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Old San Marcos and Painted Cave Road

Old 06-30-20, 11:26 PM
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Elvo
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Old San Marcos and Painted Cave Road

Anyone ride this recently? Is it relatively car free? Given that the painted cave is closed, it seems like a much better alternative than San Marcos Road but very very steep.
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Old 07-01-20, 02:37 AM
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haven't ridden it recently but if you haven't ridden intersecting and neighboring east camino cielo, that would be one of my highest recommendations in all of socal.
i know you've done gmr/grr but tell me/us what you think of east camino cielo. painted cave/osm is a classic but i like east camino cielo from either the
hwy 154/san marcos pass intersection or the continuation after the gibraltar climb. personally think it's a little better from the gibraltar side heading nw towards
the 154 but both sides rock. road quality in the area wasn't the best last time i was up there but it's been three years since my last visit.
a guy can be a new pavement optimist, can't he?

you could do the 154, have ridden up it both sides and descended it both sides. my thoughts:
always better to descend...heading towards the ocean, it's relatively easy to control the lane
with the amount of curves. not so heading inland. it's mostly straightaways, whether you incorporate stagecoach rd.
into the descending proceedings or not. ascending the 154 from santa ynez is less than desirable and unfun but it's worse
heading from the oceanside into the hills. regardless of direction, the 154 carries a lot of fast, unashamed ford f150 traffic.
i'll take the dominatrix demands of gibraltar, osm or painted cave (or semi-nearby refugio) any day vs the interminable 154.

and yes, painted cave climb (and osm) are steep but not harder than the mt. baldy ski lifts (and no altitude issues). if you're geared
to knock out a baldy or gibraltar, you'll be just fine with a painted cave ascent. as always, there will be significant suffering/questioning of life choices involved.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 07-01-20 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 07-01-20, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
haven't ridden it recently but if you haven't ridden intersecting and neighboring east camino cielo, that would be one of my highest recommendations in all of socal.
i know you've done gmr/grr but tell me/us what you think of east camino cielo. painted cave/osm is a classic but i like east camino cielo from either the
hwy 154/san marcos pass intersection or the continuation after the gibraltar climb. personally think it's a little better from the gibraltar side heading nw towards
the 154 but both sides rock. road quality in the area wasn't the best last time i was up there but it's been three years since my last visit.
a guy can be a new pavement optimist, can't he?

you could do the 154, have ridden up it both sides and descended it both sides. my thoughts:
always better to descend...heading towards the ocean, it's relatively easy to control the lane
with the amount of curves. not so heading inland. it's mostly straightaways, whether you incorporate stagecoach rd.
into the descending proceedings or not. ascending the 154 from santa ynez is less than desirable and unfun but it's worse
heading from the oceanside into the hills. regardless of direction, the 154 carries a lot of fast, unashamed ford f150 traffic.
i'll take the dominatrix demands of gibraltar, osm or painted cave (or semi-nearby refugio) any day vs the interminable 154.

and yes, painted cave climb (and osm) are steep but not harder than the mt. baldy ski lifts (and no altitude issues). if you're geared
to knock out a baldy or gibraltar, you'll be just fine with a painted cave ascent. as always, there will be significant suffering/questioning of life choices involved.
Thanks S for the tips! It is tempting to do east Camino Cielo as well but I only have about 4 hours of free time. According to my mapping website, adding it in would make it a 7000 ft 42 mile day!
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Old 07-02-20, 03:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
Thanks S for the tips! It is tempting to do east Camino Cielo as well but I only have about 4 hours of free time. According to my mapping website, adding it in would make it a 7000 ft 42 mile day!
and?! just kidding. if you wake up and don't feel like being a world-beater but still want some sweet action, drive up the 154 from sb and park near the san marcos pass summit where it intersects east camino cielo.
head south towards the top of the gibraltar climb and head back same way. remarkably different views. roughly 22 miles and 3,600 ft of el gain. you knocked out the verdugos, this has some ups and downs and
will give you a workout but won't tie you up for 5 hours. views, views, views and only a few other crazy riders enroute. roadie singletrack.

osm to the top of painted cave and straight back down or down the 154 is still awesome as well. win-win. have never come across many cars/motorcycles on east camino cielo, osm
or painted cave and i'm okay with that. the 154 gets 95+% of the traffic. the pic in on east camino cielo headed nw towards san marcos pass and the 154.


Last edited by ooga-booga; 07-02-20 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 07-02-20, 11:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
and?! just kidding. if you wake up and don't feel like being a world-beater but still want some sweet action, drive up the 154 from sb and park near the san marcos pass summit where it intersects east camino cielo.
head south towards the top of the gibraltar climb and head back same way. remarkably different views. roughly 22 miles and 3,600 ft of el gain. you knocked out the verdugos, this has some ups and downs and
will give you a workout but won't tie you up for 5 hours. views, views, views and only a few other crazy riders enroute. roadie singletrack.

osm to the top of painted cave and straight back down or down the 154 is still awesome as well. win-win. have never come across many cars/motorcycles on east camino cielo, osm
or painted cave and i'm okay with that. the 154 gets 95+% of the traffic. the pic in on east camino cielo headed nw towards san marcos pass and the 154.

Took your advice and added east Camino Cielo - turned out to be 43 miles total with almost 6000 feet of elevation gain. Was too winded to fully enjoy Camino Cielo but it was very nice
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Old 07-03-20, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
Took your advice and added east Camino Cielo - turned out to be 43 miles total with almost 6000 feet of elevation gain. Was too winded to fully enjoy Camino Cielo but it was very nice
oh...i thought this was for the e-bike.

just messin.' nice going. trying to make it back up there in august myself.
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