Hearst San Simeon is a California State Park that is still currently closed due to COVID. No one knows when Hearst Castle will reopen for travelers. It’s considered a State Historic Monument. This State Park maintains what is called the San Simeon Creek Campground at 500 San Simeon-Monterey Creek Road in nearby Cambria, CA. It offers 115 campsites for tent camping and recreational vehicles. It’s described as a large campground with facilities. It’s now reopening sites for reservation holders.
A very small section of Highway One is currently completely closed to vehicles. As its website says, Highway One is open. Only 150 feet of this road is still closed. When you drive south from Monterey as we did last week, you get a five mile warning about the impassible road ahead that is likely to reopen after major repairs are made some time this summer. The 5-mile stretch ends just past the Esalen Institute. When you reach this point after driving 42 miles, you have no choice except to drive back to Monterey.
On the other end Highway One is open for 25 miles past Ragged Point. It can be driven all the way to the Lucia Lodge. This road, which also includes or is referred to as the Pacific Coast Highway or the Cabrillo Highway or the Shoreline Highway or the Coast Highway officially begins at Interstate 5 near Dana Point in Orange County and ends at Highway 101 near Leggett in Mendocino County.
Those driving from Paso Robles on Highway 46 as we did to access Highway One find themselves 3 miles from the town of Cambria when the 2 highways intersect. Highway One is open all the way to the Lucia Lodge and then for 25 miles beyond it. However, those who drive it must turn around and drive back to where they started. In our case that was Highway 46. Was it worth it? Highway One is one of the most scenic highways in North America. As Daisann McLane once said, “We steer toward destinations that promise sublime sights.” Highway one delivers sublime sights and Ruth & I have no regrets. We had a 2nd chance to enjoy the magnificent scenery and the poppies, this state’s official state flower since 1903, that were blooming in several places along the highway.
We entered Highway One near Carmel and drove for 42 miles before being forced to return to where we started. We found the road curvy and time consuming with lots of places to pull over and enjoy the scenery. There is much development along this highway and most artist studios, shops, and places to eat and get gas were opened. We even saw a FEDEx truck as we neared the Esalen Institute and commented on the distance the driver had to drive to make his or her delivery before returning to wherever he or she began. May the repairs continue!