a VirtualTourist member
Rain is predicted on Christmas Eve in Big Sur. I will be driving up in the dark. This is suppose to be an enjoyable, although short trip. Any insight on the road conditions of Hwy 1 and would it be better to postpone?
Any input from informed individuals will be appreciated.
I think it would depend on what you're used to - you don't say where you live in your profile.
If you come from a flat place, or drive on the other side of the road, would not recommend it. It can get dark, particularly in the rain.
You said you were coming "up", not sure if that implies driving north, in which case you would be on the "inside" which would be a bit safer.
It many not rain ... but it could get foggy.
If in the other hand you live up in a very mountainous area, don't have issues with night vision, and are used to driving on the right side of the road, you could be ok - but much depends on you.
Personally, because my night vision has gone south, I would not do it. I have gone way out of the way to avoid hills at night.
Why waste the long drive at night? The day is when to visit Hwy 1 and if it were to rain, the cloud layer could be low and spoil a day time drive. If you are staying in Big Sur Christmas Eve and must travel at night then arriving via Hwy 1 from the north (Carmel-by-the-Sea) is the easiest and fastest way. From Hwy 101 to the Salinas area (Hwy CA-68 W)through the Monterey area to CA-1 S. Carmel to Big Sur is only about a half hour drive on Hwy 1. Of course, if you are in the San Simeon area that is south of Big Sur on Hwy 1, then the best bet is to take Hwy 1 north, as it would be a very long trip backtracking to the Hwy 101 to go north to CA 68. Have a safe drive.
I posted the question about driving in the evening with rain predicted "up to" Big Sur. I should have been more specific and have said "from Buellton, CA" which is located in Santa Barbara North County area. I'm sandwiched between two work days, the day before and the day after Christmas, so I can only drive up on Wednesday, but will get off by 3pm. Any comments now? Thanks
Can be done from Buellton/Solvang taking 101 to the 68 and back down the 1 to Big Sur. Taking 101 to the 1 in San Luis Obispo and then up the coast on 1 to Big Sur will take longer and it will be dark by 4:45 PM, so not much but the road to see and Hwy 1 is a narrow winding road.
If you have never driven highway 1, it is a narrow, twisty, two-lane road, which in places has huge drop offs on the ocean side of the road. If you have ever driven a twisty, narrow mountain road, and felt fearful, you will not like this road. If you have a fear of heights,some areas will cause you to feel tense and uncomfortable. If it is very dark and raining, and you are unfamiliar with the road, then highway 1 may not be for you. If you would like to drive from southern California to Big Sur, the small community, south of the Monterey area an alternate route would be inland along highway 101, then cut back west to Monterey. If you are talking about big Sur the tiny community, you would still have to drive south from Monterey for about 26 miles or so along highway 1, but that would be a lot shorter. Driving hwy 1 in the dark with rain, would be a slower route than doing the 101 inland route, even for someone who has driven the road.
Travelgourmet's advice is good. We live in Cambria and travel Hwy 1 frequently. If possible we now avoid it if it's raining or has recently rained since we lost a couple of windshields to falling rocks in years past. This especially disconcerting during a holiday period.
I would consider following the advice of those who have suggested alternate routes in your situation. Not only will they be faster, but they'll be safer as well! Remember the Big Sur area suffered massive fires this summer, which means the danger of mud and rock slides during rainy weather may be even greater than normal.
Hope this helps, and enjoy your stay in Big Sur!