The Pacific Coast Highway (also known as Highway 1) is famous for its breathtaking coastal views. The segment in the Central Coast that runs from Carmel to Big Sur is, in my experience and opinion, the most scenic stretch. What most tourist and travelers don't know is that if you take a left (when heading south, of course!) at the Bixby Bridge onto the Old Coast Road, the views on that road provide an entirely different perspective.

I hadn't driven this back road route in quite some time, and in my two hour journey today, I captured 95 images...below are the top dozen to show a bit of what this alternate route looks like. As you'll see, I was in my Subaru Outback...AWD or 4 WD is highly recommended. (Don't say I didn't warn you!)
The captions under the images tell the story...
Bixby Bridge from the Old Coast Road Bixby Bridge - Lovely in Black and White
You can see the road/entrance on the right.
The Little Sur River I set out with my dogs and Canon the day after our first
big storm of 2012. As you can see, trees were down,
but you can't stop a Subaru with a few sticks in the road.

After clearing the road, I came upon this
scenic view of Redwood trees about
a tenth of a mile later. Definitely
worth picking up a few sticks for. Right about midway, at the peak, the clearing
provides stunning panoramic views, and this
"Rock Pasture" in the midst. More of the "Rock Pasture" (my name for it!) Though it's definitely not the Bixby Bridge, it was
certainly worth stopping and capturing, especially
in black and white!
Also at the peak, I can rarely resist image capturing a fence.

While photographing the fence and other views,
I looked down to see where we were heading...Seriously?
Glad to be in my Subaru! As the road starts to come down the other
side into Big Sur, the views of the Pacific Ocean
and Highway 1 open up again. One last peak before descent.If you're already in Big Sur, you can take Old Coast Road north and just go up a few miles and see these last few views shown. From the Bixby Bridge end, it's quite a drive - about 10 miles of rough roads - through the redwoods and mountains. The experience is very unique compared to what most visitors do, but be sure you have the right kind of car and be ready to be jostled. The stunning views and poetic beauty is worth the trip.

© Heather Hummel
Copyright statement -All photographs are the copyright ownership of Heather Hummel. Any use beyond viewing them on this blog - that includes printing, distributing, selling, or any other use - is prohibited without written consent from Heather Hummel.[image error]
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Published on January 21, 2012 21:16 • 509 views
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message 1: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Badal Great photos! Thank you.

message 2: by Heather (new)

Heather Thank you, Joseph!

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