Big Sur, Big Surf (Part 1)

Living in San Francisco Bay Area offers close proximity to a wide diverse of geography. In my latest local surf adventures I take a road trip down Pacific Coast Highway, Highway 1.

State Route 1 (SR 1) is a major north-south state highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U.S. state of California. At a total of just over 655.8 miles (1,055.4 km), it is the longest state route in California. – Wikipedia

According to many surfers from Los Angeles that are seeking adventure and want to escape the crowded beaches of Southern California, a drive up north would offer such conditions. However, being from Northern California my adventure starts from San Francisco.

I didn’t know what to expect on this trip, but I’ve read from other blogs that there are hidden beaches and amazing surf as long as you know where you’re looking. I begin my trip with packing supplies in case I am in a remote area and cannot access supplies.

Packing supplies,

  1. Water enough for 3 days
  2. Sleeping bag
  3. Tent
  4. Air bed
  5. Beef jerky
  6. Granola bars
  7. Trail mix
  8. Charging battery
  9. Hiking shoes
  10. Clothes for 3 days
  11. Flashlight
  12. Pocket knife
  13. Rain coat
  14. Map

During the 1500s when the Spanish gave way to discovering the New World, Big Sur was an unexplored land with little inhabited Native Americans. The Ohlone, Esselen and Salinian tribes resided along central California. Even when the conquistadors had discovered Big Sur, not many explorations had taken place inland. Today much of Big Sur is left empty without much human settlement and most of travelers and tourists do not venture away from Highway 1. – Big Sur, Analise Elliot Heid

My mission, to scout California’s coastline to find epic surf.


After driving 2.5 hours with short breaks in between, I realized I have reached Big Sur when I see the Bixby Creek Bridge.

Bixby Creek Bridge, also known as Bixby Bridge, on the Big Sur coast of California, is one of the most photographed bridges in California due to its aesthetic design, “graceful architecture and magnificent setting.”Wikipedia


Just looking down at the beach below Bixby Creek Bridge, I can see a cove and a nice sand break. But there is no way down. The waves were gnarly and conditions looked rough. However, the water was blue and it was quite the scene to study my first view of Big Sur waves.

Moving along the highway, I drive for another 10 miles and what I find is absolutely stunning.

Hurricaine Point, Big Sur


Open meadows and a long stretch of coastline. It looks rocky with arches and crags. But still quite the view.


I decide to take a closer look and stop to enter the meadow through a gate. I walk along a path and break away to find a stunning view.


A big cove with a sand break. I notice that the waves are at least double overhead (8-12′) and as I observe the break and the white water, I see sand and a shallow entry point.


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