Call 911 for injury, medical emergency, vehicle accident with injury or vehicle blocking road or vehicle leaking fluids, cliff rescue, wilderness carry-out, crime, FIRE
Inform 911 of your location. The nearest mile marker is an important indicator of your location, particularly if you’re not close to a significant landmark or a building with street address. If you’re without cell phone reception nor near a facility with landline telephone, request that a passerby call 911 once they reach an area where a call can be placed. Be sure to give the passerby your location including mile marker, injury status and other relevant information.
Big Sur Pfeiffer State Park, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, and Pfeiffer Beach sound similar, but are different locations. If you’re near one of these destinations, take extra care to accurately describe where you are (mile markers help) so that First Responders - Fire, Ambulance, Police - can find you.
Depending on your location, the nearest hospital could be more than one hour’s drive by ground ambulance. Patients may be flown out by air ambulance (helicopter) based on injuries and weather conditions. It may take more than one hour for First Responders to reach you in Big Sur.
Big Sur has no pharmacies. Big Sur Health Center (non-emergency medical care services) carries a small supply of medications and over-the-counter products and supplies. However, plan on having prescriptions filled prior to traveling to Big Sur. The nearest pharmacies are in Carmel (to the north) and Cambria (to the south).
If you do not need to call 911, but wish to have your vehicle towed, call your vehicle insurance provider, emergency roadside service provider such as AAA, or your rental company if renting a vehicle. Depending on your location, it may take more than one hour for a tow truck to arrive. Tow trucks must travel from surrounding communities, as tow trucks are not based in Big Sur.
Fire and Sheriff agencies are trained and equipped for cliff rescue and wilderness carry-outs. However, rescue resources are responsible for a large geographic area, and with large tourist volumes, response times can be delayed. Minimize your need for rescue by staying on marked trails and out of restricted areas.
Law enforcement is provided by California Highway Patrol for incidents on Highway 1, California Department of Parks and Recreation Rangers for incidents in state parks, and Monterey County Sheriff’s Office for incidents in other areas. Big Sur has no municipal police department.
Vegetation fires, also known as wildland fires or forest fires, are a threat to Big Sur residents, visitors, structures, flora and fauna. Fires due to lightning and other natural events are largely unavoidable. However, fires caused by carelessness are avoidable. Obey all local regulations concerning campfires, and take extra care when igniting and extinguishing anything. Big Sur Fire, Mid Coast Fire Brigade, U.S. Forest Service, and Cal Fire provide fire services in Big Sur.
MM = mile marker, roadside markers along Highway 1 in Monterey County that indicate the number of miles north of the border between Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties.
Big Sur has no hospitals. One ground ambulance is stationed in Big Sur at MM 45. Depending on your location, the nearest hospital could be more than one hour’s drive by ground ambulance. Patients may be flown out by air ambulance (helicopter) depending on injuries and weather conditions. Also, it can take more than one hour for First Responders - Fire, Ambulance, Police - to reach you.
32 miles north of Big Sur Post Office at MM 45 | Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula | 23625 Holman Highway | Monterey, CA 93940 | 831.625.4900
54 miles north of Big Sur Post Office at MM 45 | Natividad Medical Center | 1441 Constitution Blvd | Salinas, CA 93906 | 831.755.4111
94 miles south of Big Sur Post Office at MM 45 | Twin Cities Community Hospital | 1100 Las Tablas Road | Templeton, CA 93465 | 805.434.3500
For non-emergency medical care services:
MM 49 | Big Sur Health Center | 46896 Highway 1 | Big Sur, CA 93920 | 831.667.2580
Big Sur emergency services are provided by local, county, state and federal First Responder agencies. If you have an emergency, call 911, do not call the First Responder agencies directly.
Highway 1 Maintenance