Author Topic: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route  (Read 7304 times)

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Offline Krampus Snail

Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« on: May 01, 2017, 05:40:37 pm »
I'm riding the Pacific Coast this summer. Can any locals suggest good alternate routes? I'm not afraid of climbing or riding on dirt.

If anyone wants alternatives on the San Francisco Peninsula, I can give you many. One excellent route is skirting around Devils Slide by going on Old San Pedro Mountain, AKA Planet of the Apes Road. It's an abandoned road, now mostly dirt. Magnificent.

I'm kicking around the idea of doing the Lost Coast, from Honeydew down to beyond Leggett, a remote dirt detour. I'm a little nervous about the steep downhills, but I suppose I could walk them.

Because Big Sur is now off the table, I'm considering including Indians Road on the detour. It's an abandoned road that runs from Carmel Valley Road to Fort Hunter Liggett. I'd do it in a heartbeat if I weren't worried that the winter's storms have made it too difficult.

Other suggestions?

Offline tex232

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 12:24:48 pm »
I saw a blog report on Indians road recently that said it was still passable.

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Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 01:12:47 pm »
I think it can be possible to do some gravel alternates while going down the coast. But it'll be a lot of work in all possible ways.

In Oregon, the Coast Range just east of 101 is primarily a mix of private forest lands, state forest, and national forests, so there is a lot of unpaved roads through here. But most of them are pretty rough. And you'll be doing a lot of going in and out of the ridgelines. I don't think there are many roads that would follow a north-south ridgeline pattern, so the ride will be windy and circuitous. To top it all off, most of these roads are poorly marked if marked at all (esp. the private lands) so a GPS is mandatory for successful navigation.

Offhand, I don't know of any good alternates in Oregon. I have heard about someone either attempting an all-dirt Coast ride and/or mapping out a route.

Or, if you wanted to go more inland, there are more readily available options. If you weren't adverse to riding east of the Cascades, the Oregon Outback is a well-documented cross-state route that is 75% dirt. You will be a hundred or so miles from the coast, and it can get hot in summer.

Offline Krampus Snail

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 01:25:05 pm »
The Oregon Outback is on my bucket list (maybe next year) but it cannot be called a coast ride by any stretch of the imagination. I'm thinking of little alternates like Old San Pedro Mountain, where the riders are off Highway 1 but still in sight of the ocean, not a wholesale reroute to the desert.


Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 01:33:22 pm »
The Oregon Outback is on my bucket list (maybe next year) but it cannot be called a coast ride by any stretch of the imagination.

Well, I never said the Outback was a coast ride.  ::)

Anyways, I don't know of any "go-to" gravel alternates on the Oregon Coast. Looking at the Delorme atlas, the forested ranges to the east or 101 are a warren of "jeep"/4x4 roads. So there's possibilities, but it wouldn't be easy.

If you are just looking for plain ol' alternatives to 101 in Oregon, there are several. If you use the ACA map, the Kirkendall/Spring book, or even the free Oregon Coast Bike Route Map, they will be on there. However, there's still good chunks of 101 that will still be followed.

Offline Krampus Snail

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 06:16:08 pm »
Some detours are not a lot of work. Some are just following the routes that local cyclists take. For example, 11 miles south of Half Moon Bay in California is Stage Road, which parallels the coast road and is about a mile inland. Cyclists who ride that stretch of the coast often take Stage Road instead of the Coast Highway. It's maybe a bit more hilly (although the coast there is hilly), quieter, and beautiful. Plus it goes through Pescadero where the hungry cyclist can find good things to eat.

Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 06:40:08 pm »
Some detours are not a lot of work. Some are just following the routes that local cyclists take.

Agreed.

And the "standard" Pacific Coast route detours off of 101 wherever practical, as it's nicer to not have to ride on the busier highway. On the Northern Oregon Coast, off the top of my head I can think of these 101 alternates: the back way from Astoria to Seaside, then the Cape Lookout route outside of Tillamook, Slab Creek Road south of Pacific City, the two different detours around Lincoln City, the Otter Creek Loop, and the local detour in Newport.

All of these detours are on the ACA Pacific Coast Route, Map 2. They are also on the free Oregon Coast Bike Route map, and are mentioned in the Kirkendall/Spring "Bicycling the Pacific Coast" book.

