Weather, Road & Trail Conditions

CURRENT REGS and CONDITIONS - updated February 5, 2024 - Significant Atmospheric River Damage - Road access to trailheads on the Monterey Ranger District of Los Padres National Forest may not be open. 

See Monterey County Road Closures and Advisories and Highway 1 current conditions.    

Current Fire Restrictions: Effective December 20, 2023 fire restrictions are lifted.  Campfires are permitted in Big Sur backcountry camps. Please use campfires and stoves responsibly. Click this link to secure a permit to use a campfire and stove.       

Almost all of the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas are open. That said, some recreation sites, campgrounds, and roads managed by Los Padres National Forest and/or the County of Monterey remain closed. See this link for the latest US Forest Service closure information.  All Forest Service developed rec sites on the coast are open (Kirk Creek Campground, Mill Creek DUA, Sand Dollar DUA, Willow Creek DUA, and Plaskett Campground).  Arroyo Seco Recreation Area (and its campgrounds) remain closed

Roads: Closures of roads (federal, state, and county) have been the norm in recent years due to storm damage. Though most of the Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness Areas are open for visitation, you still may not be able to drive to trailheads. A two-mile closure of Highway 1 remains in effect between Limekiln State Park and Lucia. Highway 1 on the Big Sur coast remains open from Cambria to Limekiln, and from Monterey to Lucia. Check Caltrans'  current Highway 1 conditions here before you drive the Big Sur coast.  The Arroyo Seco Recreation Area remains closed due to the closure of Arroyo Seco Road. Monterey County expects the road to be reopened by April, 2024.  

Tassajara Road is CLOSED. Please see Monterey County's Road Traffic Advisories, Closures & Information page.   

Roads with long-term closure to vehicular traffic: Palo Colorado Road from the Hoist to Bottchers Gap, Nacimiento-Fergusson Road from Nacimiento Campground to the coast, South Coast Ridge Road from Nacimiento-Fergusson Road to the intersection with Prewitt Ridge Road, Cone Peak Road, Los Burros Road.

Coast Road (aka Old Coast Road), which provides vehicle access to the Little Sur Trailhead, is usualy closed during wet weather.Check this link for Monterey County road closures.   

Know before you go: Call the USDA Forest Service, Monterey Ranger District office if you need more information at 831-385-5434.  

State Parks: Check with individual State Parks to confirm access and secure additional information.  

Weather

weatherYou'll find here a number of links to some pretty informative internet weather sites relevant to the northern Santa Lucia backcounty traveler. They should be helpful in determining what the weather's going to do while you're out there. But regardless of what these folks say, it's always smart to prepare for the worst.

big sur

carmel_valley

jolon

lockwood

monterey

san_luis_obispo

 

Local and Regional weather conditions and forecasts:

Real-time streamflow rates for regional rivers in graph format, courtesy of the USGS:

The California big picture courtesy of NOAA satellite imagery. 

 

Road Conditions

road conditionsUse these links and phone numbers to get the most recent road conditions:

Caltrans Road Conditions website

Toll-free Caltrans Road Conditions Hotline: 1-800-427-7623

Monterey County Public Works  

Los Padres National Forest, Monterey Ranger District: 831-385-5434 

Fort Hunter Liggett: (831) 386-2513 or (831) 386-2530 

 

Trail Conditions

trail conditionsCheck the VWA Trail Conditions Reports and feel free to ask questions in our Ventana Discussion Forum