Big Sur is a sparsely populated region of the Central Coast of California where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The name "Big Sur" is derived from the original Spanish-language "el sur grande", meaning "the big south", or from "el paÃs grande del sur", "the big country of the south", referring to its location south of the Monterey Peninsula. The terrain offers stunning views, making Big Sur a great destination for photographers. Big Sur's Cone Peak is the highest coastal mountain in the contiguous 48 states, ascending nearly a mile (5,155 feet/1571 m) above sea level, only three miles (4.8 km) from the ocean. This photo was taken during our photography trip covering the Pacific coast highway fondly referred to a US Route 1.