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inkdwheels 01-22-2007 06:28 PM

Bay area dirt?
I've only been on the dirt twice on my v-strom and im looking to expand my experience. Anyone know of any roads/areas that aren't too far from here? Im looking to probably go ride saturday or sunday (providing im not working this weekend).

bluepoof 01-22-2007 07:52 PM

It's tough to find dirt roads in the wild in the Bay Area. Too many gated hippie hiking trails. :cry

The loop I like is in the southern Santa Cruz Mountains. From Pacifica:

* Head south on Hwy 101 or 280. Basically, just get to the Almaden Expressway exit on Hwy 85 in San Jose

* Make the first left at the exit and then an immediate right (onto Almaden). Keep going straight (~4 miles) until it ends on Harry Road.

* Turn right on Harry and make an immediate left onto McKean

* McKean becomes Uvas

* Enjoy the views and sweepers along Uvas

* When Uvas ends, turn right onto Watsonville Road

* On the right shortly is Chitactac-Adams Heritage County Park. This is a great little park to visit, btw. Restrooms and a nice little interpretive trail.

* Just past the park, turn right onto Redwood Retreat

* The road forks; turn left onto Mt Madonna

* FINALLY, the pavement ends! Enjoy 2 miles of dirt/tree roots/mud/fun through the redwoods.

* At the top of the hill, turn right onto Summit Road

* Keep going straight even past the signs saying the road ends.

* The road turns unpaved again for 10 glorious miles.

* You'll eventually hit an intersection at the top of the hill. Turn left (Loma Prieta Ave)

* Turn right onto Loma Prieta where you see a cluster of mailboxes on the right (I almost always miss this turn; GPS is your friend). More unpaved goodness.

* Loma Prieta eventually intersects with Summit Road near Hwy 17.

* If you miss the Loma Prieta turn, you'll stay straight on Mt Bache, which intersects with Highland Way, which becomes Summit Road. So no worries unless you really want that 1 more mile of dirt. ;)

Anyway, it's about 90 miles round trip (15 miles of dirt).

JimmyTheHog 01-22-2007 08:30 PM

This ride has been posted before, so I'll skimp on the details - get to New Idria and go over Clear Creek - nice dirt road climb and decent, then right on Los Gatos/Coalinga rd, then right on Old Hernandez Rd - part paved/part dirt, including a nice creek crossing, then right onto hwy 25 for a few miles, then left on La Gloria rd (easy to miss this one) - about 10 miles of dirt, eventually turning paved and comes out at hwy 101 in Gonzales.

Enjoy :rilla

bluepoof 01-22-2007 08:33 PM

Ooh, I do like Old Hernandez and La Gloria Roads. Though I was last on Old Hernandez in July and the creek crossing was dry. :cry Next time!

Jonnylotto 01-22-2007 10:32 PM

I've got a 300 mile loop that I'll do about twice a year. (This is for future reference. Clear Creek and the area around Hollister is easier to get to)

9 south to 4 corners.
35 south til it becomes Summit Road.
Summit Rd > Loma Prieta Way > Highland Way.

On Highland you can take Buzzard Lagoon Rd (graded dirt) to Eureka Canyon Road or just Take Eureka Canyon Road. > Corralitos Road to S. Green Valley rd. to 1 south. Gas up in Carmel.

1 south to Nacimiento/Ferguson Road. At the top you'll come to the intersection with Cone Peak Rd (North) and the Coast Ridge Trail (South). Cone Peak Rd ends at Cone Peak (!). The Coast Ridge Trail can get you lost in the Los Padres National Forest. If you continue on NF road east you'll come to Fort Hunter Liggett. The road's open as long as your papers are in order. Once you're in Jolon if you're beat you can take 101 back up, otherwise there's good roads on boths sides of the valley that'll take you on the scenic route back north.

P.S. is another good local board, not as squidly as barf.

bluepoof 01-22-2007 10:35 PM

Ooh, that reminds me of Old Coast Road heading north from Big Sur (it comes out at Highway 1 right behind Bixby Bridge). Awesome dirt road there.

MaddBrit 01-23-2007 05:39 AM

You will get the drift that any off roading around the Bay Area is hugely limited, thanks to legislation keeping motorized vehicles off most of it...

Doc Wong does a good clinic regularly down at Clear Creek, but its challenging on a larger dual sport that said definetely doable. Expect to drop your bike though as some of the routes are knarly. The one day courses are free (Google Doc Wong riding). Picture of a class below (you dont get many GS's going! :lol3) EDIT - f**k Smugmug!

The best thing to do is head off over the Sierra's into Nevada. Lots of off roading there, everything from easy trails to single track. The eastern Sierra's also have some great trails to explore.

inkdwheels 01-23-2007 06:24 AM

Thanks guys. I might have to check out that santa cruz mtns ride this weekend!

wheatwhacker 01-23-2007 06:44 PM

Another ride you might consider. Take 101 N to 20E. A few miles east of Nice, take Bartlett Springs road. Stay on this till you hit Bear Creek Road and it'll drop you down to 16. The choices are many after that to get home.
It's about a 250 mile round trip from SF.
I know a few more but land owners may not like it.

cevquit 01-24-2007 04:59 PM

no need to go all the way over to nevada, There are thousands of miles of dirt roads double track and single track( like 5000+) in just the sierra national forest alone. Not that nevada isnt fun, the ride from mammoth lakes to hawthorne(260 miles round trip or so), nv is a hoot.

scibeer 01-24-2007 06:37 PM

Some guy flagged me down on that dirt road between Gilroy and Summit on Monday wondering if I had seen the "Private Road" signs and spewing all kinds of hate and discontent. I plead ignorance of course, but it is posted on both sides. To bad because its a nice view from up there. I wasn't even kicking up dust or nuthin.

DanOGrande 01-24-2007 07:15 PM

I've never had an "encounter" on the Summit Road between Mt Madonna and Loma Prieta but on some of the little spurs ... several and not friendly. One guy was going to call the sheriff and charge me with trespassing but I helped him get his car running so it was cool. I hav also heard of firearms being brandished. There are weird, solitary people up there. Be careful.

ghostbuster2 01-24-2007 08:30 PM

Summit rd to Mt Madona, Buzzard Lagoon Rd (Nesenine Marks Forest area) and the road to Lake Elsman (sp) are all private rights of way even though they show up on the AAA Map. 20 years ago they were open (as well as many other great roads and trails in the Coast range) but they are all closed now. I rode Buzzard Lagoon Rd a few years ago and it has changed quite a bit, now the MT bikers have it and there are signs saying it is closed. We were escorted out of the Lake Elsman aboout 10 years ago and we were asked to leave the Summit road area even though a land owner was riding with us. There are no good dirt areas in the Santa Cruz mountians anymore unless you own the property or trespass.

bluepoof 01-24-2007 08:38 PM

Lame, I've never had a problem up on Summit at all. I thought I read somewhere that the road wasn't private, but just not maintained by the county. I'll try to do some research into that.

Raymee 01-24-2007 08:43 PM

Check out Mendocino Nat Forest. Yeah it's a ways from your neighborhood, but you can go on forever on the dirt.

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