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OK... Here's some more roads I have discovered near the Monterey area that I like to drive/ride.

I'm sure 99% of you have heard/read about the astounding beauty of Hwy 1 south of Carmel. The WOW factor is as advertised. However, what 99% of people don't know is that once south of Carmel, you have to drive 100 miles before you'll find a paved road that heads east back into "civilization"; it's Hwy 46; which is five miles south of Cambria. Hwy 1 has quite a bit of slow moving tourist traffic on it, especially btwn Carmel and Big Sur. It typically takes me 2.5 hours to drive that 100 miles.


Carmel Valley Road. This road is appropriately named; as it runs thru a valley btwn ranges of hills. So the road is twisty, narrow, somewhat lumpy (especially east of Laureles Grade) and has gorgeous scenery. The west end of CVR is at a traffic light on Hwy 1; it's the first light south of the light at Ocean Blvd in Carmel. The east end of CVR is about 40 miles away near Greenfield on Hwy 101. About 9 miles east of Hwy 1 on CVR is Laureles Grade Road that goes north to Hwy 68, the main road linking Salinas and Monterey. Laureles Grade goes over a pass thru a range of hills; the drive has beautiful vistas of the valley. It's a short drive of about ten minutes, and there's usually quite a bit of traffic on it; as it is a main arterial. Continuing east on CVR past Laureles Grade, there are no intersections with other paved roads; so you either drive all the way to Greenfield or you turn around and go back west on CVR. About 23 miles east of Hwy 1, there's Tasajara Rd on the right. I've taken that road a couple times. It heads back west, changes name to Cachagua Road, goes over several high passes in the hills, and eventually ties back into CVR about 10 miles west of Tasajara. This is a very scenic drive with great views, but the drive is slow as the road is extremely narrow, lumpy, with 180 degree switchbacks in the passes. Friendly advice: I've ridden Tasajara twice on my K1600, which is a big heavy touring bike. I'll never do it again; because that bike is a handful when going only 5 to 10mph thru the steeply cambered switchbacks. Continuing east of Tasajara on the CVR, you go out of the hills and down into the main "Valley" area south of Salinas; which is covered with vineyards and fruit/vegetable farms. It's hot here; probably 15 to 20 degrees hotter than it was on Hwy 1 at Carmel. Instead of going to Hwy 101, I take county road G17 (that runs parallel to and on the west side of Hwy 101); which goes smack thru the farm fields. Btwn Greenfield & Salinas, the southern half of G17 is predominantly vineyards; the northern half is fruit/vegetables. There's one farm in the southern section of G17 that grows CACTUS!! For history buffs, the Soledad Mission is along this road. And one finds out just how labor intensive fruit/vegetable farming is; as there are workers out in those fields on a regular basis. G17 eventually ties into Hwy 68 on the west side of Salinas.

Hwy 156 is 15 miles north of Monterey and it runs btwn Hwy 1 and Hwy 101. The area north of 156 is a moderately hilly area, primarily "country living" residences, and pleasant to drive. I've driven Elkhorn, Strawberry, Castroville Blvd, San Miguel, Maher, Echo Valley, etc. The roads are pretty much narrow county blacktop with 40mph speed limits; these are not main arterials. This is a small area; so it doesn't take much time at all to drive thru it.

North of Salinas. Hwy 129 is a main arterial running east from Watsonville to Hwy 101. Pretty drive thru the farm lands with a range of low mountains on the north side. What I really like to do is, heading west on 129 toward Watsonville, get off on Carlton road; which is a county blacktop that runs thru farm area. Carlton ends at Hwy 152; which is a main arterial btwn Watsonville and Gilroy. Take 152 toward Gilroy and it goes thru the low mountain range you saw when on 129. 152 has nice vistas of the valley to the south and up at the top of the pass is a redwood forest.
 

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Exploring these roads is a bit of hobby for me, so thanks for the post.

I was not aware of Tasajara Rd, so thanks for that tip. I've driven CVR from Greenfield to Carmel a couple times. It's a nice drive but the surface is a bit rough for most of the way east of Carmel Valley.

I have been studying Google maps and paper maps trying to find the passage to the west (so to speak) form Hwy 101 to Hwy 1 that is north of Hwy 46 and south of CVR, and I think I've found one.

