Big Sur & Hwy 1

It's in the middle of winter here in Michigan and although it's been mild and comfortable I still miss Hwy 1 and Big Sur in California. I have been to Big Sur several times and each time it's great. Well everything except the drive. I am all for curvy roads. I don't even mind that there's a shear cliff on the side of your car. It's the constant curves and turning. It really does wear you down after a couple hours. Yahoo once ranked Hwy 1 the scariest road in the country. It's not really scary unless you consider hairpin turns alongside a cliff frightening. In any event take it slow and easy, and if you find someone tailgating it's best just to pull over and let them pass.

This weeks post picture is Hwy 1 and the California coast near Big Sur. There are many pullouts along 1 with vistas around every corner. There is no real bad time of year to visit, but spring and summer would be my favorite. One thing you should do is check the road conditions. Sometimes there have been times when the road has been closed do to mudslides.

The water is cold and the wind usually high, so you may want to have a jacket with you if you decided to step out for a photo opportunity. You could spend all day driving the coast, stopping by a few small towns including Big Sur which hosts a couple eateries, gift shops, and general stores. Make sure you start with a full tank of gas, stations are scarcely scattered. Also beware of pedal bikers, they seem to be around each and every corner.

Big Sur and Hwy 1 is a photographers paradise. A wide angle is typically the weapon of choice. I shot this image handheld during the afternoon. A tripod is a must for a sunset. Also make sure to check out some of the state parks that call Hwy 1 home including Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

If you are in the area, take a day or two. Explore the coastal towns and scenery, and make sure to catch a sunset, they are some of the best in the world.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

This past weekend I visited Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park here in California. Click here for a map and directions. The park is located about 12 miles south of Big Sur off of the famous Hwy 1. Check the state park website for more info and trail closures. I neglected to check the trail status before departure and upon arrival I was disappointed to find that some of the trails that I wanted to use were closed. All the rain we have had in recent weeks, mud slides have been a problem and caused the trail closures. The entrance fee for the park is $10. Make sure to bring exact change there is a drop box system and no change is available. The park isn't hard to find and State Park signs will lead you in the right direction. The park is the home of the famous McWay falls, besides the waterfalls in Yosemite, McWay falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in California. This waterfall runs through a forest to the beach. The post picture shows the waterfall on the beach and running into the pacific. There are many beautiful coastal views, also there are some trails that run through the forest. The forest has a stream/creek with lots of cool little falls. It would be wise to wear your waterproof boots, to get into the stream, and bring a polarizer with you, you'll need it to reduce glare of the waterfalls. I was able to get the silky smooth cotton candy looking water flow without using a neutral density filter, but I would bring one for when the lighting conditions call for it. Of course bring your tripod, you'll need it for the waterfalls and the sunset landscapes. I used my 16-35 wide-angle most of the time, I also used a 70-200 for a close up of McWay falls. All in all it was worth the price of admission.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a beautiful place to visit. Please help support the National and State park system. Funding is hard to come by lately so visiting the parks and paying the fees will help preserve these landmarks. Get out and enjoy the beauty that our wold has to offer!

McWay falls is one of the primary attractions on the california coast and Big Sur. this image was made at sunset.