After a massive landslide deposited six million cubic yards of rocks and created 2,400 feet of new shoreline, the iconic Highway 1 was closed at Mud Creek — south of Esalen — for more than a year. The reopening of the southern Big Sur coast as of Wednesday, July 18, now allows full access to the Central Coast from southern California without detouring north through Salinas or via the mountainous Nacimiento-Fergusson Road.
This new section of highway is built across the slide material and buttressed with a series of embankments and compacted soil.
Driving Directions After July 18, 2018
After the July 18 highway opening (scheduled for 10:00 a.m.), guests coming from the south can take Route 101 north to San Luis Obispo, and then take Highway 1 north to Esalen.
- We are approximately 100 miles north of San Luis Obispo.
- When you reach Lucia, a bend in the road where there is a restaurant and motel, you are 10 miles south of Esalen.
- Look for the Esalen Institute sign on the left side of the highway, at mile marker 32.4.
Please note that Google Maps and Mapquest may not refelct the reopening of Highway 1 south of Esalen. We always recommend checking road conditions before you begin your journey to Esalen, however, if you're coming from southern California it should no longer be necessary to detour through Monterey.
Photos of the Mud Creek slide and construction site featured on this page are courtesy of Caltrans.