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Driving to Esalen via Nacimiento-Fergusson Road

For travellers who normally drive from Los Angeles or points south of Big Sur, please be advised that Highway 1 is closed at Mud Creek. The alternate route is Nacimiento-Fergusson Road. This rural, mountain road connects Highway 101 to Highway 1 and is an approximate hour-long drive. At some points the roadway narrows to one lane and a half, so please drive with caution. Also be advised that cellular service is unreliable once you exit Highway 101 and non-existent while driving over Nacimiento Road.

From the North

  • Drive on Highway 101 south and take exit #283 for Jolon Rd toward Fort Hunter Liggett.
  • When you exit the highway, there will be a gas station on your right. Please consider filling your tank as there are no other gas stations or services en-route to Esalen.
  • Continue on Jolon Rd for about 17.5 miles.
  • Turn right onto Mission Rd.
  • Follow the rest of the directions for All Travelers, below.

From the South

  • Drive on Highway 101 north.
  • Consider filling your gas tank in either Paso Robles or San Miguel, prior to exiting Highway 101, as there may be no other services after this point.
  • Take exit #252 in the Bradley area for Jolon Rd toward Fort Hunter Liggett.
  • Continue north on Jolon Rd for 21 miles.
  • Turn left onto Mission Rd.
  • Follow the rest of the directions for All Travelers, below.

All Travelers

  • Continue on Mission Rd for 4 miles. You will pass through Fort Hunter Liggett (see top photo, below).
  • Turn left onto Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd. You will cross over a green bridge (bottom photo, below).
  • Continue on Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd for about 19 miles until you reach the coast and Highway 1.
  • At Highway 1, make a right turn and drive north to Esalen Institute located at mile marker 32.4.

Please allow for up to three hours to travel from Monterey via the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road route.

Read more about rock and landslides in Big Sur.

Entrance to Fort Hunter Liggett Army Base

Turn onto Nacimiento-Fergusson Road


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