Lone Cypress

Plan out your trip to 17 mile drive – Photography Guide

If your planning on visiting the coast of Monterrey, Carmel, or Big Sur, 17 mile drive is one stop worth your time.

17 mile drive is a a 16.78 mile drive along the coast of the Monterrey peninsula. It perfect for photographing wildlife, seascapes, astrophotography, and the famous lone cypress tree.

The Cost – $10.50

The gate fee is reimbursed with a purchase of $35 or more at all Pebble Beach Resorts restaurants.

If your doing the tour bus the price per person is $5.25 per person

Remember that people actually live in this area and as a visitor you are required to pay a $10.50 fee.

How long does it take to get through 17 mile drive?

Ideally I would recommend 3 hours, but if you’re in a hurry you can probably complete the 17 mile drive in under an hour, and that’s without traffic.

We went in September of 2020 when things started easing up from the pandemic and finished in just less than an hour.

If you’re driving with a 3 year old less than an hour is all the time you will want to spend here unless your child is chill.

17 mile drive must stop locations for photography

If you don’t see the Lone Cypress tree, you didn’t do the 17 mile drive. While many of the locations are beautiful I recommend you really take your time to find some great compositions.

It seems that every travel website lists all the best places you have to see, and this is why I only mention a few.

The best tip I can give you is to look for interesting seascapes, flowers, trees, and meadows that are off the Beaten path.

Bring a tripod, circular polarizer, and a 6 or 10 stop neutral density filter to reduce reflections and show movement in the ocean and skies. Here are a few places I recommend visiting.

You could easily spend an hour or more at each of these locations

  1. Lone Cypress
  2. Spanish Bay Beach
  3. Spanish Bay inn (5pm they play bagpipes)
  4. Crocker Grove
  5. Cypress point lookout