Hwy 1 Named the “Ultimate Highway Trip”

lighthouse In June, Sunset Magazine named Hwy 1 the “Ultimate Highway Trip.” The following press release by Caltrans focuses on the southern part of the route but we all know the real beauty starts further north.

Just to make sure our side of the famous road gets the proper attention here’s three photos from the northern end of Hwy 1.

Got any you want to add?

California has 72 Officially Designated Scenic Highways, but only one has been named the “Ultimate Highway Trip,” by Sunset Magazine this June: Highway 1.

The curvy, two-lane Pacific Coast Highway hugs the western edge of where the ocean laps into California, sometimes just feet from the highway or below breathtaking cliffs. Since it was built, people have ventured along the coastal route to take in majestic sunsets, walk along trails, enjoy beaches and waterfalls, watch whales migrate, and more.

“Highway 1 has historical significance for California. TreesIn 1912, it was the first highway we awarded a contract to build and in 1937 it was the first north-south state route completed.” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “It also offers sights you just won’t find anywhere else.”

Sunset Magazine reported that of the 150 National Scenic Byways and All-American Roads across the United States, none have the “wind-in-your-hair charisma” of Highway 1.

The magazine’s editorial board selected California’s Highway 1 for its first 2015 Western Icon Travel Award. The magazine is a guide to living in the West and the first-time awards honor the West’s top destinations in lodging, dining, cultural tourism, outdoor adventure, environmental stewardship and more. Highway 1 is featured in the June print and online editions, reaching more than 6 million viewers.

The most famous segment of Highway 1 passes through Big Sur along the Central Coast. The Pacific Coast Highway starts at Dana Point in Orange County and hugs the coastline up through Southern California beaches, hidden Central Coast coves, the bustling city of San Francisco and tunnels through the once-treacherous Devil’s Slide.

While thousands of motorists partake in the experience, many of its travelers are bicyclists riding along a longer route along the Pacific Coast Bike Route from Canada to California’s southernmost beach.sea



  • Strange how Hi 1 has three names: Pacific Coast Highway in southern California, Cabrillo Highway in central California, and Shoreline Highway in northern California. It would have gone all the way to Ferndale had the road builders not given up at Hardy Creek and turned inland at that point to connect with US 101 at Leggett.

  • As if we did not know this already. I think the Westport to 101 section be named the ” vomit comet ” section.

  • Westport to Leggett is the ultimate Porsche or Miata road.

  • I always thought that it would be fun to close the road from Hardy Creek to Leggett for a 1 day event road race similar to the Pike’s Peak race. Probably not too many people would be killed.

  • Now that Branscomb Road is paved west of Branscomb it is a nice alternative to the coast with minimal traffic. Not as many sharp turns as on Hi 1.

    • My wife gets carsick on hwy 1 but doesn’t on the Branscomb road. The first 13 miles are smooth and straight. Harwood Products mill was instrumental in having the road fixed back during the lumber prosperity days. The road is quite curvey the last 13 miles.

  • Our end is not for wussies…. 😎

  • I would vote Hwy 395 down the eastern sierra the most scenic and interesting hwy in CA. And it is never foggy.

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