Destination: Big Sur, CA
Length of Stay: 1 Night (August 2018)
Lodging: Pheiffer Big Sur Campground ($35/night)
As we made our way out of Monterey and down the coast of Central California, we made an overnight visit to Big Sur, meaning "Big South", one of the popular spots along California's Pacific Coastal High (PCH). You might notice the picture of Bixby Bridge featured below as made famous by instagram. While this looks like a great place for a private photo shoot, don't be fooled by the crowd of people behind us. It is most certainly worth a visit, but if you want to avoid waiting around for a shot you might want to go early in the morning before the people (and the notorious coastal marine layer) arrive!
It's also worth bringing a jacket if you're planning on visiting Big Sur. The central coast of California is infamous for its marine layer that rolls in each day. You can catch a glimpse of a thin marine layer in some of our pictures, which made for a bit of a brisk morning. At some points, you can't even see over the cliffs because of how thick it is! We were able to experience more of this intense cloud coverage after our hike of Soberanes Canyon on the way to Big Sur.
Soberanes Canyon Trail
Fortunately a friend of ours recommended this awesome hike while we we were on our way to Big Sur. Soberanes Canyon Trail is a lightly trafficked loop that goes for ~5 miles. The elevation change is fairly steep at almost 1800 feet, which is pretty drastic for such a short hike. Unfortunately we were unable to do the full loop because a portion of the trail was closed for maintenance. However, it was still high up there on our list of completed hikes due to the gorgeous flora along the trail. There were so many different species of beautiful Cacti and Succulents that line the trail. We also got to experience California's coastal marine layer as it made its way onto land while we were hiking. By the time we made it back to the trailhead, it looked like the entire coast had dissappeared into the fog.
Where to camp by Big Sur:
Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground
We were happy to get a campsite for a night at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park campground - they fill up quick so book ahead on California's State Park Reservation website. There are no hookups in the campground and we barely fit into our site (thanks to our huge RV). Nonetheless, there was a very mellow atmosphere and there were people swimming in the Big Sur River flowing through the campground which made us feel right at home. We would love to go back and stay here some more to visit the popular Pfeiffer Beach, because it turns out only a limited number of vehicles are permitted to pass through each day.
**Pro Tip** - Be aware of the poison oak around the trees, Casey realized he hung his hammock in some poison oak and had to put it in quarantine for the next few days.