Driving to Esalen

Before You Drive

Please check road conditions for Highway 1 in Central California prior to departure, especially during the winter months. Use these interactive maps if you need help determining whether any trouble spots reported by Caltrans will impact your route.



Traveling FROM L.A.

Take Route 101 north to San Luis Obispo, then take Highway 1 north to Esalen.

  • located approximately 100 miles north of San Luis Obispo on Highway 1.

  • When you reach Lucia, a bend in the road where there is a restaurant and motel, you are 10 miles south of Esalen.

  • Look for the Esalen Institute sign on the left side of the highway, at mile marker 32.4.

Please note that Google Maps and Mapquest may not refelct the reopening of Highway 1 south of Esalen, which occurred on July 18, 2018. We always recommend checking road conditions before you begin your journey to Esalen, however, if you're coming from southern California it should no longer be necessary to detour through Monterey.

Traveling from San Francisco and points North

Take US-101 S. (1hour drive from Carmel to Esalen)

  • At Prunedale, take Route 156 west to the Monterey Peninsula and Highway 1.

  • Take CA-1 S approximately 45 miles, passing Monterey, Carmel, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.

  • Nepenthe, a popular restaurant located on the ocean side of Highway 1, is 11 miles north of Esalen.

  • Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is 3 miles north of Esalen.

  • Look for the Esalen Institute sign on the right side of the highway, at mile marker 32.4.

shuttle services

Starting in 2019, shuttle service to Esalen will be from Monterey only, with connecting service from San Francisco and San Jose airports available separately through Monterey Airbus.