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Thread: Devil's Slide

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    Devil's Slide

    We are planning a summer bike trip from SF to Carmel. Two questions:

    1. I'd like to get the update on whether bikers are able to pass through Devil's Slide area, which is closed to car traffic.

    2. I'd also like to hear about alternative route suggestions that would bypass Devil's Slide.

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    Devils slide area is NOT bicycle friendly in the first place and you would much improve your ride to take Skyline Blvd all the way down to Canada Rd, follow that to Woodside and cross over via Highway 84 or if you want the challenge - Old LaHonda Road TO Highway 84 and ride that out to San Gregoria before picking up Highway 1 again.

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    I rode devil's slide last spring.
    This country has not minted enough money to get me to do it again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogpound
    I rode devil's slide last spring.
    This country has not minted enough money to get me to do it again.
    Yikes! It must be awful. The map I have shows an unpaved bike trial that goes from Pacifica to Montara just inland of Devils Slide. Anyone have experience riding this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kesroberts
    Yikes! It must be awful. The map I have shows an unpaved bike trial that goes from Pacifica to Montara just inland of Devils Slide. Anyone have experience riding this?
    If you're talking about the Montara Mountain Road. That is the old stage coach route along the coast before they built the Devils Slide road. There is a reason they call it a "mountain". You should expect pretty sloppy conditions during the rainy season, but it is a popular mountain bike route during the summer.

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    Choices?

    Hwy 92 - Half Moon Bay : easier way over but lots of traffic.
    Kings Mountain Rd - Skyline - 84 - San Gregorio : more climbing, less cars, not too bad.
    84 - San Gregorio: not a difficult climb but more cars.
    Old La Honda (OLD) - West OLH - 84: OLH is nice. I'd backtrack to Skylonda and descend 84 instead of WOLH
    Page Mill Rd - Alpine - Pescadero: Lots of climbing. Not good for loaded touring.
    Hwy 9 - Santa Cruz: Good deal of traffic on a shoulderless road between Boulder Creek and Felton.
    Los Gatos - Bike Path - Old Santa Cruz Hwy - Summit Rd. - San Jose/Soquel Rd.: Probably the easiest way south of 92.

    Mix 'n Match portions of the above. I'd advise against descending Tunitas Creek. Most folks only do it once. ;-)
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    fyi - Devils Slide is closed to cars right now because of a serious mudslide. I wouldn't be suprised if it stayed closed to cars for a while. If they don't have crews working on the road, you may be able to get through on a bicycle with zero car traffic.

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    Devils Slide will be closed for several months, possibly longer, and all the adjacent hiking trails are also currently closed. This is extremely steep terrain dropping down to the ocean and the ground is super-saturated. They are working on a tunnel to be opened by 2010, snce this has been a problem for 30 years. By summer, construction will be likely going full tilt and I would not bother with it.

    I would plan on taking Skyline Blvd south, once you get to Millbrae you can pick up Sawyer Camp Trail if you want, which is a gorgeous bike path taking you along Crystal Springs Reservoir through some really pretty country, picking up Skyline again in San Mateo, then transitioning to Canada Rd by lower Crystal Springs Reservoir to Woodside, and over the hill on 84 or OLH to Hwy 1 again. It is a very nice ride and you are not really missing anything since the coast is prettiest south of Half Moon Bay anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kesroberts
    Yikes! It must be awful. The map I have shows an unpaved bike trial that goes from Pacifica to Montara just inland of Devils Slide. Anyone have experience riding this?
    You could do that on a cyclocross bike but I'd advise against it on a touring bike though it's possible. The climb isn't difficult but the paving gives out near the top on the Pacifica side. On the other side there are a few sections that can only be described as mountain bike territory. The old road that you're referring to has a two block climb at the bottom before you hit the trail that is perhaps 20%.

    You CANNOT ride a bike up out of Pacifica in an easterly direction without a LOT of pushing. There are sections of trail which exceed 30% over broken rock.

    As I suggested, you should continue on Skyline and then parallel the freeway until you hit Crystal Springs Reservoir and continue on that road to Canada and into Woodside and over the hill to San Gregorio.

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    I should note - I went over West Old LaHonda Rd a couple of weeks ago and there was a section of road missing it's asphalt. It looked like some four wheel drivers were having fun destroying the road. You can cross it on a bicycle but don't come bombing down that road unaware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kesroberts
    Yikes! It must be awful. The map I have shows an unpaved bike trial that goes from Pacifica to Montara just inland of Devils Slide. Anyone have experience riding this?
    If you are hardcore enough you could easily go up montara and down the other side bypassing devils slide. Its partly paved up one side and the other side down is smooth dusty road. You could easily take a road bike over it if you wanted. Devils slide is permanently shut down, so no bikes or cars till the tunnel is built.

