best place to camp between LA and SF on PCH?

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by michael_k, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. michael_k

    michael_k Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    LA,CA
    I want to run from LA up to SF along the PCH in the next couple of weeks. any recommendations for a good half way point to stop off and camp?
    #1
  2. motozilla

    motozilla Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,741
    Location:
    PHX, AZ
    Without a doubt...Big Sur!
    #2
  3. Superannuated

    Superannuated Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    279
    Location:
    So Cal
    Yes, the Big Sur is incredibly beautiful; it gets my vote. Pfeiffer Big Sur is a state campground there (that's my recommendation). There are a couple of private campgrounds there as well.

    Enjoy,

    Superannuated
    #3
  4. richard cabesa

    richard cabesa The Mayor Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    9,575
    Location:
    Santa Cabesa
    About 40 miles south of Big Sur is Lime Kiln. Very similar to Phiefer at Big Sur but a little smaller. A few of the sites are right on a cove below the highway and the rest of them are ine a nice grove of redwoods. There are hot showers and a small store. A very nice short hike up the canyon to some historic brick lime kilns. It's a little pricy as camping goes if I recall, they seem to think it keeps the riff raff out. :wink:

    David
    #4
  5. luv2lean

    luv2lean not lost til out of gas

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    Oddometer:
    1,041
    Location:
    East of Sacramento
    Kirk Creek is nice too. There's also some nice primitive sites up on top of the mountain near Kirk Creek with incredible views of the ocean - ask at the Forest service station for directions.
    #5
  6. pierce

    pierce Ex Tourer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,133
    Location:
    S'Cruz
    yeah, if you're not into the big car-camping scene, avoid Pfieffer Big Sur, and
    use one of the alternatives...

    years ago, there were some primitive walkin camps at Julia Pheiffer Burns S.P,
    these were just south of the beach waterfall. I honestly don't know if you
    can park in their parking lot and walk out there, but they were VERY cool.

    They were on top of the hill directly above the waterfall in this picture...
    [​IMG]

    after walking through the tunnel under 1, turn left instead of right, and follow
    the trail, and the campsites were under some cypresses, quite nicely
    protected. suitable only for small mountaineering/bikepacking type tents, or
    even just simple leantos. I recall they had some reservation protocol or
    another, but the sevveral times I stopped there on my bicycle, they were
    empty, so I just camped, and it wasn't a hassle. obviously, leaving a
    motorcycle in the parkinglot changes things :)
    #6
  7. michael_k

    michael_k Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    38
    Location:
    LA,CA
    thanks for the tips. that picture of Julia Pfieffer Burns is stunning! i'd be into the smaller sites. trying to keeping it simple and off the beaten path. any idea how long from stepping off at santa monica to get up to that point? planning on doing it during the week.
    #7
  8. pierce

    pierce Ex Tourer

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,133
    Location:
    S'Cruz
    taking 1 all the way to Kirk Creek (which I'd suggest as a more reliable camping area than those old walk-in sites at Julia Pheiffer Burns which may not even exist anymore), my map software shows 310 miles... So it kind of depends on how fast you travel and how often you stop, but probably around 6 hours. You'd shave 40-50 miles off of this by taking 154 from santa barbara through Los Olivos then connecting back up with 101, I have no idea what that stretch of road is like, however.


    edit, looks like you can still camp at JPB... and you can park but have to walk the mile or so from the lot to the camping... http://www.reserveamerica.com/jsp/commonpage.jsp?goto=/usa/ca/juli/newindex.html

    you need to register at the big Pfieffer park, which is 1/2 hour north.
    #8
  9. billy bee

    billy bee AAdventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,402
    Location:
    Big Ditch, CA
    That stretch of road is wonderful, slower going that the 101, but shorter. It winds up over a pass and into the Santa Ynez Valley. I have taken it several times. Best if ridden during the day. During the night, I'd stick to the 101.

    Also, Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch is just off of the 154 if you are into that kind of thing. I have ridden past on the way to a dual sport ride. Always people out front snapping pictures of the gatehouse.

    Bill B
    #9
  10. richard cabesa

    richard cabesa The Mayor Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2003
    Oddometer:
    9,575
    Location:
    Santa Cabesa
    It's only 12 miles shorter and moves slower that the 101, and yes, not highly recomended at night due to deer. Stick to the 101 if you want to make time.
    #10
  11. Stomp

    Stomp Imprisoned Wanderlust

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    735
    Location:
    San Jo
    I'll double the vote for Lime Kiln...beautiful spot below the highway right next to a little creek
    #11
  12. KillerPriller

    KillerPriller Long timer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,247
    Location:
    Paris, France via OC California
    Well, in my opinion, you are all wrong!!! Wrong i say!!!

    The best place to camp between SFO and LA on the weekend after 4th of July is Laguna Seca baby!!!!!!!!!

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. Mr Head

    Mr Head Adventure Hippie Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,056
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA
    Nick, in Big Sur I camped at "Big Sur Camp Ground and Cabins", a few years ago when I went to the WSB at Seca. It was great. My campsite overlooked a small river that pooled around a large rock, the kids jumped off of. I could walk a short distance down the road to bar for a little night cap, and the other way a short walk to breakfast. I'd be tempted to try the cabin now. I think I feel old.
    #13
  14. Superannuated

    Superannuated Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    279
    Location:
    So Cal
    Hey Killer:

    Were you camping on Fox Hill at Laguna Seca in July?

    Superannuated
    #14
  15. G.Kennedy

    G.Kennedy ...

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2002
    Oddometer:
    1,857
    Location:
    LA, CA
    Ventanna has a private camground in Big Sur. A bit pricey ($20) but tucked in the trees, clean and quite.
    #15
  16. Mr Head

    Mr Head Adventure Hippie Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Oddometer:
    14,056
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA
    There you go again with that Seca stuff.... Show 'em the police car shot!

    :rofl
    #16
  17. KillerPriller

    KillerPriller Long timer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,247
    Location:
    Paris, France via OC California

    Superannuated -

    No, but i did putter up there on Sat and Sun night on the GS. We camped on the outside of turn 5, just before the Honda bridge. Been going to that spot for a few years now, and plan on doing it again this summer for MotoGP.

    nk
    #17
  18. KillerPriller

    KillerPriller Long timer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,247
    Location:
    Paris, France via OC California

    Car 54 where are you????

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. Superannuated

    Superannuated Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    279
    Location:
    So Cal
    Killer:

    I'll look for you next July.

    Superannuated
    #19
  20. Cpt. Ron

    Cpt. Ron Advrider #128

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Oddometer:
    3,732
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    I've camped at Andrew Molera State Park on two different occasions. Both times I was just passing through, but wanted decent camping on the PCH. Right off of Highway 1, 20 miles south of Carmel. When I was there, all of the campsites were walk-in, first come, first served. Made weekday camping easy. No ammenities except for water and portapotties. The walk in is less than 1/3 mile, with a slightly longer walk to the beach. I'd camp there again.

    http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=582
    #20