My notes say: From King City (Hwy 101 in the Salinas Valley) take Jolon Rd south 17.8 miles to Jolon then right on Mission Rd. 4 miles to left on Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd 24 miles to the coast entering Hwy 1 about 55 mi south of Carmel. 46 miles and 1.5 hours, per the map instructions.
I have not tried this yet as the round trip from the Bay Area would take all day, but it looks interesting.

BTW, I was in Monterey this weekend (Thur - Sat) for a Hooked on Driving HPDE at Laguna Seca on Friday. Laureles Grade enters Hwy 68 about a quarter mile east of the main east entrance to Laguna Seca and is the main route over to CVR to get to Baja Cantina (west of Laureles) for dinner after a hard day at the track.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Exploring these roads is a bit of hobby for me, so thanks for the post.


I have been studying Google maps and paper maps trying to find the passage to the west (so to speak) form Hwy 101 to Hwy 1 that is north of Hwy 46 and south of CVR, and I think I've found one.

My notes say: From King City (Hwy 101 in the Salinas Valley) take Jolon Rd south 17.8 miles to Jolon then right on Mission Rd. 4 miles to left on Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd 24 miles to the coast entering Hwy 1 about 55 mi south of Carmel. 46 miles and 1.5 hours, per the map instructions.
I have not tried this yet as the round trip from the Bay Area would take all day, but it looks interesting.

BTW, I was in Monterey this weekend (Thur - Sat) for a Hooked on Driving HPDE at Laguna Seca on Friday. Laureles Grade enters Hwy 68 about a quarter mile east of the main east entrance to Laguna Seca and is the main route over to CVR to get to Baja Cantina (west of Laureles) for dinner after a hard day at the track.
I looked at google maps to find your suggested route off Hwy 1. Found it pretty easily, thx for the info. But the problem is not knowing for sure whether that entire route is paved or some is dirt.
I've eaten at Baja Cantina a few times; great Mexi.
Yup, the north end of Laureles Grade at Hwy 68 is right by Laguna Seca. About 10 or so years ago, the Pebble Beach Concours organizers created a driving tour for the show cars to minimize the public perception that the cars were all "trailer queens." The tour is on the Thursday before the concours and the route has always included Laureles Grade. And every year, several cars die on Laureles Grade and have to be towed away. Radiators blowing steam on the way up, and brake failures on the way down.
 

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Great roads.............I was stationed at DLIWC at the Presidio of Monterey in late 1966 and all of 1967...........at the time had a 1964 Matchless Scrambler with the Norton 750cc. I spent many a weekend exploring the roads north and south of Monterey and Carmel. It was a great time..........my wife and I often talk about how it would be like to get back there with the Cayman.
 

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I looked at google maps to find your suggested route off Hwy 1. Found it pretty easily, thx for the info. But the problem is not knowing for sure whether that entire route is paved or some is dirt. . .
Yup, that is the concern and this route may require a little recon. However, the wikipedia listing for Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd says: "The road is well-paved and maintained over its length, but is winding and has precipitous drops at almost every turn. The eastern slope is heavily forested allowing few vistas." and "Nacimiento-Fergusson Road is widely regarded as one of the best motorcycling roads in central California due to the premier ocean views and forest setting." All of this sounds encouraging. I think I tried to follow the whole road on Google maps satellite view and it looked paved. But I don't know for sure.
 

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I live in Pacific Grove and do a similar loop drive going Hwy 68 to Hwy 1 to Carmel Valley Rd. CVR turns into Arroyo Seco Rd. ASR turns into Fort Romie Rd. turning into Ruver Rd. River Rd. goes through farm country and parallels Hwy 101. It connects with Hwy 68 which goes by Laguna Seca and back to PG. A variant is to take Olmstead Rd. loop, from Hwy. 68, that is a windy road through a forest.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I live in Pacific Grove and do a similar loop drive going Hwy 68 to Hwy 1 to Carmel Valley Rd. CVR turns into Arroyo Seco Rd. ASR turns into Fort Romie Rd. turning into Ruver Rd. River Rd. goes through farm country and parallels Hwy 101. It connects with Hwy 68 which goes by Laguna Seca and back to PG. A variant is to take Olmstead Rd. loop, from Hwy. 68, that is a windy road through a forest.
As a clarification to others reading this thread, your described route isn't "similar" to the route I wrote about; it's exactly the same. :hilarious:

