PCH Now Open All The Way From Morro Bay To Carmel
Starting July 20, you will be able to travel Pacific Coast Highway all the way from Morro Bay to Carmel now that a damaged portion of the famous roadway has been repaired south of Big Sur.
Part of the famous and scenic California coastal road was washed out during a winter storm in 2017 south of the town of Gorda. It had been closed ever since, making it impossible to drive the entire length of PCH and cutting off access pretty much between Hearst Castle and Carmel.
Now, however, the route is open all the way up – and down, depending on the direction you are going – the coast. Previously, you had to go around it on the inland (and, quite frankly, far too underrated) Highway 101 between Highways 46 by Hearst Castle and Highway 68 at Carmel/Monterey/Salinas.
The 300-mile stretch from Highway 46 to Carmel is by far the most traveled portion of Pacific Coast Highway, at least in the the non-population areas of California. It is in Big Sur – with its dramatic cliffs plunging into the Pacific and the iconic Bixby Bridge – where its legend as one of America’s and the world’s greatest roadways was built.
You could still access most of it during the closure, but had to turn around at what became known as the Mud Creek Slide, which was south of Big Sur. This caused some confusion and frustration among tourists and a lot of concern for businesses on both sides of the slide.
Now, however, the path is clear for people to explore all 650-plus miles of Pacific Coast Highway. Just note that it takes a while to do it, as the road has a lot of curves, a lot of traffic in the summer and a lot of turnouts in which to stop and admire the view.