    I don't know if it will hurt your pride walking a little bit of it?

    Of course, I ride montara on my mtb so..

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    The other side IS NOT repeat IS NOT a smooth dusty road. Though sections of it are.

    As you come over the top and start down the other side you go through a wash and the trail has a couple of humps in it that can high center a bicycle.

    As I said before, you CAN make it this way but don't try it with a heavily loaded touring bike unless you're ready to unload and carry stuff if necessary. The rain is bound to have seriously effected the south side of that route.

    It is possible that Devil's Slide will be closed by the time Davisprof goes through it. Last time Devil's Slide was closed it was for 6 months though that is surely unusual.

    The real question is what do you gain by riding Devil's Slide or the Montara old road route? On a cyclocross of mountain bike the Montara route is sort of fun but not exactly the sort of route you go on with a touring bike with a load.

    To tell you the truth, I'd avoid the coast highway ALL the way from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. There are several alternate routes that are probably a lot more scenic though they are harder by far.

    Until you get to Pigeon Point, the coast highway has long sections where there is little or no shoulders and in the late morning on the traffic can be doing VERY high speeds and passing within inches of you. It's the same past Pigeon Point (where you'd normally stop for the night at the Hostelry and pay for at least 30 minutes in the hot tube overlooking the Pacific Ocean!!!!!) but there's a wide shoulder over most of that route. And since you'd be riding it in the morning if you stayed at Pigeon Point overnight you'd likely not have any problems.

    Traffic remains a problem all the way to Carmel. South of there the traffic problems are a great deal less though not non-existant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    Traffic remains a problem all the way to Carmel. South of there the traffic problems are a great deal less though not non-existant.

    true, though in the summer, HWY 1 is a motor home fest. And the road it narrow with little shoulder.
    best to avoid it on the weekends, if possible.
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    I regularly ride Hwy 1 from Half Moon Bay to Pidgeon Point on summer weekends. The road is wide and, except for a couple of short bridges, you also have a few feet of shoulder the whole way. I've never had problems with auto traffic, though I am very careful to ride in a straight line on the shoulder and to check for traffic when I have to leave it.

    Yes, there are several alternative routes with different kinds of interesting scenery. A lot of bicyclists take Hwy 35 (Skyline) instead, but that road is narrower, with poorer sight lines, an even more erratic shoulder, and lots of speeding sports car traffic. Stage and Cloverdale Roads are nice diversions from Hwy 1, but only for a few miles each.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclintom
    The other side IS NOT repeat IS NOT a smooth dusty road. Though sections of it are.

    As you come over the top and start down the other side you go through a wash and the trail has a couple of humps in it that can high center a bicycle.

    As I said before, you CAN make it this way but don't try it with a heavily loaded touring bike unless you're ready to unload and carry stuff if necessary. The rain is bound to have seriously effected the south side of that route.

    It is possible that Devil's Slide will be closed by the time Davisprof goes through it. Last time Devil's Slide was closed it was for 6 months though that is surely unusual.

    The real question is what do you gain by riding Devil's Slide or the Montara old road route? On a cyclocross of mountain bike the Montara route is sort of fun but not exactly the sort of route you go on with a touring bike with a load.

    To tell you the truth, I'd avoid the coast highway ALL the way from San Francisco to Santa Cruz. There are several alternate routes that are probably a lot more scenic though they are harder by far.

    Until you get to Pigeon Point, the coast highway has long sections where there is little or no shoulders and in the late morning on the traffic can be doing VERY high speeds and passing within inches of you. It's the same past Pigeon Point (where you'd normally stop for the night at the Hostelry and pay for at least 30 minutes in the hot tube overlooking the Pacific Ocean!!!!!) but there's a wide shoulder over most of that route. And since you'd be riding it in the morning if you stayed at Pigeon Point overnight you'd likely not have any problems.

    Traffic remains a problem all the way to Carmel. South of there the traffic problems are a great deal less though not non-existant.
    As far as I can remember once you get to the cross roads you have two choices. Go up the crack or the trail to the right which goes around the mountain( which has bumps and dips and would be slightly a bit of a pain getting through. Once you get to the other side where its sandy, you have a choice of going up or down. The majority of that trail if you choose to go down is very smooth. You'll be on the other side at montara, just barely bypassing devil's slide.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoF3ar
    As far as I can remember once you get to the cross roads you have two choices. Go up the crack or the trail to the right which goes around the mountain( which has bumps and dips and would be slightly a bit of a pain getting through. Once you get to the other side where its sandy, you have a choice of going up or down. The majority of that trail if you choose to go down is very smooth. You'll be on the other side at montara, just barely bypassing devil's slide.
    I took that route last year a couple of times and what I remember is that until you get down to the fireroad there are some places where a loaded touring bike could have some trouble.

