Big Sur, California
Sunrise / Sunset
Spring, Summer, Fall
Plasket Ridge is hands down the best place to camp in Big Sur. Plasket Ridge is basically a road that intersects off the 1 and goes straight up the mountain side. Anywhere along this road you can pull off to the side and set up camp for the night. This is a fairly well known spot so in the busier months be sure to snag a camp spot early, otherwise spots can fill up and you'll have to send it pretty high up the mountain. This spot is unreal in the summer time when the marine layer is really thick and low. About 2 to 3 miles up Plasket Ridge Road, you get above this marine layer and you can look out over a sea of clouds. Only downside is that this spot is a bit further south from all the main Big Sur pit stops like Mcway Falls and Bixby Bridge. Its still a 30 min drive to get to McWay Falls from the top of Plasket Ridge.
There is a tree somewhere up here with a swing that makes for a pretty sweet photo op. However this spot is a reasonably well kept secret, so we aren't going to be the ones to out it. If you are adventurous enough and do your homework, you should be able to find it with ease.
We should warn you, this road is NOT paved and should really only be attempted with an SUV. If you have a sedan, there are some small campgrounds that you can easily reach at the very bottom of the mountain. These spots fill up even quicker so you will have to cut your day shorter in that case. We have seen some sedans and mini vans attempt to get up to the top and abuse their skid plates.....but at the end of the day I'm not your mom.
The road is not paved and really steep in parts. Sedans have made it but probably not without any battle wounds.
Easy on the Brakes
The way down can be just as tough on your car. You can easily burn up your brake pads if not careful.