California’s Highway 1 is my favorite road trip in the world and the stretch near Big Sur, South of Monterey is the most beautiful part. Driving the windy road along the dramatic cliff side with the mountain above you and the ocean below you in a convertible on a sunny day – driving doesn’t get any better! Now, more than 1/3 of a mile of the highway is buried under rubble and CA-1 is closed for an undetermined time!
California’s coastline has seen its share of landslides, with the beautiful coastal road frequently shut down. One area near San Francisco has a name to match – Devil’s Slide. This year, after years of drought, heavy rain hit California and soaked the hills. The area called Mud Creek, South of Monterey, between Gorda, CA and Ragged Point, was drenched so badly that the ground started to give way. It was so bad that CALTRANS (responsible for roads in California) had to stop repairs for the ground to stabilize. Instead, what locals called “the mother of all landslides” took down the whole hill, buried more than 1/3 of a mile of road and actually created a new piece of California where a straight coastline used to be!
Because the area is still considered unstable, CALTRANS can’t give any estimate how long Highway CA-1 will be closed. The only landslide of similar proportions many years ago took 14 months to fix, so we might have to wait a while!
While you will still be able to access Big Sur from Monterey, you won’t be able to continue South to Los Angeles along the coast and the detour inland is so long that I recommend to postpone any plans you had for the World’s Best Roadtrip and find other places to visit in California, like Monterey, the Wine Country or Lake Tahoe!
You can find more detail no this landslide at NPR!
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