Cultural Resources


Despite the closure of public lands, many Big Sur businesses (including private campgrounds) are open for business. Call the business you wish to visit ahead of travel for hours of operation. 

As of 12/07/2020, Highway 1 is open along the Big Sur coast. 

Most other roads in the region are closed.   

US Forest Service Managed Lands - The US Forest Service continues to maintain a closure of the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas. Trails and backcountry camps are closed. Effectively, the entire Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest is closed.  Click here for the Forest Closure Order dated 10/09/2020.  This link includes a Forest Closure Map.  Call the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest for more information: 831-385-5434.  

Fines for entering closed areas can be up to $10,000.  

State Parks

The following are open for day use:  Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park - Soberanes Canyon Trail, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Hisoric Park (tours only), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (go online or call to find out if the park's campgrounds are open) 

The following remain closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve, Limekiln State Park 

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (additional US Forest Service information for the Monterey Ranger District): Please note that the information above is oftentimes more up-to-date than the US Forest Service site. Call 831-385-5434 with questions. 

cultural resourcesBig Sur backcountry seen from near Marble Peak on the Coast Ridge, circa 1915.(Photo Courtesy of William Karnes)

Just as the diverse mix of elevations, soil types and climates sustains a unique and broad mix of plants and animals, the varied landscape of the northern Santa Lucia has molded a diverse set of cultures, crafts and characters. From native Esselen and Salinan Indians to Spanish missionaries to modern vision seekers, the culture and history of this land where the mountains roll to the sea paint a rich and living portrait of human interaction with a wild and lovely land. Many of the following resources derive from the Double Cone Register, a periodic, web-based publication hosted by the Ventana Wilderness Alliance and edited by loving volunteers. Click here for an index of for this remarkable resource.

This list is by no means comprehensive and is in continual evolution. If you have suggestions for any of the sections, please email us at .


Native American

Brief History of the Esselen Indians (Monterey County Historical Society)

Local Chapter of the Esselen Tribe

Local Chapter of the Salinan Tribe

Local Salinan Nation

History of the Salinan People

"Headless Lady of Jolon"



The Big Sur Fire of 1906 (DCQ Spring 2004)

The story of Comings Cabin (DCQ Fall 2001)

Tassajara Hot Springs, circa 1869 (DCQ Winter 1998)

Road to Tassajara (DCQ Winter 2000)

A history of Tony’s trail (DCQ Fall 2010)


Forest Service & Land Management

Our Forest is Born (DCQ Winter 2000)

Failed plan to dam the Big Sur river (DCQ Summer 2002)

History of the Mont. Ranger District, pt. 1 (DCQ Summer 2001)

Forest Conditions in the Monterey Forest Reserve (DCQ Summer 2004)

Early photo of the Ventana backcountry (DCQ Fall 2004)



California Coastal Trails: A horseback ride from Mexico to Oregon, by J. Smeaton Chase (DCQ Fall 2005)

Over the Santa Lucia (DCQ Fall 2006)

The enchanted Mountains (DCQ Fall 2006)

Two Pictures of an unknown bit of the Monterey Coast (DCQ Fall 2006)

The Robinson Jeffers Association

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