There are approximately 33 "road miles" between the inland Monterey County, CA, near ghost-town of Jolon and the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1). Those 33 road miles twist and turn and cover a mere 20 "as the crow fly" miles.
The 33 road miles are in no way an easy drive. The switch-backs and alternating gas and brake pedalling will tire you...and then you will still have the strenuous drive north along the Big Sur coast to wherever you are going to call it a day. However, it is all worth it.
Included in the 33 miles are:
1) visiting the remnants of Jolon, once a thriving community. Now, not so much;
2) visiting Fort Hunter Ligget, known for the herd of free-range tule elk that roam the fort grounds;
3) visiting Mission San Antonio and its parish desert tortoise, also on the fort grounds;
4) driving through the fort's live fire practice range;
5) exiting Fort Hunter Liggett's back entrance, deep in the tree canopy of the Los Padres National Forest and beginning the trip over the Santa Lucia Range on Nacimiento-Fergguson Road, a road notorious for its driving challenges and views;
6) driving along the peak ridge of the Santa Lucia Mountains;
7) overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the cloud cover before coming down and merging with the Pacific Coast Highway.
This is pretty much an all day trip, but as I mentioned, well worth the time.
Over the next 7 weeks, we will be describing for you each of these segments. We hope you enjoy and can take the drive some time.
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