Fire sending this prescribed burn notice and my publishing it today. At 6800 acres, this will be a big one, and the smoke will be visible in many areas.

Extreme Fire Danger campfire restrictions

Only once or twice before do I remember campfires being banned inside the developed campgrounds of Plaskett Creek and Kirk Creek. This should give everyone an idea about how bad it is.

Los Padres National Forest officials raise fire restrictions
GOLETA, Calif. – Due to extremely dry vegetation and an increasing fire danger, Los Padres National Forest officials announced that Extreme Fire Danger fire restrictions will go into effect immediately and remain in effect through December 31, 2019. The following restrictions will be rigorously enforced:

  • Wood and charcoal fires are prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest, including designated Campfire Use sites. Persons with a valid California Campfire Permit are allowed to use portable stoves and lanterns using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel only within the Designated Campfire Use Sites listed on Exhibit A. California Campfire Permits are available for free download from the Los Padres National Forest website (
  • Recreational target shooting is prohibited in all areas of the National Forest unless specifically authorized by a special use permit with the Forest.
  • Hunting with a valid State of California hunting license during open hunting season is exempt from the target shooting prohibition.
  • Smoking is prohibited in all areas of Los Padres National Forest except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or designated Campfire Use Site.
  • Operating or using any internal or external combustion engine without a spark arresting device properly installed, maintained and in effective working order on roads and trails specifically designated for such use. (This restriction is in effect year-round.)

Violators may face a fine of $5,000 and/or six months in jail.
For further information regarding current conditions and safety tips, please contact your nearest Forest Service office. A list of designated Campfire Use Sites is available on the Los Padres National Forest website at or by contacting the Forest Service district office nearest you.

Veterans Day, 2019

I was honored to be a part of a dinner and award ceremony for Monterey County Veterans of the Year with 2 other women, and 9 other men — all continuing their service through volunteer work for our community.

kate 1
Photo by Martha Karstens
kate 2
Congressman Panetta, himself a former Veteran of the Year

Then, I joined the staff and friends of Voices of Monterey Bay for a joyous birthday bash for Voices and a celebration of the First Amendment on Sunday night at the Haute Enchilada Social Club in Moss Landing. The evening was full of music, performance, readings, good food and good company. This was one of the musical performances: a family that played and sang for us.

Finally, we are wrapping up our weekend with Veterans Day free-admission-for-vets at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Photos later, I hope.

I hope yours was as blessed and filled with warmth and smiles as mine was.

Partnership to address Tourist Impact

Dear Friend of Big Sur,

The Community Association of Big Sur (CABS) has launched a private public partnership to address tourism and its impact in Big Sur. In partnership with the Monterey County Board of Supervisors and their provision of a seed grant to begin the process, CABS has hired Costas Christ of Beyond Green Travel to lead the effort. 

However, we need to raise more funding in order to not only complete the analysis and planning process, but to also test out recommended mitigations. 

CABS is proud to announce that the Monterey County Weekly in partnership with the Community Foundation for Monterey County and the Monterey Peninsula Foundation have chosen our non-profit and this project to be highlighted in the Monterey County Givesfundraising campaign.

See link at below photo to go to the Monterey County Gives link to make a donation.

Your contribution will be matched by these sponsors, enabling our community to do this important work to benefit generations to come.
With gratitude,
Butch Kronlund, ED, Community Association of Big Sur
“Our community can design innovative solutions to ensure that tourism benefits businesses, visitors, residents and our fragile coastline.”Butch Kronlund, ED, Community Association of Big Sur
Donate to McGives & help Big Sur complete and implement a sustainable tourism

To get to MC Gives to donate, click

Urgent Repairs to Carmel Valley Road

November 6, 2019
Urgent Road Repairs Scheduled for Carmel Valley Road at MP 13.62

The County of Monterey – Resource Management Agency announces urgent roadway repairs for Carmel Valley Road at MP 13.62. The area of the roadway has deteriorated due to prior storm activity; thus, the County is taking proactive measures before the next storm season.

Work is scheduled to begin November 18 and will continue tentatively through November 27, 2019. Construction activities will include removal and replacement of the damaged storm drain culvert, installation of a catch basin for drainage and re-pavement of the affected roadway.

Repair work hours will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Efforts will be made to accommodate the morning AM and evening PM peak travel hours and avoid periodic lane closures during these times. In general, commuters should anticipate ten-(10) minute to fifteen-(15) minutes additional travel time due to periodic lane closures and delays.

Message boards will be installed Thursday, November 7th on Carmel Valley Road to alert the public of the upcoming repairs and anticipated traffic delays.

