Author Topic: Cycle touring in Napa and Sonoma  (Read 271 times)

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Offline h.mccormack

Cycle touring in Napa and Sonoma
« on: May 11, 2015, 05:31:13 pm »
Hi everyone - I'm coming over from the UK in early July and planning a cycle tour that firstly takes in parts of Oregon and WA and then hopping down to spend 4 - 5 days travelling from Davis CA over, thru and around the Napa and Sonoma wineries before hitting the coast and ending up in San Francisco. I would like to camp if at all possible, but there seems to be very few campgrounds before you hit the coastal area. So I'm looking for advice on a route that could take me some beautiful scenery and wine country, allow me to camp if poss but if not some nice B&Bs or possibly some hospital wineries themselves. So this is a road trip with some side trips! ;) All suggestions welcomed! Many thanks in advance. Hugh

Offline cgarch

Re: Cycle touring in Napa and Sonoma
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2015, 03:46:35 pm »
Take a look at some of the threads three or four posts before yours. You should get some good ideas.
http://forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=12930.0

cg

Offline h.mccormack

Re: Cycle touring in Napa and Sonoma
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2015, 01:20:43 pm »
Hi Craig - many thanks for the signposting: I read those with interest - nothing like someone who knows the area well. I am still in a quandry however, as I was really hoping to 'join the dots' as you put it so well with campgrouds just waiting for me to pitch up at having dawdled my way thru some beautiful countryside and wineries. I'll keep looking. I guess wild camping is not such a good idea?

I have another idea too: as I will be near Olympia and travelling to Portland potentially to catch a train to Davis CA, why not fly into Sonoma from Portland and then have the pick of the Sonoma and Napa valleys to the South with the wind behind me before hitting the coast and SF? I could then do some of your recommended route in reverse potentially.

my absolute ideal would be to stay on a winery - and wondered (possibly in a demented fashion) if wineries allow itinerant campers? Especially if said visitor is obviously an innocent Brit abroad? Anyway - if you have any further thoughts do let me know! Everything is appreciated.

Many thanks, Hugh

Offline cgarch

Re: Cycle touring in Napa and Sonoma
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2015, 03:31:02 pm »
Hi Craig - many thanks for the signposting: I read those with interest - nothing like someone who knows the area well. I am still in a quandry however, as I was really hoping to 'join the dots' as you put it so well with campgrouds just waiting for me to pitch up at having dawdled my way thru some beautiful countryside and wineries. I'll keep looking. I guess wild camping is not such a good idea?

That would be correct - not a good idea. Not that it couldn't be done, just be careful.

I have another idea too: as I will be near Olympia and travelling to Portland potentially to catch a train to Davis CA, why not fly into Sonoma from Portland and then have the pick of the Sonoma and Napa valleys to the South with the wind behind me before hitting the coast and SF? I could then do some of your recommended route in reverse potentially.

my absolute ideal would be to stay on a winery - and wondered (possibly in a demented fashion) if wineries allow itinerant campers? Especially if said visitor is obviously an innocent Brit abroad? Anyway - if you have any further thoughts do let me know! Everything is appreciated.

Many thanks, Hugh

I'm afraid that itinerant camping in the glitzy wineries of Sonoma and Napa is a demented idea. Best if you can find either a county park or one of the state parks, and there are few if any that offer camping within the 'valleys'. One option may be the Alexander Valley RV Park and Campground at 2170 Alexander Valley Road, Healdsburg. One of these days I will put together a touring cyclist guide to this area. Got enough folks asking questions (that I keep answering) that I'm sure it would be a great resource.

Offline h.mccormack

Re: Cycle touring in Napa and Sonoma
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2015, 05:24:32 pm »
Hi Craig - thanks aghain for the tips, hints and confirmation that some of my ideas might be bordering on the insane! It was a nice thought that I could do as I did so many years ago in the South of France - sleeping amongst the vines and then popping up to the main house for breakfast. Oh well.
Anyway with my feet on solid ground am still hoping for the ultimate solution to appear. A friend based in Davis CA has done some short 1 or 2 day-type trips from there to the 'valleys' - he is suggesting a loop up beside Lake Berryessa and then up and over to Chiles Pope valley and thence to Napa or Bothe-Napa to stay. I note the Silverado trail too runs close by that area so that would then lead me safely south and then I could head West to the southern end of Sonoma Valley and Petaluma. So i am currently trying to find somewhere to stay en route from Davis via Winters via Berryessa to Chiles Pope. OR there's the poss opp to fly into the North close to Sonoma and drop down to Napa and work my way West to the coast. I WILL make a decision shortly. Thanks again for you help. Cheers Hugh

Offline cgarch

Re: Cycle touring in Napa and Sonoma
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2015, 05:34:11 pm »
No worries. Lake Berryesa is a good route, just watch for the fast traffic with narrow shoulder. Pope-Chiles Valley is wonderful. Bothe-Napa is a good choice for an overnight. Holler if you need anything else.

Best,

cg

Offline h.mccormack

Re: Cycle touring in Napa and Sonoma
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2015, 06:07:08 pm »
hi Craig - thanks again: do you know of anywhere to stay on the shore of Lake Berryessa? There's a marina or two plus the wonderfully named Pleasure Cove at the South end, whose website appeared to have camping listed, but cant make the link work. I'd like to spend the night somewhere along that shore then up early the next day to get over to Chiles Pope after a little climb I suspect. But that's what legs and lungs are for I believe! Cheers Hugh