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Old 01-22-2007, 06:28 PM   #1
inkdwheels OP
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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).
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:52 PM   #2
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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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Old 01-22-2007, 08:30 PM   #3
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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
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:33 PM   #4
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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. Next time!
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:32 PM   #5
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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. http://www.southbayriders.com is another good local board, not as squidly as barf.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:35 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 03-09-2009, 10:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyTheHog
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
I know this is an old thread, but it was resurrected so should be updated: Clear Creek Management Area (BLM) is closed to everything - including hikers. You cannot get from New Idria to Los Gatos Creek Road/Coalinga anymore. Don't get caught there; its tresspassing on Fed Property.

Mendocino NF is the biggest off-road area in the region now. For a quick fix you can try OHV parks: Carnagie south of Livermore, Hollister Hills south of Hollister, and Metcalf in South San Jose.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:16 AM   #8
mongox
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Lets not forget the Sierras, Lots of National forest stuff up there open to plated and stickered bikes.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:04 PM   #9
inkdwheels OP
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I officially have my fisrt saturday off since Camp Schiedeck. I will be doing this ride tomorrow. Probably leaving around 9am-ish. Which I can work around in case someone wants to go with me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluepoof
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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Old 07-19-2011, 04:53 PM   #10
vuganeja
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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!

thanks!


Quote:
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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Old 07-23-2011, 11:08 PM   #11
Fasttrak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vuganeja View Post
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!

thanks!

I would highly suggest avoiding that area between the two locked gates on Summit Rd. I live in Morgan Hill just off Watsonville and go near there quite often, never make the trek across but even being in that area on my TE610 gets me scorn and words from the four house owners near that gate. The folks are pretty fanatical in that area and could only see trouble from them, just not worth the effort, especially if some one was drunk or pissed off already.

Kind of sad how the area has a couple thousand acres soley for equestrians, one of the smallest groups of ownership as compared to motorcyclists, and almost nothing for dirt bikes. Metcalf is completely pointless unless it is for a newbie out getting some safe time on short trail systems. Hollister Hills is ok if you had never been to Clear Creek but I find it boring as hell and hate paying money to go in and it is usually way too congested for my liking. I am about to move into something more street oriented as the distance to get to any legal dirt is just asinine, at leat two hours and that would be Clear Creek. The last couple treks out to Clear Creek were enjoyable, just always feel like the trails that are clearly marked as open may not be and a nasty federal ticket is looming. Wish they would just open that area up as the San Benito economy is in dire need of the cash.

K.B.
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Old 07-25-2011, 10:15 AM   #12
vuganeja
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Thanks Fasttrak, good to know.

I'll try and stay away from them as well. I went to metcalf yesterday and you're right. Its good for a noob to get some practice drills going in the confines on a short and a predictable track. But even that got crowded past 11am. I've done clear creek which I thought was good with Doc Wong in a clinic. But again the trails aren't marked well, you might be unknowingly stray into a illegal road. The green trials in hollister hills are good for beginners, but you've got to get there early if you don't want passing dirt bikers on climbs on either side!!

Anyone have directions to ride Old hernandez road near clear creek? Entry and exit points on a google map perhaps?
I tried gloria/old gloria road off Hwy 25, but its more challenging due to the packed dirt with an inch or so of loose soft soil on it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasttrak View Post
I would highly suggest avoiding that area between the two locked gates on Summit Rd. I live in Morgan Hill just off Watsonville and go near there quite often, never make the trek across but even being in that area on my TE610 gets me scorn and words from the four house owners near that gate. The folks are pretty fanatical in that area and could only see trouble from them, just not worth the effort, especially if some one was drunk or pissed off already.

Kind of sad how the area has a couple thousand acres soley for equestrians, one of the smallest groups of ownership as compared to motorcyclists, and almost nothing for dirt bikes. Metcalf is completely pointless unless it is for a newbie out getting some safe time on short trail systems. Hollister Hills is ok if you had never been to Clear Creek but I find it boring as hell and hate paying money to go in and it is usually way too congested for my liking. I am about to move into something more street oriented as the distance to get to any legal dirt is just asinine, at leat two hours and that would be Clear Creek. The last couple treks out to Clear Creek were enjoyable, just always feel like the trails that are clearly marked as open may not be and a nasty federal ticket is looming. Wish they would just open that area up as the San Benito economy is in dire need of the cash.