The County has designated points of contact for this project to receive questions and coordinate with agencies to provide a collective response:
Bonnie Perez, Management Analyst II Email:
Karina Bokanovich, Management Analyst I Email:

Safety Closures of Highway One before/during storms

Date:         November 5, 2019

District:    District 5 (Central Coast)

Contact: (bilingual) or

Phone:      (805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3237



MONTEREY COUNTY— Caltrans plans to temporarily close Highway 1 at Mud Creek (PM 8.9) and/or Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6) south of Big Sur when significant rainfall is forecast by the National Weather Service (NWS) as a safety measure for the public.

When significant storms are forecast by the NWS, Caltrans will send a 48-hour traffic advisory to the public in case the roadway needs to close. This will allow time for the local communities and motorists to prepare for the closure, stock up on necessary supplies and make alternate travel plans. At the 24-hour mark, Caltrans will issue a traffic advisory either confirming the full closure or providing new information. These 48 and 24-hour notices apply only to Paul’s Slide and Mud Creek—each closure will be treated separately (two separate closures, one may open but the other may not, depending on the assessment).

Caltrans will have our Geotech, Maintenance and Construction units on call and prepared to inspect/clear roads of debris during daylight hours when the storm ends and it’s safe to be on site. Gates are installed on either side of Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide that will be locked. These gates will not be manned when the highway is closed. No one, including law enforcement, Emergency Services or Caltrans employees, will be allowed access until a proper assessment can be made and any necessary clean-up completed.

The ongoing restoration projects at Mud Creek and Paul’s Slide have re-established a traversable route over both landslides, but continued movement of the newly-formed slopes and landslide features are expected. Closing the highway during significant rainfall is necessary for the safety of travelers and our workers.

“The heavy rainfall in the winter months of 2017 resulted in significant landslide movement at many spots on Highway 1 along the Big Sur Coast,” said Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins. “We ask for the community’s patience during these closures.  Caltrans will strive to clear the highway and reopen Highway 1 as quickly as possible when it is safe to do so.”

Motorists should consult Caltrans Quick Map at for the latest closure information on Highway 1 and all state highways during the wildfire and mudslide season.

Mud Creek (PM 8.9)

Mud Creek had a major landslide on Saturday, May 20, 2017, involving the movement of over 6 million cubic yards of material. The new alignment was built out on the slide material for the middle portion and on a compacted embankment on the south and north ends. The new highway extends out towards the ocean upwards of 250 feet from the original highway. The roadway is 150 to 260 feet above sea level. Natural slopes remaining from the landslide and engineered slopes above and below the roadway are anticipated to experience significant erosion and movement as the new landmass matures.

Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6)

The highway has been reestablished across the landslide but movement of the slopes above and below the roadway continue to push it toward the ocean. Paul’s Slide has been active since January 2017, stabilization measures including creation of additional catchment and temporary stabilization of the Hermitage Wall have been completed.Caltrans expects to reopen to two lanes at Paul’s Slide in December. The signal equipment will be turned off but left in place to allow a quick reactivation if the slide overwhelms the catchment.                                                                                       –Photos below—

Recent photos of Mud Creek Slide, whole (top) and side (above) views from mid-October 2019.

Photos on left (August ’19) and right (mid-October) show Paul’s Slide before and after completion of the cut, respectively. Right photo courtesy of John Madonna Construction.

The next update will occur when the first 48-hour traffic advisory is issued.                                           

Reminder re Big Creek Bridge

Today’s Date: Monday, November 4, 2019

District:           05 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa       

                         Cruz Counties                                                   

Contact:          Susana Z Cruz (bilingual) or Colin Jones

Phone:            (805) 549-3138 or (805) 549-3189




BIG SUR COAST– Caltrans will begin a construction project to extend the life of the Big Creek Bridge on Highway 1, 27 miles south of Big Sur on Wednesday, Nov. 6.Electrochemical Chloride Extraction (ECE), will be used to remove chloride ions from the concrete and reinstate the passivity of the bridge’s steel reinforcement. Details are as follows:

Wednesday, Nov. 6 through Friday, Nov. 8

  • Highway 1 at Big Creek will experience intermittent lane closures with one-way traffic control from 7 am to 6 pm through Friday, Nov. 8 to mobilize equipment
  • Motorists can expect 10 to 15-minute traffic delays

Monday, Nov. 11 through Friday, Nov. 15

  • Same closure time and location through Friday, Nov. 15 to install scaffolding under bridge—equipment will be crossing the roadway and delays of up to 15 minutes can also be expected.

The ECE process extends the life of concrete structures/the Big Creek Bridge.

NOTE: Big Creek Bridge will be restricted to legal trucks only, no permit loads will be allowed on the bridge until the project is completed.

Please refer to link below for a more in-depth explanation of the ECE process.

The contractor for this $10.5 million construction project is Truesdell Corporation of CA, Inc from Tempe, AZ. The project is scheduled to be complete in the Summer of 2021.