Just off Highway 1 north of San Simeon, perched atop jagged rocks overlooking the Pacific, is the Ragged Point Inn, also known as “the portal to Big Sur”. The inn is a popular stop for visitors traveling north after visiting Hearst Castle or the elephant seal rookery in San Simeon.
“It closed January 4th, so almost a month and some change,” said Matt Ramey, Ragged Point Inn Assistant General Manager.
Due to recent rainfall, a major rock slide took place on January 4, causing Caltrans to impose road closures along Highway 1 for the safety of travelers. But on Wednesday afternoon, the road closure near Ragged Point was shortened, allowing visitors traveling north to access Ragged Point for the first time in more than a month.
“We just know it was closed and we were curious how far it would go until it ended and we, I think this will be our final point and we’ll be heading back down," said Kathy McNiff, visiting from the Central Valley.
Ragged Point is the final stop for northbound travelers. Just a few feet past the resort, Caltrans has closed the highway.
“A lot of people don’t know it’s open,” Ramey said.
“We figured well, what the heck? We’ll just come up and see if we can get to Ragged Point,” said Marc Casebolt, visiting from Simi Valley.
Whether their intention was to see the iconic elephant seals or take in the picturesque coastline, visitors are happy to have ended up at Ragged Point.
“Yeah, we wanted to make sure we could get to the elephant seals and so we just did that and that was really cool," Casebolt said.
“We do like the ocean and all this scenic — it’s really great and beautiful, yes," said Nick Bolyzos, visiting from Athens, Greece.
Visitors say so far, they have not been impacted by road closures and weren’t aware the road leading to Ragged Point was previously closed.
“Not at all because we came from the south and we came up to this point where we were able to drive,” Bolyzos said.
“It’s the first day we drove up and it was, you know, no problems,” McNiff said.
The Inn says they haven’t seen an uptick in visitors quite yet.
“No, there’s not a lot of people here yet, but we’re hopeful for this weekend," Ramey said.
“We’re glad to be able to get up here,” Casebolt said.
Caltrans says their crews have made good progress on slide removal and drainage restoration efforts approximately one mile south of Ragged Point, allowing them to open that portion of the highway.