Old La Honda to Pescadero & Tunitas Creek-Joan’s Birthday Ride

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

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It’s time again for Joan’s birthday ride up Old La Honda to Pescadero & Tunitas Creek. The group meet up is at the Woodside Town Hall parking lot.

We head south on Mountain Home Rd to Portola Rd.

The climb up Old la Honda Rd is mostly under a canopy of trees; the dappled sunlight filtering through the trees create a gorgeous setting for the start of this classic route. It’s less than four miles long with many narrow switchbacks. The average gradient is around 7% with several sections reaching 9-10%. I noticed that the top section of road leading up to Skyline Blvd has recently been repaved-nice!

The descent on Old la Honda is about 2.5 miles on a narrow road with many blind turns. I did notice that all the potholes and the washed out area has recently been repaved-it certainly makes for a smoother downhill-great!

We continue along CA 84 to Pescadero Rd. The run along CA 84 is on very nice pavement with sweeping turns and great sight lines. Today, we get stopped momentarily for road maintenance.

The climb up Pescadero Creek Rd goes through the redwoods along Sam McDonald County Park. The beauty of the area will distract you from the steady 6-7% grades up to the Horse Camp.

The fabulous descent on Pescadero Creek Rd takes us west to the town of Pescadero for our lunch stop at Arcangeli’s Bakery.

We all get to enjoy a fantastic lunch of Artichoke bread with garlic dip, tomatoes and of course-chocolate chip cookies. Thanks to Joan for providing these treats!


The route after lunch takes us up Stage Rd; it’s a stair step climb with fabulous descents in between. The first section has gradients of 4-5% with a fun sweeping descent down to Pomponio Creek.

The second climb on Stage Rd begins after you cross the bridge over Pomponio Creek. This section is the steepest with pitches ranging from 10-11%. The reward to this climb is the beautiful descent along the back side of the ridge; you get stunning views of the ocean and the valleys below!

The third climb on Stage Rd is a little over one mile long with an average grade of 5%. It begins at San Gregorio after crossing La Honda Rd/CA 84 and ends at the intersection with Hwy 1.

We head north on Hwy 1 for one mile before the turn onto Tunitas Creek Rd-the highlighted climb of the day! It’s 9+ miles stretch of road that begins along the flats and rollers through farms, ranches, homes, open fields and meadows.

The steeper climbing begins after you enter the redwood forest; the gradient ranges from 7-9% and gradually increases to steeper sections with 9-11% grades. Keep pedaling to enjoy the surroundings and take in all the natural beauty-it’s that simple!

The last few miles up to the top of Tunitas Creek is very relaxing; the gradient eases up to around 3-4% and the road winds up and around the trees-it’s another gorgeous section to ride through.

The 5 mile descent on Kings Mountains Rd has many hairpin turns and blind curves-take caution! This road takes us to Woodside Rd and back to the Town Hall parking lot.

Thanks to Joan for leading another wonderful birthday ride and for providing lunch for us all-what a great way to celebrate life!

52 miles with 5325′ of elevation gain
~25 people in attendance

Weather: FABULOUS! Sunny and warm with temps ranging from the low 70’s to high 80’s


I think women should start to embrace their age. What’s the alternative to getting older? You die. I can’t change the day I was born. But I can take care of my skin, my body, my mind, and try to live my life and be happy.
~Olivia Munn

Click here to view the route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:


  1. Nancy, Thanks for the great ride description, the great photos and the map with elevation profile! I really liked this ride! Tunitas Creek Road found me with leg cramps on the steepest section; but after some walking and lots of salty chips and Enduralyte tabs, I was back in the saddle. Riding in the Redwoods for almost an hour was fantastic! jim O


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