BIG SUR: Camping prohibited along Nacimiento-Fergusson Road

BIG SUR, Calif. - A portion of Highway 1 has been sealed off, on the north by a failed bridge and on the south by mudslides. The winding and narrow Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is the only way out for those who live in or visit the area.

"Currently, that's the only lifeline in and out of Big Sur. So the amount of traffic on that road is far more than we've ever seen," said Chip Laugharn, with Los Padres National Forest.

Laugharn said the congestion makes keeping the pullouts on the road free of obstruction on the road all the more important.

"Especially when towing a trailer, and then another car is coming down from the hill. Well, where are you going to go?" Laugharn said.

A turnout would be the logical answer, but not when that's where campers stage their vacation.

"And not just overnight, but like the people would set up tables and chairs, tents and leave it for the day," Laugharn said.

To keep the public safe, the Los Padres National Forest has issued an order to ban roadside camping.

A few campers off the road didn’t want to tell KION how they found the spot, but Laugharn said road-side camping along Nacimiento-Fergusson blew up when social media caught wind of it.

"It became a free spot to camp, so hundreds of people are camping on the roadway," Laugharn said.
A quick search on Instagram shows people sharing snaps of their oceanfront breakfast and night pad.

But there are also health concerns with no bathrooms or running water available along the road.

This forrest order gives rangers the authority to ticket campers and that can begin as early as Friday.

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