Virtual Guidebook to Santa Cruz, Monterey, Big Sur and Central Coast
Big Creek and Esalen
on the Big Sur coast California


South of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is the former Slate's Hot Springs, a modest old-fashioned resort. In 1962 became the Esalen Institute, a center for human potential development and New Age studies and teaching. It is open only to program participants, except for "public night bathing" at the hot springs between 1 and 3 am (by reservation).

A large tract of land north of Gamboa Point, running from the coast up the mountains, is protected as the Landels-Hill Big Creek Reserve, managed for research and teaching by the University of California and not open to the public.

Many people stop at the Caltrans viewpoint south of Big Creek to photograph the double-arch bridge. An even more impressive unofficial (and dangerous) viewpoint is below the road at Gamboa Point.



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Debris nets on the landslides north of Big Creek

(January 8, 2006)


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On a sharp ridgeline below the road at Gamboa Point

(January 8, 2006)


Next Locality: Lucia on the Big Sur Coast