Dispersed Camping in Big Sur

People often ask me what dispersed camping is and my simplest response is that it's free camping. And that is exactly what we did this most recent Memorial Day Weekend- free camping.  But really dispersed camping is camping outside of a designated campground, on public land. The downside to this is that there's usually no public restroom provided, so you have rough it out. 

But roughing it out is nothing in comparison to the views you may get in exchange. Especially if you're camping in Big Sur. More specifically- Prewitt Ridge. I'm keeping this blog short and sweet and below I'm giving you some tips for this location.


  • Number one tip is that you need a 4 wheel drive to stay on the safe side and not get stuck going up the ridge, or even a high clearance vehicle. The road is a dirt road. 
  • It's also a one way road, so if you see a vehicle coming the opposition direction either one of you has to pull over if there's any space to pullover, or backup until there's a place to pullover. So as you're heading up or down, it's good to keep track of areas where you can pull over. 
  • Once you're at the top of the ridge there are no signs indicating you have reached the top of the ridge, so start looking for good spots to pitch your tent. If you've reached a point where you see signs that say, "dead end" or "Google was wrong" you've gone too far. Turn around and go back to a spot where you saw some amazing views. I originally thought those signs were a joke because GPS told me to keep going, but the signs are correct. If you keep going you'll just end up at a dead end.  
  • Fires and charcoal grills are currently not allowed at Prewitt Ridge, but propane grills are. So that's what we used to make smores and to bbq.  
  • Once again- there are no restrooms, so rough it out. 
  • Pack in and pack out your trash! 
  • Take plenty of water up there, maybe a gallon per person per day you plan on being up there. 
  • It is recommended that you have at least half a tank of gas going up, because the nearest gas station is about 15 miles away. Also keep in mind that gas is pricier inside of the Big Sur area. 
  • This spot is pretty far into Big Sur, so if you're coming from up North, so be prepared for a long drive. 
  • I would head up the ridge well before it gets dark so you can safely maneuver the road and find a spot to pitch a tent. 
  • To get there click my locations link below or type in Prewitt Ridge into GPS.
  • Be safe and enjoy the sunset/sunrise views!


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