Big Sur

Every state has scenic drives, but highway 1 along California’s coast blows them all out of the water.  The drive north from L.A. has been the most beautiful portion of our trip by far.  We stopped at many fun towns, saw more waterfalls than we could count, and soaked up the breathtaking views.

Our first stop was Big Sur.  On the way we came across Elephant Seal Beach and giggled at their funny appearance and at the hilarious sounds they were making at one another.  We also saw two grey whales, a mamma and her baby, making their way up the coast just off shore.  Seeing marine wildlife is such a treat for me.

We arrived in the Big Sur area as the sun was setting and were blessed with spectacular views of steep green hillsides on one side and the expansive ocean on the other.  As it got darker and darker the winding road perched above the waves was pretty frightening, but we found our campsite just before the sun’s final rays dipped below the horizon. I was glad Taylor was driving instead of me!


We found our beautiful free campsite just as the sun went down.

The next day we saw more of what Big Sur had to offer.  We saw the famous waterfall dripping over the cliffs into the sea and we saw purple sand on the beaches, but our favorite experience was the crazy hike we did.  I had read about a canyon trail following a stream.  When we arrived at the trailhead there was no evidence of a trail, but we did find a stream so we forged our own path along the creek’s cascades.  The trek was intense.


We loved the creeks, waterfalls, and soaring trees on our canyon adventure hike.

We climbed past waterfalls and over boulders.  We used roots has handholds and logs as bridges.  It would have been dangerous if one of us had slipped, but the sense of adventure was incredible.  The highlight was finding our own secret waterfall that seemed to be a dead-end, but then finding a rope someone had left enabling us to climb around it and keep going.  Finally, just when my legs were starting to ache and get clumsy, we found the actual path which led us to a great vista overlooking the Big Sur area.  We were sore later, but we felt like we truly immersed ourselves in the area.

Taylor put together a great video of our time in the area. Click here to watch it in HD.

4 thoughts on “Big Sur”

  1. If you’re continuing north on HWY 1 and can take time for the “17-Mile Drive” at Carmel-By-The-Sea, it is one of our favorite places. (honeymoon country – and we go back often) Spectacular beauty and completely different than the rest of the CA coast.

  2. We just got back from a trip to Paris and then took the Eurostar to London for five days. Yes 1 is a trip, did it on my bike a few years ago. Then went up and across to Victoria Island for some more fun and then back being sure to take in Lobo and a few other passes.

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