California’s Big Sur Reopens To Hikers Only

California’s Big Sur Reopens To Hikers Only.

Big Sur is a lightly populated, unincorporated region on California’s Central Coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. As the “longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous United States, it has been described as a “national treasure that demands extraordinary procedures to protect it from development and “one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world, an isolated stretch of road, mythic in reputation. Big Sur’s Cone Peak at 5,155 feet (1,571 m) is only 3 miles (5 km) from the ocean. The stunning views make Big Sur a popular tourist destination. The region is protected by the Big Sur Local Coastal Programme which preserves the region as “open space, a small residential community, and agricultural ranching. About 60% of the coastal region is owned by a government or private agency that does not allow any development. The majority of the interior region is part of the Los Padres National Forest, the Ventana WildernessSilver Peak Wilderness, or Fort Hunter Liggett. The region remained one of the most isolated areas of California and the United States until, after 18 years of construction, the Carmel–San Simeon Highway was completed in 1937. The highway has been closed on numerous occasions due to weather and geological hazards and incidents, including a 2 million cubic foot landslide in 2017 that is not expected to be fixed until 2018. The region does not have specific boundaries, but is generally considered to include the 76 miles (122 km) segment of California State Route 1 from Carmel River south to San Carpóforo Creek near San Simeon and the entire Santa Lucia range between the rivers. The interior region is uninhabited, while the coast remains relatively isolated and sparsely populated with about 1,000 year-round residents and relatively few visitor accommodations.

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