    I wonder if you're forgetting that narrow wash up near the top where the trail narrows to a couple of inches wide? I recall having to lift my road bike over the humps though I can't recall if I could have made it through with an MTB.

    I returned via Devil's Slide and the three of us that were doing that route all promised we'd NEVER go that way again. Far better to go back over via that old Montara Rd. In truth I didn't like Devil's Slide but I didn't find it all that bad since the traffic was frightened as well and drove pretty well. Then coming down the north side into Pacifica some guy in a pickup was behind us that must have been a cyclist himself since he gave us exactly the right amount of distance where cars were used to going 70 mph with no shoulder.

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    I'm not familiar with the area, but I am also planning to ride through this same section this summer. Adventure Cycling posted this addenda on their website:

    http://www.adv-cycling.org/routes/ad...acific%20Coast

    "PACIFIC COAST ADDENDA, Section 4 (BC-1622 06L)

    The BC number on your map's cover should match the BC number listed here.


    Detail Detour - Maps 42 and 43
    # Early April 2006 - A slide has closed SR 1 between Pacifica and Montara. The road will be closed indefinitely until repairs are completed. Here is a web link for updates: http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist4/stormdamageroute1/ There is no simple detour; the one that is listed here adds about 17 miles to the route, and climbs/descends over the Coast Range. Expect heavier levels of traffic since all vehicles will also be using this route. Southbound: At Manor Dr. in Pacifica (noted on the Daly City Detail Map), turn left. In 1.1 mi., turn right onto Skyline Blvd./SR 35. In 6.2 mi., at Hillcrest Blvd., turn right and ride onto Sawyer Camp Trail. In 6.0 mi., turn right onto Skyline Blvd. In 15.6 mi., turn right onto LaHonda Rd./SR 84. In 15.2 mi., turn left onto SR 1 and rejoin the route. In Northbound: Turn right onto LaHonda Rd./SR 84. In 15.2 mi., turn left onto Skyline Blvd. In 15.6 mi., at Crystal Springs Rd., turn left onto Sawyer Camp Trail. In 6.0 mi., turn left onto Skyline Blvd. In 5.1 mi., turn left onto Manor Dr. In 1 mi., turn right onto Palmetto Ave. and rejoin route (see Daly City Detail Map). (Apr 2006)"

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    manor road detor

    I wouldn't recomend taking manor road up from pacifica, especially if loaded touring. The grade is easily in the 20% range. This is one of the steepest roads in the bay area. I'm not familiar with the street names, but it is best to take skyline to Sawyer camp to Canada to Woodside then take Old La Honda or Kings Mtn over to 84 and back to the coast. Skyline is pretty sketchy around Daly City. There are two skyline roads at this point and you're better off taking the residential route. As you crest the hill on skyline, you decend a block or two. There is an intersection with an overpass on the left. Take that left, go under the underpass, ride 3/4 mile or so to the shopping center, take a left and then take a right on the other skyline. Confusing? Yes, this is one of the worst areas to ride a bike on the west coast, but it will get better. The sawyer camp trail starts off of skyline, but is kind of broken up.

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    Does anybody know what HWy 92 is like from 35 to HWY 1? Everyone seems to favor HWY 84 instead, but I'm trying to figure out a way to get to Half Moon Bay state beach to camp for the night. Are there any other hiker/biker sites around here? This will be our first day of the trip and we'll be leaving in the mid day from the Golden gate bridge and just don't want to have to ride too far (like more than 50 miles).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbuzi123
    Does anybody know what HWy 92 is like from 35 to HWY 1? Everyone seems to favor HWY 84 instead, but I'm trying to figure out a way to get to Half Moon Bay state beach to camp for the night. Are there any other hiker/biker sites around here? This will be our first day of the trip and we'll be leaving in the mid day from the Golden gate bridge and just don't want to have to ride too far (like more than 50 miles).
    As you first pass west of 35, it's a four-lane road with nice wide shoulders on the descent. After the first couple of miles, though, it turns into a two-lane road with not very wide shoulders. Also, it flattens out so now you're getting passed by lots of cars. Even more now that Hwy 1 is closed at Devil's Slide. I don't know if Huddart Park in Woodside has non-group camping facilities. Sanborn Park in Saratoga does have campgrounds.
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