landslide

Krista Almanzan

The landslide at Mud Creek – about 25 miles north of Hearst Castle – is the largest ever on the Central Coast. It buried and broke apart a section of California's famed State Route One. To fix it, CalTrans has decided to build a road over the massive slide.

Kirk Siegler/NPR

Rush hour in Big Sur, Calif., has taken on a whole new meaning.

Most mornings and afternoons, a newly built footpath that plunges through a grove of towering redwoods is clogged with workers and schoolchildren.

That hiking trail is a lifeline. It circumnavigates a bridge on the Pacific Coast Highway that has been closed since February, after it collapsed from rain and mudslides. Without that path, much of the village of Big Sur would be cut off from the outside world.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Mud Creek Slide is being called the biggest landslide to hit the Central Coast, at least in recent memory. On May 20, millions of tons of rocks and dirt collapsed over Route 1 when four separate, adjacent slides triggered at the same time, combining into one massive terrain avalanche.

Greta Mart/KCBX

The Big Sur area has been losing tourism business over the past year due to a series of natural disasters. It started with last summer’s Sobranes Fire, which set records as the the costliest American wildfire in terms of the resources it took to put out. Then heavy winter rains caused road closures due to mudslides and the condemnation of the Pfieffer Canyon Bridge. Then came the massive landslide that wreaked havoc on the area last Saturday. 

Courtesy of John Madonna Construction

Four different landslides rolled into one buried California's famous coastal highway under millions of tons of earth and rocks last Saturday night at Mud Creek. Located eight miles north of Ragged Point - where Hwy. 1 has been closed to Big Sur-bound traffic for months - the slide brought down enough dirt to extend the current shoreline by 250 feet. State Route 1 now lies under about 35 feet of dirt for a quarter mile. 

Santa Barbara County Fire

The trail to Nojoqui Falls in the Santa Ynez Valley was shut down Wednesday following a series of landslides.

The path is closed at the trailhead over concerns of additional slides. Michael Allen is with Santa Barbara County Parks and says the trail is simply "not safe" right now, so it will remained closed until further notice.

Damage is severe to the trail making it impassible. Large boulders are on the ground, and more unstable rocks remain on the hillside. The parks department hopes to have a geologist come out to look at the situation.