Storms Could Cause Pacific Coast Highway To Shut Down Between Hearst Castle & Carmel
Despite being recently re-opened between Hearst Castle and Carmel, scenic Pacific Coast Highway – the legendary Highway 1 along the California coastline – may still be shut down from time to time this winter.
If Caltrans receives notice of a “significant storm” from the National Weather Service, some parts of the highway will be closed due to the fragile landscape. Mudslides and rock slides are still a distinct possibility at areas along the road. Officials want to be sure the road is safe, does not get damaged (or wiped out, which happened two years ago) and wil conduct safety inspections after heavy rains.
A three-mile stretch called Paul’s Slide south of Lucia and Mud Creek, about 35 miles north of Cambria and Hearst Castle, recently reopened after being closed for a year due to washouts caused from a winter storm.
So if you’re traveling up or down PCH thru at least March – and, depending on the weather, into even April – check this Caltrans website for updates: quickmap.dot.ca.gov
California has had an unusually large amount of rain this winter and it has produced some crazy weather around the state. In early February it snowed in Napa and it hailed during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, causing a long delay at this PGA Tour golf tournament.
It’s not just California getting this unusual weather but the entire West Coast. It snowed in Portland and Seattle in mid-February which is nearly unheard of in those cities.
Generally, the rains in California subside around early to mid-March and there will not any significant rainfall until late fall. But the way this year has started out, who knows, so check the weather and road report before making the trip.
If you’ve already got a vacation planned, don’t let this spoil your trip. You can still go to Hearst Castle and the surrounding area of Cambia (I highly recommend staying in the tiny coastal town of Cayucos) and down to spectacular Big Sur from Carmel and Monterey.
Plus, Highway 101 is pretty scenic in its own right, and the Central California wine country of Paso Robles on it, almost parallel from Hearst Castle.