K.B.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:09 PM   #13
Fasttrak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vuganeja View Post
Anyone have directions to ride Old hernandez road near clear creek? Entry and exit points on a google map perhaps?
I tried gloria/old gloria road off Hwy 25, but its more challenging due to the packed dirt with an inch or so of loose soft soil on it.

If you have Mapsource I would highly suggest pulling that up and making some tracks in that area, as fun as it is to head out there the amount of actual dirt riding is pretty tame and limited. Clear Creek still has the most actual dirt roads and right now they are pretty fun and a decent workout at speed. From memory La Gloria is about 15 miles South of Panoche Rd on the Western side of Hwy 25, it heads out to Gonzales off the 101 and is about 17 mile run, not all dirt. Old Hernandez is about eight miles down the road from La Gloria and it heads off to the East side of Hwy 25, stay on this for about 28 miles and Clear Creek heads off East from Old Hernandez\Coalinga Rd. Be very careful crossing that fallen concrete bridge heading into Clear Creek cause it is damn snotty right now and almost did a tank slapper into a high side just crossing 25 feet. Was a good wake up prior to hitting some dirt trails in Clear Creek. I really need a bigger tank as I am kind of limited at the moment to about 150 mile range and would really love to get that up to about 250 miles to do more exploring around Clear Creek. Man do I miss that place for weekend camps and riding..



Quote:
Originally Posted by LaPorte View Post
Fasttrack

I read your post and thought i had written it. I couldn't agree more. Picked up a BMW F800GS to go do Adventure type rides. At least I can ride in Northern Cal. Sometimes I still have to haul the bike to get the hell out of the bay area (TMP). California, the land where fun use to be had!!!

LaPorte

I am seriously considering upgrading to the new Triumph 800 xc, it would allow me further range all they way out to SLO and the Sierra foothills. Slabbing on the TE is just not my cup of tea. I have spent the last year mapping pretty much all around Watsonville to Aptos and this side of the hill from San Jose to Clear Creek and there just isn't much legal dirt for us anymore. In the next few weeks I plan on hitting the coastal range around Jolon and Hunter Ligget, praying for something juicey and grin inspiring. Will post back if I find anything worthwhile.


K.B.
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Old 07-25-2011, 02:55 PM   #14
LaPorte
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fasttrak View Post
I would highly suggest avoiding that area between the two locked gates on Summit Rd. I live in Morgan Hill just off Watsonville and go near there quite often, never make the trek across but even being in that area on my TE610 gets me scorn and words from the four house owners near that gate. The folks are pretty fanatical in that area and could only see trouble from them, just not worth the effort, especially if some one was drunk or pissed off already.

Kind of sad how the area has a couple thousand acres soley for equestrians, one of the smallest groups of ownership as compared to motorcyclists, and almost nothing for dirt bikes. Metcalf is completely pointless unless it is for a newbie out getting some safe time on short trail systems. Hollister Hills is ok if you had never been to Clear Creek but I find it boring as hell and hate paying money to go in and it is usually way too congested for my liking. I am about to move into something more street oriented as the distance to get to any legal dirt is just asinine, at leat two hours and that would be Clear Creek. The last couple treks out to Clear Creek were enjoyable, just always feel like the trails that are clearly marked as open may not be and a nasty federal ticket is looming. Wish they would just open that area up as the San Benito economy is in dire need of the cash

K.B.
Fasttrack

I read your post and thought i had written it. I couldn't agree more. Picked up a BMW F800GS to go do Adventure type rides. At least I can ride in Northern Cal. Sometimes I still have to haul the bike to get the hell out of the bay area (TMP). California, the land where fun use to be had!!!

LaPorte
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Old 01-31-2012, 07:37 PM   #15
JChen
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I just came back from taking that ride, it was intense haha. I was riding a KLX250SF which happened to have road tires up until Summit I was fine but around 5 miles in road tires just wouldn't cut it and i ended up locking my front brake and dumping the bike... A couple scratches on the plastic, broken turn signals, and a bent handle bar, i continued the rest of my journey as carefully as possible. All in all it was an amazing trail that i would do again with knobbies and ONLY KNOBBIES
Quote:
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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