Thread: Bay area dirt?
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:53 PM   #35
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Oddometer: 72
2011 - updates?

I'm a dual sport noob on a f650gs twin and this looks like a fun ride to do. I live in almaden valley and should be very close to this.

I saw some posts on this thread around "unfriendly, hostile brandishing" locals. Anyone does this ride recently? And how safe is it to ride solo? I don't look native(and I'm not) and might stand out, hence the question!


Originally Posted by bluepoof View Post
It's tough to find dirt roads in the wild in the Bay Area. Too many gated hippie hiking trails.

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).
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