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detour around Big Sur

Old 06-30-08, 03:43 PM
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detour around Big Sur

Hello,

I'm looking for a detour around Big Sur because of all the fires which has also closed a big section of Highway 1. Maybe Highway 1 will be open by 7/10 but I think it still might be better to stay out of the area.

At the moment I'm thinking of riding from Monterey to King City, King City to Paso Robles via Jolon Rd. and other hot valley roads behind Fort Hunter-Liggett, and finally back to the coast along highway 41 or is it 46.

Anyone with better suggestions or see problems with this route (i.e. campgrounds full or non existent)?

Nick
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Old 06-30-08, 06:42 PM
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Take a look at Hwy 25 from South of Gilroy that goes behind Pinnacles Nat Monument to San Miguel just North of Paso Robles. You will be farther from the Big Sur fires including the one close to the Jolon Road- The Indians Fire.

Hwy 25 usually has a strong tailwind and limited water and services. Camping at Pinnacles.

Here is a link to the fire map of the area.: https://www.oes.ca.gov/WebPage/oesweb...veMap?readForm
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Old 07-01-08, 11:26 AM
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Second the Highway 25 nomination. I live five minutes from it. There are stretches with limited water, but a polite request at any of the farm houses scattered along the way is usually all it takes. Beautiful ride. It can be hot, but the reliable afternoon tailwinds keep things cool. We've had smoke, too, but the skies are back to blue (mostly) From Monterey: Reservation Road to Hwy 68. Right through the center of Salinas to North Main. Right on San Juan Salinas Grade (across from Northridge Shopping Center) to San Juan for liquids and food. Hwy 156 east for seven miles to Union Road. Right on Union, turning right on Cienega just before the bridge. You'll pass a two room school and some wineries on Cienega. Water available at both places.

Stay on Cienega (bear right at the T) until it connects with Airline Highway just south of Paicines. If you want, a very short ride back north on Airline leads to the Paicines General Store, which serves some memorable Mexican food. Anyway, Airline is Highway 25 and you want to head right, or south.

Down Airline to the turnoff to Pinnacles. Pinnacles Campground has a small store, campsites, facilities and a POOL! Continue south on Airline (water at one-room Jefferson School, near the King City turnoff) which eventually turns into Peachtree Road, all the way to San Miguel. There's more food and drink there. The road continues to 46, which will bring you via a very scenic ride back to the coast.

You won't get Big Sur. You will get a slice of California you probably thought vanished a century ago. I wouldn't hesitate to ask any of the residents down there about camping out in a barn or field.

Traffic is light but regular, so you won't be completely isolated. On weekends, the run is pretty popular with sport motorcyclists.
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Old 07-01-08, 01:26 PM
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Cienega road -- mmmmmm
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Old 07-01-08, 01:30 PM
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When you want to get back to Highway 1, I STRONGLY recommend that you go via Highway 46 instead of 41. 46 has a nice shoulder the whole way. 41 has no shoulder for long sections. There's a lot of traffic on both. On 46 that doesn't matter so much because of the nice shoulders. On 41 it's a definite problem. It's very twisty, and on a lot of the turns you'll be right up against a rock face on the westbound side and a cliff on the eastbound - no bailout place if you're forced off the road.

Another option might be to continue into San Luis Obispo inland. From Atascadero (actually, Santa Margarita) there's a dirt backroad that takes you down the Cuesta Grade. Highway 101 isn't very bike-friendly there (I don't even know if bikes are allowed.) Locals take the backroad, called Stagecoach Road. You follow El Camino Real through the center of Atascadero. It continues on through Santa Margarita, and ends at Highway 101. When you get to Highway 101 you have to cross to the westbound lanes. You ride on the shoulder for maybe 1/4 mile, then a path leads off into the bushes. This comes out at the bottom of a dead-end paved road. You ride up it and get to a big paved area at the top of Cuesta Grade (where trucks check their brakes before going down the hill.) Stagecoach Road starts there. At the bottom of Stagecoach road I think there's now a tunnel for bikes under 101 (it wasn't there the last time I did this ride and you had to cross 101.) Then you get on the shoulder of 101 on the eastbound side (riding the wrong way) until you can get off onto Monterey Street in San Luis Obispo. Head down Monterey into the middle of San Luis. (It dead-ends at the mission.)

I think the Pacific Coast Bike Route takes you into San Luis Obispo anyway, so this way you'd avoid an extra jog out to the coast. However, if you want to go out to Highway 1 to camp, or for ocean views, or for cooler weather, then by all means, take 46.

When 46 joins 1 you can ride north about 5 miles (?) to San Simeon State Park, which has a hiker/biker site. It's not very nice though. I prefer Morro Bay State Park's hiker/biker site. That's about 25 miles south of where 46 meets 1. You get off 1 at the South Bay Boulevard exit, take a right on State Park Road, veer left at the Y, and you'll get right to the park entrance. It's a nice spot.
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Old 07-01-08, 04:36 PM
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im looking into doing the same thing. initially i was hoping to do the back roads and some fire road/dirt tracks but then indians road lt up so i figured id do hy the traditional way. now the basin fire has dampened that, so im thinking carmel valley rd (g14?) to greenfield, then along normal roads along 101 till king city, then jolon rd. (g16 i think). i was hoping that would take me south enough to get onto 46, where id ride half way from 101 to 1, at which point my maps (and some local knowledge) show a trail or fire road to tv tower road. from here i know youjust coast down some dirt road until it turns to pavement, which wil go to the aforementioned stagecoach rd. or if you feel dirty, there are some great trails from tv tower road into town that i could fill you in on if its of interest. im planning on leaving for my trip in about a week and a half,a s thats all the time i have off, otherwise id wait it out.

Last edited by invisible; 07-01-08 at 04:45 PM. Reason: inserting rd names
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Old 07-03-08, 11:16 PM
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Wow, what great information. Looks like I might finally see Pinnacles. Just in time for a real blast of heat. Not sure about the back way into SLO but still might after I really look at a (paper) map. Thanks a bunch for the information.
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