The closest airports are Monterey (2 hrs.), San Jose (4 hrs.), and San Francisco (5 hrs.). Please allow ample time for travel connections into Tassajara.
From the north, take Hwy 101 south to the Hwy 156 / Monterey Peninsula exit at Prunedale. Follow Hwy 156 to Hwy 1 south. From Hwy 1 turn left at Carmel Valley Road and follow it until you reach Tassajara Road on the right.
From the south, take Hwy 101 north to Greenfield. Turn left onto G16 (Elm Avenue). Turn left at E. Carmel Valley Rd/G16/Jamesburg-Arroyo Seco Rd., go 8.7 miles until you reach Tassajara Road on your left.
Turn onto Tassajara Road and continue until you reach Jamesburg, where the dirt road begins, and you can continue driving into Tassajara.
For the last 14 miles, Tassajara Road is a winding dirt road with sheer drop-offs and a steep, narrow descent over the last five miles. (See a video of the road on our YouTube page.) Four-wheel-drive or standard transmission is recommended. Cars with automatic transmission must be equipped with manual low gear (marked 1 and 2) in order to be safe and avoid over-heating the brakes. Those who drive SUVs should activate the four-wheel drive and all drivers should travel at 15 mph or less (slower on the steeper portions). We urge you to observe the following precautions if you choose to drive this road:
Make sure your car is in good working order, paying special attention to brakes, fuel, and cooling system. Fuel and repair services are not available at Tassajara or Jamesburg. The last gas stations are at Carmel Valley and Greenfield.
Travel during the cooler hours of the day if possible to avoid overheating the engine.
As you begin your descent over the last five miles, shift into the lowest possible gear and PUMP your brakes as needed. DO NOT apply steady pressure to your brakes or they will overheat.
If your brakes begin to overheat or feel mushy, pull over immediately and allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes before continuing.
Google Maps Driving Directions to Jamesburg/Stage
Google Maps Driving Directions to Tassajara
Driving Directions (PDF)
By Public Transportation
Getting to Tassajara by public transportation requires special coordination as there is no public transit service that goes directly to Tassajara. There are many public transit options to the nearby towns of Monterey, Salinas, and Carmel Valley (still over an hour away) from San Francisco or Oakland, and some routes are detailed below. From there, you would need to connect with another traveler using our Rideshare Board or with one of our twice weekly supplies runs after making arrangements to do so.
If you arrive late and need to spend a night in Monterey, there are many motels and hotels in the area. One less expensive option is the HI-Monterey Hostel, which has dorm beds from $25/night. The hostel is at 778 Hawthorne St., which is close to downtown Monterey. Call (831)649-0375 or go to www.montereyhostel.org for more information.
From Oakland to Salinas by Train: There is an Amtrak train that goes from Oakland to Salinas with a bus connection to Monterey.
From the SFO or SJC to Monterey by Bus: The simplest and most convenient way to get to Monterey is to take the Monterey Airbus from San Francisco Airport to the Monterey Transit Plaza ($40). There are several services daily. You can book a seat at www.montereyairbus.com or (831)373-7777.
From the Bay Area to Salinas by Bus: There is one Greyhound Bus service available from the Bay Area to Salinas: from SF at 6:30am, Oakland at 7am, and San Jose at 7:30am.
There are several Amtrak coaches from San Francisco to Salinas. The latest that allows enough time to connect with the town-trip leaves the Ferry Building at 10:05am.
Each of these options arrive at the Amtrak Station in Salinas and leaves just a short walk to the Salinas Transit Center.
From Salinas to Monterey by Bus: The MST Line 20 leaves from the Salinas Transit Center every half-hour and arrives at the Monterey Transit Plaza after approximately 50 minutes of travel. The 1:15 bus is the last bus that will allow enough time to meet up with the town-trip. However, this gives only a 10-minute grace period to catch the Line 24 to Carmel Rancho (if meeting the town-trip).
From the Monterey Airport to the Monterey Transit Plaza by Bus: If you fly into the Monterey Airport or drop a rental car there, you may take the DART minibus to the Transit Plaza. This is a custom service which you must call at least one hour before you wish to leave the airport: 1-866-663-3278. From Monterey to Carmel Rancho and Carmel Valley Bus:
The MST Line 24 (Carmel Valley Grapevine Express) departs from the Monterey Transit Plaza once an hour and goes into Carmel Valley. It takes 20 minutes to get to Carmel Rancho, 30 minutes to Mid-Valley, and 40 minutes to Carmel Valley.
Monterey Airbus www.montereyairbus.com
Monterey Salinas Transit www.mst.org
Monterey Hostel www.montereyhostel.org