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Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

McKees Rocks, PA
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Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

I will be cycling the PCH this fall. The stretch between Big Sur and Cambria has me a little worried. It is 75 miles. I can easily do this when it is fairly flat but this area is supposed to be one of the hilliest sections of the PCH.

Any recommendations on someplace to stay midway? We will be credit card touring so we will not be carrying tents, sleeping bags or cooking gear. So we will not be bale to camp.

I was thinking of stopping in Gorda (about midway). Any recommendations on some place reasonable to stay there?

las vegas
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1. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

I would recommend the Ragged Point Inn http://www.raggedpointinn.com/ It's South of Gorda, closer to San Simeon, about 50 miles South of Big Sur, perched on a beautiful promontory .

Where are you staying in Big Sur? The hardest climb you will do on this whole trip is right in Big Sur, climbing from sea level as you enter Big Sur from the North, up to Nepenthe. This is the only stretch that is actually inland, going up the side of a river valley. But it is only about three or four miles of climbing (with probably a 750-1000 foot elevation gain) before you go over the pass and see the ocean again, so if you are staying at the top of the grade (Ventana Inn, for instance) you can start your day having already made the climb (although you will have ended your previous day with quivering quads). If you stay down the hill (Big Sur Lodge, for instance), you will start with a big climb, but from there to points south it is a very winding road, but without any more big climbs that I recall: in fact it is a gradual descent from there all the way to San Simeon.

Remember that the Big Sur coast is often cool and foggy in summer, and can be a little windy. Arm warmers, knee warmers, vests, and earbands are a must.

McKees Rocks, PA
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2. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

I'm planning on staying at those "cheapie" tent cabins in Big Sur. I can't remember the name right off.

So it sounds like Cambria is doable after all. Does not sound too bad from Big Sur but I'll keep that lodge in mind. Thanks for the link. The lower end rooms don't sound too bad.

I am thinking of late September. How important are reservations this time of year for that area?

Thanks for the tip on clothing. I did not realize it would be that cool. I usually bring along tights and long sleeve jerseys.

las vegas
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3. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

In September, it does often get warmer and less foggy along the coast, as the interior areas cool from their summer highs and stop pulling in the cooler heavier sea air. But I'd still be prepared for cooler conditions.

I think you could definitely make it to Cambria in a day, but I don't know if you should. The area from Big Sur southward is some of the most beautiful coastline anywhere, and you might want to take your time for this stretch.

Also, although it gradually descends from Nepenthe on, it is rolling up and down, and there are some ascents. I assume you will have panniers weighing you down a bit on even the gentler climbs.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

I would not say it's a gradual descent all the way Nepenthe south, there's a climb again between Pacific Valley and Ragged Point, since Pacific Valley is almost down to sea level again, while Ragged Point is several hundred feet above sea level.

Take a look at the California Coastal Records Project images at

californiacoastline.org/cgi-bin/image.cgi…

and 20 images south

californiacoastline.org/cgi-bin/image.cgi…

and here, further south near the Monterey/San Luis Obispo county line

californiacoastline.org/cgi-bin/image.cgi…

Also, to be pendantic, this highway is not known as PCH at least not locally nor officially, though it is often called that by people outside the area.

Grover Beach...
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for Pismo Beach, Cambria, Big Sur
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5. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

Treebones is another option for you along Hwy 1 between Big Sur and Cambria, if time gets away from you. But be warned, it's a rocky road leading up to the lodge from the highway. You probably would want to walk the bike.

Treebones is a yurt camping resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Gorda is just a few miles south of Treebones, but I'm not sure about lodging there. It's just a blip on the map. Gas & food stop, mostly.

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6. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

If you decide on staying in Cambria, there is a Best Western Fireside Inn there that is right across from Moonstone Beach, they have a great heated swimming pool there and jacuzzi, breakfast is included with your room, also. Have fun! :)

Palo Alto, CA
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7. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

The distance from the Big Sur Lodge to Cambria is 72 miles, with about 4900' of climbing. We ride that section in one day on our Big Sur Spectacular bike tour, which we do in May and October.

The route is quite hilly until about mile 45, then it's a rolling tailwind into Cambria at mile 72.

Lodging possibilities on the route are:

Lucia, mile 23.8, www.lucialodge.com

Gorda, mile 36.7, www.bigsurgordasprings.com

Ragged Point, mile 48.3, www.raggedpointinn.com

It's an amazing route by bicycle. I have an elevation profile, email me if you want me to send it to you.

terry

McKees Rocks, PA
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8. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

Thanks Terry but I am already back! :)

It was one of the hardest things I have every done but well worth it.

Places I stayed:

Fort Mason Hostel - Beautiful area, near Fishermans Wharf

Montara Hostel - The best deal anywhere, beautiful view.

Santa Cruz Warmshowers host - Very nice man.

Monterrey - Colton Inn - Clean, quiet and comfortable.

Big Sur - Deetjens - A funky place among the Redwoods. The place is wonderful.

Ragged Point - Awesome view!

Los Osos - Bike Forum Member - great guy, wonderful view from his home.

Lompoc - Warmshowers host, another great host.

Santa Barbara Hotel - Expensive by our standards :) but a very nice hotel.

McKees Rocks, PA
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9. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

Oh and thanks to everyone for the help. They were great suggestions! :)

McKees Rocks, PA
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10. Re: Place to stay between Big Sur and Cambria?

And here are some pictures

http://spinnaker.myphotoalbum.com/

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