CVR turns into Arroyo Seco and both are county road G16 until you get to the intersection of ASR with Elm Avenue. At that intersection, G16 follows Elm to Greenfield and ASR becomes the G17 I wrote about. Btwn Elm and Hwy 68, G17 is the same route you described. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yup, that is the concern and this route may require a little recon. However, the wikipedia listing forNacimiento-Fergusson Rd says: "The road is well-paved and maintained over its length, but is winding and has precipitous drops at almost every turn.
Terry
I rode it today on my K1600, which is a big touring bike. The wiki article was informative and accurate. As the article states, this road runs thru a National Forest and there are two campgrounds up near the top of the mountain. Which is probably why the road is well paved. From Hwy 1 to King City, it's entirely paved with asphalt. I was surprised that in the mountainous area, the asphalt was in very good condition - no heaves, bumps, or potholes. But there was quite a bit of dirt and gravel-sized rocks on the road. No guardrails anywhere.


Google said Nacimiento was 55 miles from Carmel, and that was accurate; as my odometer showed 55 miles down Hwy 1 starting at Carmel Valley Road. Right before the turnoff, there was a sign for campgrounds, and then you go over a very short bridge. The turnoff is immediately south of that bridge and there was a sign identifying the turnoff as Nacimiento. As the article states, it's seven miles to the peak. This was pretty challenging on my bike, as the ride up to the peak has a 10-15 mph corner about every 20 yards. It's hard to ride a bike that slow without killing the engine; so I was constantly pulling the clutch in & releasing it. The twisty nature continued for another four miles down the east side. Then it started to open up some, and you can gradually increase speed. It was 45 miles From Hwy 1 to King City, and it took me 75 minutes. Could probably do it a little faster in a car, as I went thru those mountain switchbacks very slowly. In those first 11 miles when you're going up & down the main range, the width of the road varies from 1.5 cars to 1.0 cars. Which was scary on a bike going around blind corners, but there was almost zero traffic. I saw only two other cars in the mountain portion.


The scenery, especially going up the west slope was unbelievable. There were a few turnouts with views of the ocean. On the east side, there were a lot of trees. In some stretches, they formed a canopy over the road. After maybe about 15 miles, the road was a fairly straight typical county blacktop where you could drive as fast as you want; as nobody's there. About 4 miles west of "Jolon" you ride right along the edge of the Hunter-Liggett Army Base where they apparently do combat training. What a lovely place. There's no town at Jolon; it was just an intersection of roads. The scenery and views were "to die for." A very successful and pleasing experience. I owe you a beer for finding it.
 

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Excellent! I need to get down there some weekend day soon and take it westbound and then up the coast in time for dinner at Baja Cantina.

Thanks for the recon work.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
...in time for dinner at Baja Cantina.
Seeing as how you've mentioned Baja Cantina several times, here's a shot of my car in front of the restaurant:
 

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So I'll be in Paso Robles for Thanksgiving (today) going back to the Bay Area tomorrow (Black Friday) and so I plan to take this route and stop in at Baja Cantina for dinner or late-afternoon snack depending. Not sure when I'll get there, probably late afternoon if I leave Paso around noon. I'll let you know how it goes.


Terry
I rode it today on my K1600, which is a big touring bike. The wiki article was informative and accurate. As the article states, this road runs thru a National Forest and there are two campgrounds up near the top of the mountain. Which is probably why the road is well paved. From Hwy 1 to King City, it's entirely paved with asphalt. I was surprised that in the mountainous area, the asphalt was in very good condition - no heaves, bumps, or potholes. But there was quite a bit of dirt and gravel-sized rocks on the road. No guardrails anywhere.


Google said Nacimiento was 55 miles from Carmel, and that was accurate; as my odometer showed 55 miles down Hwy 1 starting at Carmel Valley Road. Right before the turnoff, there was a sign for campgrounds, and then you go over a very short bridge. The turnoff is immediately south of that bridge and there was a sign identifying the turnoff as Nacimiento. As the article states, it's seven miles to the peak. This was pretty challenging on my bike, as the ride up to the peak has a 10-15 mph corner about every 20 yards. It's hard to ride a bike that slow without killing the engine; so I was constantly pulling the clutch in & releasing it. The twisty nature continued for another four miles down the east side. Then it started to open up some, and you can gradually increase speed. It was 45 miles From Hwy 1 to King City, and it took me 75 minutes. Could probably do it a little faster in a car, as I went thru those mountain switchbacks very slowly. In those first 11 miles when you're going up & down the main range, the width of the road varies from 1.5 cars to 1.0 cars. Which was scary on a bike going around blind corners, but there was almost zero traffic. I saw only two other cars in the mountain portion.


