Beachmeter
The rugged Big Sur Coastline along California's Highway One.

The Big Sur Shoreline

We went out of bounds, and came back with a few impressions of the beautiful Californian coastline along Highway 1.

We drove from the San Francisco area southbound to Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur, and the Los Padres National Forest. The coastline is very rugged with steep cliffs ascending from the shoreline. As you follow the curvy road on top, you are awarded with magnificent panoramas at every turn. Luckily there are stops along the way with viewpoints and several entry points to the sea.

Along the majority of this stretch of coastline, the waves smash against the rocks, splashing water in an upward direction and creating vicious currents as the retracting sea meets the next incoming wave. You wouldn’t want to get stuck there with your dingy.

If you are a beachbum, don’t despair. There are several sandy beaches also, ranging from sandy patches that only appear every time the water retracts to wide beaches with ample space. However, the beaches we visited were not suitable for swimming. They had rather coarse sand, quick drops in depth, and a lot of huge tentacles of bullwhip seaweed. Even in what appeared to be calm waters, the currents at the shore are strong, and some beaches have signs warning visitors of the dangers of taking a swim by showing the number of casualties!

Here is a little gallery of the beaches and coastlines from our trip. Enjoy!

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the images.

Leave a Comment