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Descending from Skyline (SR 35) to Santa Cruz: SR 9 or Mnt Charlie Rd

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Descending from Skyline (SR 35) to Santa Cruz: SR 9 or Mnt Charlie Rd

Old 01-13-17, 09:47 PM
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nemeseri
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Descending from Skyline (SR 35) to Santa Cruz: SR 9 or Mnt Charlie Rd

I plan to ride the first time to Santa Cruz coming down from Skyline Blvd (SR 35) and I'm looking for the safest descend. My options seem to be quite limited: either state route 9 or a rural looking Mountain Charlie Road. Which one is safer? My main concern is the traffic (SR 9) or possible land slides, mud and dirt because of the recent rain (Mnt Charlie).

Any other options? Thanks!
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Old 01-13-17, 10:45 PM
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Even when the weather is nice, Mountain Charlie is a very slow descent. The road is narrow and full of blind corners and potholes. If head a little farther south, Soquel-San Jose Road is a much nicer descent with less traffic than Highway 9.
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Old 01-13-17, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99 View Post
Even when the weather is nice, Mountain Charlie is a very slow descent. The road is narrow and full of blind corners and potholes. If head a little farther south, Soquel-San Jose Road is a much nicer descent with less traffic than Highway 9.
NICE! That's a good option. Thanks. Regarding highway 9: is it busy during the weekends? Is it bad?
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Old 01-14-17, 01:00 AM
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Not that busy. I had no issues descending it.
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Old 01-14-17, 01:04 PM
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shotwellian
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Mtn Charlie is much better as a climb because of how narrow and winding it is. 9 is a fantastic smooth, empty descent from Skyline to Boulder Creek but a bit busy for me south of Boulder Creek.

Another option: depending on where you're going in the Santa Cruz area, Highland Way / Eureka Canyon is a fantastic descent. That takes you into Corralitos, somewhat to the east, but then you can ride into Aptos on lovely back roads from there.
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Old 01-14-17, 01:10 PM
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Highway 9 south of Boulder Creek isn't much fun. If you can make it to Felton, go down Graham Hill Road into Santa Cruz. Another option is to climb up to Bonny Doon via Jaimison Creek Road, Alba Road, or Felton-Empire. (The first two are harder, but less traffic). Then go down Empire Grade into Santa Cruz.
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Old 01-14-17, 11:09 PM
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Thank you all for the suggestions! What an amazing area, I have to come back for more. I'm so sad that I ran out of energy when I got to the 9 & 236 intersection. I went down on hwy 9 and I really enjoyed it, except the aforementioned traffic south of Boulder Creek. Surprisingly the traffic dissappeared south of Felton.
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Old 01-16-17, 07:56 PM
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Yup, most cars use Graham Hill Rd btwn Felton and Santa Cruz, so 9 is relatively quiet south of Felton.
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Old 02-24-17, 09:39 PM
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Mudslides and trees will do that.
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