It can be difficult sometimes to check off adrenaline-pumping adventures from your bucket list when money is such a limited resource. For those who have a smaller travel budget and can’t go paragliding in Switzerland or rent a car in Morocco, going off-roading is a perfect option if you have the right vehicle.
South Coast Ridge Road in Big Sur weaves along U.S. Highway 1 in California. It’s a dirt road with a surplus of views, excellent weather, and easy access to trails for hiking and biking. There are outlets of adventure for any kind of outdoorsman looking for a thrill.
Tips for safe off-roading in Big Sur
Keep in mind that the dirt trail isn’t only for off-roading, as its primary purpose is access to campgrounds. If you don’t have a four-wheel drive vehicle, consider bringing a friend who can tow or help push your vehicle out of trouble. The road is one lane and has many blind corners, so be observant and anticipatory of vehicles coming your way.
What to expect from your adventure
The entire trail can be completed in less than an hour if you stay in the campground area, but if you head toward South Ridge, you’ll be out for a few hours, so bring some food and water.
During your ride, you will want to make a pit stop as you drive by McWay Falls. It’s a spectacle that some people drive from long distances to see. The waterfall is legendary and thus often crowded, but worth taking some time to appreciate.
To get to the off-road trail, take Nacimiento-Ferguson Road, a paved lane that climbs through campgrounds. As you get to the top, you can head right to South Coast Ridge Road.
As a bonus, California’s National Forests offer free camping in any of their campgrounds as long as you’re within 100 feet of a main road or body of water! Make sure to clean up after yourself and be extra mindful of campfire safety due to the catastrophic damage done to California’s drylands recently.