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Electric storm over the Pacific. Photo by Stan RussellBig Sur is a special place to many people. To help keep it that way and to ensure your own safety, please observe some simple rules and follow these basic safety tips.

Photo by Stan Russell Taken from Partington Ridge as an electric storm raked the California Coast for several hours.
How to Handle Big Sur With Care

FIRES; Our biggest concern during the dry season is wildfire. Please be extra careful, making sure that your fire is safe and legal. Be sure to extinguish your fire when you leave. Please do not throw cigarette butts along the roadside.

COLLECTING; Plants, animals, rocks, and artifacts of Big Sur's cultural and natural history are protected by law and should not be disturbed. Rockhounding and collection of driftwood and firewood may be allowed in certain designated areas. Collectors should contact the nearest ranger station for specific information.

LITTER; Please don't litter! Please treat Big Sur gently and with respect so that it will remain the beautiful place we all love.

PRIVATE PROPERTY; Please be mindful and respectful of the property rights of others. Most of the land adjacent to the highway is posted private property, and trespassing laws are strictly enforced.

ROADSIDE CAMPING; Monterey County prohibits camping along Highway 1 from the Carmel River to the Monterey - San Luis Obispo County line. This does not apply to tired motorists stopping for a temporary rest.

PETS; Pets frighten wildlife and disturb visitors. On US Forest Service lands, pets must be leashed in developed campgrounds and picnic areas only. In the state parks, they must be on a leash at all times.

POISON OAK; This toxic plant is found in Big Sur in abundance. Exposure to the plant can be spread by hands, clothing, pets, or equipment which has come in contact with the plant or from the smoke generated when burning it. Much of the reactive substance can be removed by immediate washing with cool water and soap. Look for the triple leaf pattern, with prominent veins and a shiny surface. During the Summer and Fall, the leaves take on reddish hues. Try to avoid this plant.

DRIVING TIPS FOR HIGHWAY 1; State Highway One through the Big Sur area is recognized as one of the state's most dangerous highways.

Keep these tips in mind when you travel this route:

  • Drive defensively! You never know what hazard may be behind the next blind corner.
  • Buckle up! It's the law.
  • Keep your eyes on the road - if you want to enjoy the scenery, pull over.
  • Maintain your speed and abide by posted limits. The speed limit is 55MPH unless otherwise posted. Slower traffic should pull over.
  • When pulling over, avoid quick stops on the unpaved pull outs and shoulders.
  • Don't pass on the double yellow lines - head-on collisions resulting from unsafe passing are common on this road!
  • Please DO NOT throw cigarette butts out of your vehicle. Outside of it being distasteful and ugly, it also poses an extreme fire danger.

Download our local Big Sur Visitors Guide in Adobe PDF.

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