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Gravel in SLO County (Winter '22)

Paso Robles, California


Added by Joel Blatt

While pavement routes abound, SLO county offers epic gravel routes, which I dedicated 10 days.  See Strava:  https://www.strava.com/activit...for reference.  The "top 3" extended gravel sections, include Cypress Mountain, Cuesta Ridge, and Santa Rita Road.  Cypress Mountain and Santa Rita Road can be done both directions.  Cuesta Ridge (Old Stagecoach) is best-served out and back.  All are well maintained (like no gravel you've ever experienced) and offer tremendous scenery (best views IMHO.)  If you prefer pavement, here is road-biking adventure

From San Luis Obispo into Santa Margarita, West Cuesta Ridge (there is also an East option) begins at base of Old Stagecoach and climbs via TV Tower.  It is 100% gravel with steep gradients and gorgeous views.  Out and back is advised, but you can continue (through gate) and eventually loop back on highway towards Morro Bay (not exactly safe.)  Rip this Segment.  

From Templeton, Santa Rita Road to Old Creek Road is spectacular, both directions.  I favor out and back, but you can loop back via Old Creek, which is great climb from Cayucos to Highway 46.  Rip each of these: Segment_1 and Segment_2.

From Paso Robles, I started at Arbor Road and Kiler Canyon to reach Cypress Mountain.  Here is the Activity.  

Here are few more Gravel options for your consideration:

  1. *Penman Springs offers two-mile connector between Linne and Union, otherwise known as the "Union Road Wine Trail," which I did on my road bike. 
  2. *Moss Lane provides three-mile stretch (which I did not get to) to bridge Lupine and El Pomar Peachy Canyon. Perhaps, combine it with Rocky Canyon in a big Templeton-Creston loop.
  3. *Vaquero adds another mile of smooth gravel, if you're riding in Templeton.
  4. *Rockin One Way (off Linne) offers nice climb and loops back on Dresser.
  5. *Old Settler Road (between Kiler Canyon and Peachy Canyon) is not advised, because there is a gate and dogs, which chased. 
  6. *Hi Mountain has 10-mile section, but I did not get to it.  One of the endpoints is Pozo; the other is Arroyo Grande.  Hi Mountain also offers nice paved section, which I have ridden. 
  7. *Huasna Road has 13.5-mile section, but I did not get to it.  Huasna Road also offers nice paved section, which I have ridden.
  8. *One mile of gravel exists between Prefumo Canyon and See Canyon, which are both great paved climbs. 
  9. *Lowes Canyon has 6-mile section with connectors (left or right) to loop back with Ranchita Canyon, Vineyard Canyon, or Hog Canyon.  I favor Ranchita.  But, given rain/mud, the connectors were impassable for me. 
  10. *Rocky Canyon begins at a mining company, who does not want you to park on their private road!  I planned to loop back via 229/Webster to Templeton.  The start is a bit rocky, but then it opens up.

Eroica is an annual event, which encompasses some of these routes.

If I lived here, I would immediately get a gravel bike!

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