Travel like a Big Sur Expert

With its stunning scenery and eclectic vibe, now is the perfect time to find your way to Big Sur. The right path is waiting. Help preserve the magic of Big Sur by following all guidelines, leaving no trace and treating the community with care. Vow to be a responsible traveler and take the Big Sur Pledge. View more tips on how to travel responsibly in Monterey County.

Dos and Don'ts for Traveling in Big Sur


  • DO Breathe it All In — Be present to experience the magic of Big Sur
  • DO Stay on the Hiking Trails — Be respectful of Big Sur by adhering to all posted signage and staying on designated paths at all times
  • DO "Leave No Trace" — Pack it in, pack it out. Properly dispose of all waste at the nearest landfill, recycle and compost receptacles
  • DO Respect Private Property — Respect the property rights of others. Most of the land adjacent to Highway 1 is posted private property and trespassing laws are strictly enforced
  • DO Park on Designated Pull Outs — Use caution and safely use the proper parking pullouts on Highway 1. If a parking pullout is full, simply continue on to the next one and ensure that your vehicle is parked completely off the roadway
  • DO Be Aware — Use caution on trails and in campgrounds when encountering plants and animals, including poison oak, ticks and mountain lions. Find more information on CA State Parks


  • DON'T Start Fires — Remember that campfires, barbeques and open fires are not allowed except in developed campgrounds in fire rings and other approved fire receptacles. Always extinguish your fire when you leave
  • DON'T Set Up Camp on the Roadside — Monterey County has increased the fine for illegal camping to $1,000 to help preserve the destination and protect against wildfires. This includes camping along Highway 1 in Big Sur and any side roads
  • DON'T Treat the Side of the Road Like a Restroom — Public restrooms are scarce along Highway 1 so make pit stops in Monterey or Carmel beforehand. Restrooms at CA State Parks within Big Sur are also open to the public. Find a list of public restrooms in the Big Sur area HERE
  • DON'T Let Pets Run Wild — In CA State Parks, pets must be on a leash at all times and are not allowed on the trails. In U.S. Forest Service lands, pets must be leashed in developed campgrounds, picnic and day use areas
  • DON'T Use Drones Illegally — Motorized aerial vehicles are not allowed along Highway 1, over the ocean or within Big Sur, as they may harm local wildlife and are distracting to drivers. Find more information about drone usage and permitting in Monterey County HERE 

Visit the Big Sur Visitor Guide for more responsible travel tips. 

Driving Tips for Highway 1

State Highway 1 through Big Sur is recognized internationally as one of the world’s most beautiful highways. It is also one of the most maintained highways in America. Keep these tips in mind when you travel this route:

  • Drive carefully and always wear a seatbelt. You never know what hazard you may come across
  • Buckle up! It’s the la
  • Keep your eyes on  road — if you want to enjoy the scenery, please use designated pull outs
  • Maintain your speed and abide by the posted speed limit (55 MPH) unless otherwise posted. Slower traffic should pull over and let others pass
  • When pulling over, avoid quick stops on the unpaved turn-outs and shoulders
  • Watch for touring bicyclists
  • Or, leave the driving to someone else: the Monterey Salinas Transit bus (line 22) runs daily between Monterey and Big Sur Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day

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