Feb 2019 - the east end of this road is in very good shape, and on the west side curvy section down the mountain it's a lot bumpier, slower, tight corners, but fine for any motorcycle (don't need an adventure bike). The roadway was not covered with sand or gravel anywhere, but yes there are corner with some rock debris and sand, so you really need to be watching and taking it slow - no guard rails and longs drops off the edge. But scenic and entertaining no doubt!
This is a road of two parts. Westward half is all sharp turns and adventure riding with constant danger of rockslide debris. The East half is rural paradise. Traversing West to East: Road climbs steeply up from Hwy 1, with much of the asphalt surface covered with sand and gravel, up 1500-2000ft. Hairpin turns for the first 20 miles are the norm. Much of the road is one lane with no guardrails. The only turnouts are sand and gravel lots. Much of the visibility is compromised by fog or clouds and the sharp turns. Visibility more than 100 yards ahead is rare. Almost got run off a cliff several times by crew-cab trucks heading east. The average fall would be about 500-1000 feet if you go off the edge. If you have a adventure motorcycle, this is the road for you but ride with a buddy! Once over the ridge line the road surface clears up from sand to leaf debris as the chief hazard and is mostly downhill sharp curves reminiscent of the Tail of the Dragon. Two campgrounds along the route: Nacimento Station (fire fighting camp) and Ponderosa camps are both part of the Los Padres National Forest system. No cell phone signal along the route until you reach Fort Hunter Liggett. The eastern portion of the road is long sweeping turns, broadly spaced trees and straights 1/4 to 1/2 mile long beside obvious Army armored vehicle training areas. The entrance to the Fort is an obvious tent-like inspection station which blocks the road. When the Army is in training, proof of license, registration and insurance is required to cross over the base. If the gate isn´t manned - roll on through. The truss bridge was out of service so the detour is the tank crossing for the creek as you turn onto Mission Road. (35.984297, -121.238367). Do not count on fuel at the Fort. If you are heading this way WEST, then head North on Hwy 1 to Lucia Lodge (36.020753, -121.549319) for the nearest food, coffee and break from the saddle with paved parking. (http://www.lucialodge.com). Fuel would be a few more miles north or south.
This road is the only route east from PCH1 between Carmel and Cambria. From Hwy1 it climbs and twists its way up the mountain giving the most spectacular Big Sur coastline views imaginable. On a clear day, it is stunning.
For the most part, Nacimiento-Ferguson Road is a wide single track with switchbacks leading over the coastal range into a winding canyon to the Army Fort Hunter-Ligget. To ride on the base, you must show motorcycle license and proof of insurance. The road has no police presence unless you are on the base and are US military, not State.
On the base there is a great place to stay, the Hacienda and value for money, excellent bar, breakfast but no dinner. Bring some deli eats and there are microwaves in the rooms.
There is a cafe within walking distance (closes early), bowling and cinema plus a well restored Franciscan Mission. A bonus is one of 3 petrol stations in the entire Big Sur region and government prices per gallon the cheapest in the state.
One my favourite rides in California.