Thread: Bay area dirt?
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:52 PM   #2
bluepoof
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Joined: Dec 2004
Location: San Carlos, CA
Oddometer: 437
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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