From an awe-inspiring coastline to miles of lush fields to the breathtaking Santa Lucia Mountains, Monterey County continues to attract more and more visitors every year. With more travelers coming to the region, we are encouraging guests to travel responsibly. Monterey County works hard to make our communities the very best places to live and to visit with a thriving environment and respect for the local culture. As part of “Sustainable Moments,” we are educating visitors on the importance of protecting and preserving the destination's incredible natural assets and pristine landscape.

As state parks, campgrounds and hiking trails in Big Sur continue to reopen to the public after the winter rains and mudslides caused temporary closings along Highway 1, we are offering a few tips for responsible travel when visiting the area:

  • Bring a reusable water bottle and shopping bag to reduce the amount of one-time use plastics.
  • Wildfires are a great concern especially during the dry season. Please extinguish cigarettes in your ashtray. If camping, make sure your fire is safe and legal, and be sure to extinguish before you leave. Do not start illegal fires.
  • Please don't set up camp on the roadside. Roadside camping is unsafe and prohibited along Highway 1. Book a reservation at one of the area’s hotels or campsites for the best experience.
  • Don't treat the side of the road like a restroom. Public restrooms are scarce along Highway 1 so be sure to make a pit stop in Monterey or Carmel beforehand.
  • Always leave a place better than the way you arrived, this includes “pack in, pack out” and “leave no trace” practices. Bring garbage bags with you so you can dispose of trash in a safe and clean way.
  • Stick to marked trails to avoid harming native flora, and consider taking a bag to pick up trash along your hike.
  • Plants, animals, rocks and artifacts are protected and should not be disturbed. Collecting driftwood, firewood and rocks may be allowed in certain designated areas. Contact the nearest park ranger station or park official.
  • Use public transportation, rent a bike or walk when convenient.

Responsible travel minimizes negative impacts and brings positive benefits to local communities. Visitors can learn more about sustainable travel and enjoying the destination like a local by visiting Together we can preserve Monterey County for generations and generations to come.

Big Sur Safety Tips