Big Sur is located about 5 hours north of Los Angeles, CA and is long stretch of California’s central coast off State Route 1. It is known for the breath-taking views along the coast that makes the long stretch of road, not so long to drive. You’ll drive across some really cool bridges and seaside cliffs. It’s really just an epic area. Oh and it provides some of the best dispersed camping sites on the west coast.

Big Sur provides some of the best camping experiences whether its at campgrounds, but for us we like dispersed camping sites. There are plenty of trails you can take your overland or 4×4 vehicle to reach some of the most epic spots. For this article, we followed a trail that took us to the very top of the mountain ridge. Check out the article at the bottom and you’ll find directions on how to get here.

⚠️ Dispersed camping can be very rewarding especially because these are typically low-traffic areas where the majority of public can not access due to off-road terrains. However there are many threats and dangers that come with increased activity at these locations so please read the rules provided by the Bureau of Land Management and your local US Forest Service.

It does not require a 4×4 vehicle to get here although it may be challenging for the first few miles of the initial climb because some of the sections are steep with ruts on the trail. We took our 4×4 Toyota vehicles up here and had no problem however we are lifted and on 33″ tires. So it was cake. The drive up provides some really cool scenery which can be enjoyable for even just a trail during the day. And on the way back down, it provides amazing views of the California coast line.

Dispersed Camping - Big Sur - Plasket Ridge Rd
Dispersed Camping - Big Sur - Plasket Ridge Rd

I think it was about an hour drive to get to the top of the mountain, but once at the summit of Plasket Ridge Rd you’ll reward yourself to multiple dispersed camping opportunities. Since you’re at the top, there’s not a whole lot of shade so be prepared to setup an awning if you can’t find a spot next to a tree. Fortunately for us, this campsite had a few trees which we were able to use for the morning.

We were able to watch a beautiful sunset at the top and in the morning we woke up to a mid-level cloud coverage that filled the valley on the backside. There was also mild cloud coverage in the morning over the ocean but the clouds burned off pretty quickly.

Dispersed Camping - Big Sur - Plasket Ridge Rd
Dispersed Camping - Big Sur - Plasket Ridge Rd
Dispersed Camping - Big Sur - Plasket Ridge Rd
Dispersed Camping - Big Sur - Plasket Ridge Rd
Epic view, easy access
  • Traffic
  • Scenic
  • Accessiblilty
4.2

Summary

Overall an excellent dispersed camping spot for your overland adventures. The trail to get here isn’t difficult although a bit long. We saw a stock Subaru Outback make it up here. Bigger vehicles may have a hard time though because some trail sections are narrow with tight turns. There isn’t a whole lot of shade at the top of the mountain, so bring some awnings or shade canopys. Bring some bug spray as well because mosquitoes love Big Sur. If you want to be close to the water, this campsite is not for you, but if you want to benefit from an amazing sunset and sunrise this is the spot for you.

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