I sold my Mazda 3 Hatchback and picked up this 2013 Crosstrek last week. I completed my honey-do list on Saturday so that we could go play Sunday.
I've attached the route, for reference, but we took 101 South down to Jolon Road in King City, stayed on that through Fort Hunter Liggett (Nacimiento Fergusson Road), and made the left at the four way (not a stop) junction at the top (one way to Cone Peak and the other South running parallel to Highway 1).
That put us on Coast Ridge Trail which we drove on until the next junction (South Coast Ridge Road, etc) and turned off towards Plaskett Ridge. The plan was to take that down to Highway 1 and then double back Highway 1 North. I guess we should have checked road closures first, because a few miles in and we hit a locked USFS gate. I wasn't sure if South Coast Ridge Road was open (an alternative way to Highway 1 without doubling back), but considering we had not seen any cars for a good bit (not since the camping area) we didn't want to take the risk of having to drive out and double back again.
For reference, the road is very easily navigable in most any vehicle so that Crosstrek had zero issues. The brush is a little overgrown in spots and some areas are wide enough for only one vehicle. Someone's going to have to take the brunt of the branches so be cautious to not scratch your lovely paint (facepalm). Oddly enough we saw a new Hyundai subcompact navigating out there along with a mid-90s Lexus (I think, IS300). That was a first...and a second.
Here are some pictures with captions.
The route with some call outs - pretty straight forward. The military gates are no longer manned, but watch the speed limits through the Fort (federally managed area).
At the entrance of Fort Hunter Liggett.
Fun road! Elk, deer, hawks and loads of ugly ground squirrels.
Along Nacimiento Fergusson Road. Watch out for other cars and motorcycles as the road itself can be narrow at times. These switchbacks are quite fun though.
At the same pullout as the above. I thought the clouds were neat.
Somewhere along Coast Ridge Trail on our way back. It's not really wide so again be cautious to not drive faster than you can stop. The views are pretty awesome.
There is a small stretch of pavement out there in the middle of nowhere. My guess is that this area is prone to landslides when it rains, but also there is no pull off here. Meeting another vehicle coming the opposite way would suck...someone's going to have to back track.
Normally you can continue on and reach the Plaskett Campground at Highway 1. I think it was closed due to fire damage a few months back, but I am not sure. Should've checked first before heading out.
We had a fun time out there, picked up some new scratches (could've done without that) and go outdoors for the day.