More Big Sur Information

Big Sur Weather

There isn’t a single month during the year when we haven’t had a great time in Big Sur.

Which is not to say that every day has perfect hiking weather, but even December and January can have beautiful days with temperatures in the low 60s.

weather in Big Sur

The central California coastal area is described as having a Mediterranean climate, which is largely tempered by the Pacific Ocean and the presence of the Santa Lucia mountains.

In General, temperatures near the water swing from the 50s to the lower 60s (winter) and 70s (summer) with inland and higher elevations peaking in the 100s during the summer months. Nights can cool down quite bit throughout the year, so it is always a good idea to bring a sweater no matter what season. Whenever we hike in Big Sur, we always bring a couple of sweaters in the car.

Big Sur rarely gets snow. Fog can roll in anytime, and will immediately cool down a warm day in a matter of minutes.

When Is The Fog Season In Big Sur?

Big Sur’s fog season typically runs from late spring to early fall, peaking in July and August. However, the fog can occur outside of these months as well. The fog usually burns off by noon in the summer, but it can persist throughout the day. The unpredictable nature of the fog is part of the area’s unique charm​.

The wettest months are December through February, with little rain during summer to early fall.

If you want to see what it looks like in Big Sur right now, check out the live Nepenthe Web Cam for a view south along the coast.

Big Sur Weather 10-day Forecast
Live Radar Map of Big Sur Area
Nepenthe Web Cam

Best Time To Visit Big Sur

The best time to visit Big Sur is during the spring (April to June) and fall (September to November).

In Spring (April to June) the weather’s nice and mild, wildflowers in bloom. Plus, the waterfalls are the most impressive during this time, because the rain from the winter months fills up the rivers and streams. There’s also less fog which means higher chances to enjoy clear views, but fog is still unpredictable.

Fall (September to November) is less crowded and still has great weather.

But honestly, any time you head to Big Sur, you’re guaranteed to have a blast and each season offers something unique. There hasn’t been a month we’ve gone and not enjoyed ourselves.

Is The Big Sur Worth It?

Big Sur is worth visiting for its unique blend of rugged coastline, majestic redwoods, and vibrant ocean views. McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall cascading into the ocean, is just one example of the dramatic scenery. Driving along Highway One, you can explore hiking trails, go whale watching, or stop at scenic overlooks for unforgettable views of the Pacific Ocean.

Big Sur Tours

& More Things To Do In Big Sur That You Can’t Miss

Hiking Books of Interest

For more in-depth information about the area, hikes, or backpacking, four favorite resources for exploring in Big Sur are:

Day Hikes Around Big Sur
Hiking & Backpacking Big Sur
The Natural History of Big Sur
Monterey County Place Names

The above links will get you these books from, but if you are planning a visit to the area, consider getting them at the Henry Miller Memorial Library located along Highway 1, just 3 miles south of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

There is also a great selection of books at the Phoenix Shop located just below the Nepenthe Restaurant, and at the gift shop at the Big Sur Lodge.


Like most folks that visit, we have our favorite places to eat in Big Sur.

The ideal dining itinerary for us is breakfast at Deetjens, lunch at Nepenthe (or at Treebones or Lucia Lodge if further south) and dinner at Cielo. Eat like this and you’ll have to hike all day long just to burn off the calories.

And of course other great food options abound to fit most budgets: Lucia Lodge, Big Sur River Inn, Big Sur Roadhouse, Post Ranch Inn’s Sierra Mar, Big Sur Lodge, Gorda’s Whale Watcher Cafe, and more.

Big Sur Lodge
Big Sur River Inn
Big Sur Roadhouse
• Cielo
Deetjens Big Sur Inn
Lucia Lodge
Nepenthe Restaurant
Sierra Mar
TreeBones Resort
• Whale Watcher Cafe

Gas / Bus

Gas is available at several spots along Highway 1, however prices are a bit higher than in Monterey or San Luis Obispo. There are stations at the Ragged Point Inn, Gorda, and a couple in Big Sur itself.

There is bus service down to Big Sur from Monterey and Carmel. Check the Monterery-Salinas Transit site for details and maps.


Options range from basic camping to world class hotels and wonderful glamping options.

If you want a nice roof over your head at a reasonable price, we’ve always enjoyed the cabins at the Big Sur Lodge, which locates you right in the middle of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

However, nothing can beat the rustic charm of Deetjens Inn, the family welcome at the Lucia Lodge or the luxury of the Ventana Inn.

Big Sur River Inn
Fernwood Resort
Glen Oaks Big Sur
• Gorda Springs Resort
Post Ranch Inn
Ragged Point Inn
Ripplewood Resort
Riverside Campground and Cabins
TreeBones Resort

If your travel plan involves flying to Big Sur we highly recommend checking out these Big Sur vacation packages that include plane tickets, stay and car rental if needed.

How To Get To Big Sur

Big Sur Road Closure

Is Big Sur Drive Dangerous And Scary?

Driving in Big Sur is not particularly scary, and there is no single section of Big Sur identified as the most dangerous. However, sharp curves and foggy weather require caution. And each part of Highway 1 may have different risks due to road conditions, like now (April 2024), because of latest collapse near Rocky Creek Bridge.

Closest Airports To Big Sur


The Big Sur Chamber of Commerce has comprehensive information about the area including places to stay and eat. The Henry Miller Memorial Library is our favorite place to hang out between hikes.

If you are not sure how to navigate Big Sur, I would recommend exploring some hiking apps.

Big Sur Chamber of Commerce
Henry Miller Memorial Library
• Ventana Wilderness Alliance
Seize The Day Monterey
The Pelican Network
The Double Cone Register
California’s Redwood Hikes (Big Sur)
Trees of Big Sur

Nature and hiking workshops are available with Steven Harper at Esalen Institute and Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in Big Sur and the Santa Lucia Mountains.

Steven Harper Workshops

The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation is a non-profit that supports conservation of our coastal resources. In particular they have been working with the state of California to make Californians and visitors aware of thier recent (2013) landmark achievement in setting aside 124 underwater parks along our coastline.

Monterey Bay Sanctuary Foundation

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