The scenery, especially going up the west slope was unbelievable. There were a few turnouts with views of the ocean. On the east side, there were a lot of trees. In some stretches, they formed a canopy over the road. After maybe about 15 miles, the road was a fairly straight typical county blacktop where you could drive as fast as you want; as nobody's there. About 4 miles west of "Jolon" you ride right along the edge of the Hunter-Liggett Army Base where they apparently do combat training. What a lovely place. There's no town at Jolon; it was just an intersection of roads. The scenery and views were "to die for." A very successful and pleasing experience. I owe you a beer for finding it.
 

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Seeing as how you've mentioned Baja Cantina several times, here's a shot of my car in front of the restaurant:
OK, not in front of the store, but in the parking lot:

 

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That proves it! Great minds think alike!:banana:
As a clarification to others reading this thread, your described route isn't "similar" to the route I wrote about; it's exactly the same. :hilarious:

CVR turns into Arroyo Seco and both are county road G16 until you get to the intersection of ASR with Elm Avenue. At that intersection, G16 follows Elm to Greenfield and ASR becomes the G17 I wrote about. Btwn Elm and Hwy 68, G17 is the same route you described. :cheers:
 

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Terry
I rode it today on my K1600, which is a big touring bike. The wiki article was informative and accurate. As the article states, this road runs thru a National Forest and there are two campgrounds up near the top of the mountain. Which is probably why the road is well paved. From Hwy 1 to King City, it's entirely paved with asphalt. I was surprised that in the mountainous area, the asphalt was in very good condition - no heaves, bumps, or potholes. But there was quite a bit of dirt and gravel-sized rocks on the road. No guardrails anywhere.


Google said Nacimiento was 55 miles from Carmel, and that was accurate; as my odometer showed 55 miles down Hwy 1 starting at Carmel Valley Road. Right before the turnoff, there was a sign for campgrounds, and then you go over a very short bridge. The turnoff is immediately south of that bridge and there was a sign identifying the turnoff as Nacimiento. As the article states, it's seven miles to the peak. This was pretty challenging on my bike, as the ride up to the peak has a 10-15 mph corner about every 20 yards. It's hard to ride a bike that slow without killing the engine; so I was constantly pulling the clutch in & releasing it. The twisty nature continued for another four miles down the east side. Then it started to open up some, and you can gradually increase speed. It was 45 miles From Hwy 1 to King City, and it took me 75 minutes. Could probably do it a little faster in a car, as I went thru those mountain switchbacks very slowly. In those first 11 miles when you're going up & down the main range, the width of the road varies from 1.5 cars to 1.0 cars. Which was scary on a bike going around blind corners, but there was almost zero traffic. I saw only two other cars in the mountain portion.


The scenery, especially going up the west slope was unbelievable. There were a few turnouts with views of the ocean. On the east side, there were a lot of trees. In some stretches, they formed a canopy over the road. After maybe about 15 miles, the road was a fairly straight typical county blacktop where you could drive as fast as you want; as nobody's there. About 4 miles west of "Jolon" you ride right along the edge of the Hunter-Liggett Army Base where they apparently do combat training. What a lovely place. There's no town at Jolon; it was just an intersection of roads. The scenery and views were "to die for." A very successful and pleasing experience. I owe you a beer for finding it.

OK, I took the trip from Paso Robles - west out of town on Nacimiento Lake drive up to Fort Hunter-Liggett and then over the pass to US 1- on black Friday (11/28). I don't have much to add to your descriptions except that this is a beautiful drive and worth the trip, but the road over the pass is not one for spirited driving. The road is narrow with lots of blind corners. I was in 2nd gear most of the way.

Some Pics:












 

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All of these pics are amazing! I will be traveling down from the Bay Area in a couple of weeks. Anyone know of some good roads to Carmel from Santa Cruz? Or is 1 the only way?
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
All of these pics are amazing! I will be traveling down from the Bay Area in a couple of weeks. Anyone know of some good roads to Carmel from Santa Cruz? Or is 1 the only way?
Right question, but wrong area. The really neat roads btwn the Bay area and Carmel are north of Santa Cruz. Once you're in SC, just take Hwy 1 down to the peninsula.