I can't think of other common alternates to 101 in this area  that aren't listed above. There's not many roads running parallel to 101. An untested alternate that I can see by looking at the map is taking OR 229 outside of Lincoln City to Toledo then ride the Yaquina River Road to Newport. This route brings you pretty far inland, and you'd miss some coastal highlights like Depoe Bay, Otter Rock, and Beverly Beach. It may be quieter than 101 though.

Further south, there is this alternate that goes on the east side of Coos Bay. Haven't tried it yet, but may do it at some point.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1mr&doc_id=12467&v=33

Offline cgarch

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 04:53:35 pm »
There's an interesting detour off 101 just south of Klamath. see this https://ridewithgps.com/routes/20864886 It has some gorgeous pavement but once you reach the coastal cliff the road is essentially been left to slide down the cliff. It is rideable but will require a little hiker-biking. Once past the slide spots you return to some fabulous abandoned road connecting to the parkway. It beats slogging along 101 . .

This is the old Highway 101 alignment. When you reach the left turn to head out to the coast you will see the remnants of the old bridge across the Klamath. The old bridge was washed out during the floods of 1964 - there's an information board that tells that story.

edit: I've added photos to the RidewithGPS page

Craig
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 05:46:43 pm by cgarch »

Offline Krampus Snail

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 05:05:22 pm »
Oh my gosh, cgarch, that looks fantastic.

Offline tomenator

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 07:04:43 pm »
Indians road between Arroyo Seco (east of Carmel Valley) and Fort Hunter Liggett.  Epic amazing gravel with a few landslide hike sections.   No cars!

from Fort Hunter I'm not sure where to go but it isn't west since Hwy 1 is closed south of there between Gorda and Ragged Point.

Offline Krampus Snail

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2017, 10:21:56 pm »
Before the enormous Mud Creek slide, my plan was to take Indians Road, then Nacimiento Fergusson Road to the coast. That's out now. Instead, this: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21295177

Offline Lawrence MacDonald

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2017, 05:24:34 pm »
I'm looking to replicate the ride described in NYT California Today https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/us/california-today-awaiting-reprieve-at-big-sur.html on July 17:
 
"Anthony Albert, from Oakland, lugged his bike along a half-mile hiking trail that circumvents the downed Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and cycled all the way to Paul’s Slide and back. In roughly eight hours of riding, he said, he encountered maybe 10 people. “It was surreal,” said Mr. Albert, 27. “It felt like I was in the afterlife, like reliving a past experience with nobody around.”

Has anybody done this or know how to reach Anthony Albert? I'm interested to know if it's as simple as it sounds, why haven't more people done this? Also, would it be possible to camp to the side of the road where it's closed to traffic? Thanks!
Lawrence 


Offline John Nettles

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Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2017, 05:41:04 pm »
Try calling, emailing the reporter directly.  Ask if he will forward your phone number/email for you? 

I would suggest calling a few businesses in the area, i.e. Big Sur Chamber, Post Ranch Inn, etc.  and see if they have suggestions on where the trail is.  A trail shows up on Google Maps satellite view but doesn't reconnect.  The view also shows several dirt roads around the area you might be able to deal with.  Again, locals might know.

As far as camping, I would think that if you are off the road and being considerate, i.e. no fires, etc., that you could get away with it.  Probably still illegal but then they would have to get someone there to ticket you which is unlikely.

If you are trying to thru-ride, remember there are multiple slides.  Report back what you find out!  John

Offline Krampus Snail

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2017, 12:47:29 am »
My buddy and I rode the Klamath Beach Road alternate a couple of weeks ago. I loved it. Let's be clear, this is a mountain bike trail. People on road bikes will be doing some walking. There was one little section that I couldn't even push the loaded bike up. My buddy and I pushed one bike up the section together, then went back for the other bike.

Offline 22hornet

Re: Gravel roads/ alternatives on the Pacific Coast Route
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2017, 09:25:19 am »
+1 on the Oregon Outback, did it the week before Memorial Day. Epic ride awesome remote part of Oregon. I rode it on my LHT so no need for a fancy bike packing rig. If you want some info let me know. Jim