Big Sur on the California Coast offers some of the most dramatic scenery in the world. Set along Highway 1, visitors can take in expansive views of tumultuous surf, soaring seaside cliffs, and magical mist that hangs thick where the water meets land. Enjoying the spectacle on a bike ride can be a truly memorable experience.
If you’re heading out west for a California vacation or need some inspiration to visit this coastal paradise, consider these top 5 Big Sur bicycle trails:
The Old Coast Road used to be the main route from Big Sur to Carmel before the Bixby Bridge was built in 1932. The graceful bridge is enjoyed today for its structural beauty and efficiency as cars race through it while riding on Highway 1. That means that the Old Coast Road is left almost entirely for bike riders. You can ride this road from Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur’s southern region to Bixby Bridge in the northern area, or the other way around. Many riders prefer to start at the park because there are better car parking facilities there. As you begin this route, you’ll experience a quick descent to Bixby Bridge and an absolutely sensation view right off the bat. While technically easy, this is one of the most physically demanding Big Sur bike tours.
Many bikers like to ride around in beautiful Andrew Molera State Park, but the area is small and it offers limited options. If you want to start here and ride out to see even more gorgeous sights, take the easy loop around Creamery Meadow via the River and Beach trails. These paths are great for beginners as is the Bluffs trail. Advanced riders often like to go for an energizing climb up Ridge Tail. From Ridge Trail and Bluffs Trail, you’ll be able to see the legendary Big Sur coastline and its sweeping beaches and towering cliffs.
The Trail Camp/Cooper Canyon ride is one of the best bike trails in Big Sur for beginners and it can be a great choice for a wind-down bike ride after a strenuous trip. The route starting at Andrew Molera State Park takes you past historic Cooper Cabin and to the beach on a scenic and smooth journey that’s perfect for newbies. The park charges a fee for day use, but if you’ve stopped at any other Big Sur State Parks, you can get in for free. Pamphlets with a map are available at the park as you enter.
Visitors to Big Sur should seriously consider a bike ride from Garrapata State Park to see some of the famous rocky coastline for no fee at all. You can access this park via any one of 19 numbered turnouts off of Highway 1. This area is often easy to miss if you’re driving quickly so keep your eyes open. If you’re biking along Highway 1, you should have no problem. Trailheads taking you east into Big Sur’s backcountry are located on the east side of the Highway 1 opposite the 7 and 8 turnouts.
Highway 1 will give you a sweeping view of Big Sur’s geographical and atmospheric highlights. While this Big Sur bike trail offers an unbeatable view of an iconic coastline, it’s busy with cars so make sure you follow all traffic laws and stay alert at all times to remain safe.
We offer some great cruiser bikes for trail riding in Big Sur like our Around the Block, which is perfect for most rides- just don’t take it somewhere you’d go mountain biking. The EVRY journey is one of our best black cruiser bikes and it’s a popular bicycle for riders who journey the Big Sur trails.
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