Driving south from the bay area - depends what kind of scenery you want to see. For ocean views, the drive on Hwy 1 from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz is top-notch. Want to drive thru the hills and several redwood forests? Then go south on I-280, west on Hwy 92 (that goes to Half Moon Bay), and after a couple miles, south on Skyline - Hwy 35. Way down south, you'll come to a 4-way stop. Sign says a right turn goes to Boulder Creek; which is Hwy 9. Take that right turn & follow Hwy 9 thru Boulder Creek and all the way into SC. Just before entering SC, Hwy 9 goes thru the Cowell Redwoods Park.

PS: Be advised that Terry's pics aren't of Hwy 1 south of Carmel - they were taken on Nacimiento Road, which intersects Hwy 1 55 miles south of Carmel. I just posted a half dozen pics of Hwy 1 and Nacimiento a day or two ago in the "981 Pics" forum. The shots of the sandy beach and the bridge were on Hwy 1 about 6 to 7 miles north of Lucia. Lucia is 51 miles south of Carmel. The shot of my car in front of a bay filled with jagged rocks was maybe 6-10 miles south of Carmel.
 

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Right question, but wrong area. The really neat roads btwn the Bay area and Carmel are north of Santa Cruz. Once you're in SC, just take Hwy 1 down to the peninsula.

Driving south from the bay area - depends what kind of scenery you want to see. For ocean views, the drive on Hwy 1 from Half Moon Bay to Santa Cruz is top-notch. Want to drive thru the hills and several redwood forests? Then go south on I-280, west on Hwy 92 (that goes to Half Moon Bay), and after a couple miles, south on Skyline - Hwy 35. Way down south, you'll come to a 4-way stop. Sign says a right turn goes to Boulder Creek; which is Hwy 9. Take that right turn & follow Hwy 9 thru Boulder Creek and all the way into SC. Just before entering SC, Hwy 9 goes thru the Cowell Redwoods Park.

PS: Be advised that Terry's pics aren't of Hwy 1 south of Carmel - they were taken on Nacimiento Road, which intersects Hwy 1 55 miles south of Carmel. I just posted a half dozen pics of Hwy 1 and Nacimiento a day or two ago in the "981 Pics" forum. The shots of the sandy beach and the bridge were on Hwy 1 about 6 to 7 miles north of Lucia. Lucia is 51 miles south of Carmel. The shot of my car in front of a bay filled with jagged rocks was maybe 6-10 miles south of Carmel.
Awesome! Thank you for the info. I will probably take my Cayman highway 9 through Saratoga then towards SC, and hop on 1 towards Carmel.
 

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Awesome! Thank you for the info. I will probably take my Cayman highway 9 through Saratoga then towards SC, and hop on 1 towards Carmel.
I've been waiting for the warmest day of the recent warm spell to take my touring bike out. Today was the day. I went up to Santa Cruz and began a circular loop of the more common roads that God made specifically for motorcycles & sports cars. Hwy 9 to Skyline, north to Alice's Restaurant, west on Hwy 84 (La Honda Road), south on Stage Rd to Pescadero, west to Hwy 1, back south to Monterey. Almost 200 miles. Temps were as high as 75 and as low as 58 in the forests. Very light traffic all day, until I got back to SC. From past experience, one doesn't want to be heading south out of SC on Hwy 1 after 4 pm on a weekday. It was 3:30pm when I got back to SC and the rush hour traffic on Hwy 1 had just started. There were two sections where there were short slowdowns to 30 mph; which wasn't bad at all.
 

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I've been waiting for the warmest day of the recent warm spell to take my touring bike out. Today was the day. I went up to Santa Cruz and began a circular loop of the more common roads that God made specifically for motorcycles & sports cars. Hwy 9 to Skyline, north to Alice's Restaurant, west on Hwy 84 (La Honda Road), south on Stage Rd to Pescadero, west to Hwy 1, back south to Monterey. Almost 200 miles. Temps were as high as 75 and as low as 58 in the forests. Very light traffic all day, until I got back to SC. From past experience, one doesn't want to be heading south out of SC on Hwy 1 after 4 pm on a weekday. It was 3:30pm when I got back to SC and the rush hour traffic on Hwy 1 had just started. There were two sections where there were short slowdowns to 30 mph; which wasn't bad at all.
Did you stop in at Duarte's in Pescadero - for a piece of pie or lunch?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I plan to take this route and stop in at Baja Cantina for dinner.
I had to run some errands on Carmel Valley Road today. Stopped in at BC for a late lunch. Had the Yucatan Enchiladas, pork with a sweet chocolate sauce, and a Cadillac Margarita. WOW! :dance:
 

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