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Alternatives To Highway One In California

Beautiful coastline in Big Sur, California banner

If you were planning to drive along California's Big Sur coastline this summer, you may have to make alternative plans after a mudslide buried a section of the famous highway.

The iconic Highway One stretches from San Diego to San Francisco, covering many miles of dramatic coastline and passing through exciting and quirky towns.

Which section of the highway is closed?

Although there is no current estimation for how long the road will remain closed to traffic, it could be a long time before the highway reopens. The road is closed currently from Ragged Point near San Luis Obispo to Gorda.

You can still drive on portions of Highway 1 and see some of the great sights. Heading south from San Francisco you can still visit Carmel-by-the-Sea and see the incredible view of Big Sur and Bixby Bridge.

Bixby creek bridge on Highway 1 at the US West Coast

For a quicker travel time, use Interstate 5

To avoid the area all together, opt for Interstate 5 which should get you from San Diego to San Francisco in just over eight hours. This major route takes travelers up and down the west coast, giving drivers easy access to major cities in California, Oregon and Washington.

Although the route does not take you directly to San Francisco, the road will decrease your travel time if you are heading north. San Francisco is about 80 miles west of Interstate 5.

Take a detour on Highway 101

You will have to detour inland to Highway 101 to avoid the road closures. While you can still enjoy some of the coastal scenery along Highway 1, you will need to head inland to avoid getting stuck. There are a few interesting stops along this highway which you can explore.

Consider stopping at the interesting Pinnacles National Park, an area with a unique volcanic landscape. Hike on some of the scenic trails throughout the park. Rejoin Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo and continue your journey along California's coast. Your drive may take longer than planned, but there are still plenty of ways to visit the coast and see the stunning scenery.