Saturday, September 6, 2014
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Today’s hilly route heads north from Cazadero to the remote less traveled back roads around West Sonoma County. This challenging ride goes up Fort Ross Rd and continues along the ridge on Seaview Rd to the steel truss bridge crossing over South Fork Gualala River on Hauser Bridge Rd. The steep climb up Hauser Bridge Rd leads to Tin Barn and Skaggs Springs Rd. It drops down through the redwoods out to Hwy 1 at Stewarts Point for a gorgeous 27 miles stretch along the stunning Sonoma Coastline to the Russian River at Jenner.
We exit the Casini Campground onto Mosow Rd and cross the Russian River to Duncans Mills.
CA-116 E takes us out along the Russian River to Cazadero Hwy.
We head north on Cazadero Hwy; this flat road roughly parallels Austin Creek and gently meanders underneath the coastal redwoods to downtown Cazadero.
This small town has a general store, two churches, a post office, a hardware store, an auto repair garage and a Volunteer Fire Department.
Fort Ross Rd begins with an immediate steep climb up to Montgomery Elementary School; it’s 2/10ths of a mile with 12-14% grades!
For the next 3.3 miles, the road eases down and becomes a single narrow lane road; it snakes up through the woodlands with gradient ranges of 3-6% grades with a short descent in between.
At Donoha Rd, Fort Ross Rd kicks up for the next 1.9 miles to Black Mountain summit with an average grade of 8.3% and steep pitches of 11-13%. You’re near the top when you see the white house-watch out for the little snappy barking dog; it will nip at your feet!
The road descends onto rolling terrain for the next couple of miles along Turner Canyon to Bohan Dillon Rd. Fort Ross Rd climbs out from the canyon under a canopy of trees to the upper ridge; it’s 1.5 miles with an average grade of 7.9%. You’re at the top when you reach junction with Meyers Grade Rd.
We stay on Fort Ross Rd for the next half mile and head NW along the top of the ridge.
The road name changes to Seaview Rd as it exits the open ridge through a scattering of ranch homes and art gallery and enter the shaded woodlands on rolling terrain to Timber Cove Rd.
At the intersection with Timber Cove, Seaview climbs under the dense woods for 0.9 mile with an average grade of 5% before dropping through a small ranching community. It continues on rolling terrain along the hilltop meadows to the junction at Kruse Ranch Rd.
We take a right and head north on Hauser Bridge Rd; this narrow single lane road gently climbs under the dense woods to the white fence lined properties at Ratna Ling Retreat Center. There is a wonderful bike rest area complete with bike racks and a water fountain.
Hauser Bridge Rd descends for 1.7 bumpy twisty miles to the steel truss bridge crossing over the South Fork Gualala River. Drop into your lowest gear as you exit the bridge, there is an immediate steep climb out of the canyon. It’s a nasty 3/10ths of a mile with an average grade of 16.9% and max grade of 20%!
The road continues to crawl out of the canyon to the open ridge for the next 0.9 miles with an average grade of 10.8% and steep pitches of 12-14%. Look to the west and enjoy the views of the dense coastal forests!
The road eases up a bit as you approach the summit at the junction with Kings Ridge Rd.
The road name changes to Tin Barn as we continue north along the top of the ridge.
The rolling terrain on Tin Barn Rd takes us through the hilltop meadows and woodlands to the heavily gated Odiyan Retreat Center. The barb wired fencing lining the property is certainly not welcoming at all. Maybe it’s meant to keep people in as opposed to keeping them out!
Tin Barn Rd climbs for 0.8 mile with an average grade of 5.1% before descending into Stewarts Point Rancheria; home to the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians.
Skaggs Springs Rd leads us through the Rancheria to Miller Ridge before twisting down into the canyon to the bridge crossing over the Gualala River. Watch out for the cattle guards!
Skaggs Springs Rd climbs out of the remote shaded canyon for one mile with an average grade of 6.4%; it winds up through the gorgeous redwoods and continues on gentle rolling terrain on a quiet narrow road to Stewarts Point off CA-1.
We cross CA-1 to our lunch stop at the Stewarts Point Store. Take the time to enjoy the coastal views from the front deck!
The coastal run on CA-1 S to Jenner is 27.2 fabulous miles. The rolling terrain has gradient ranges of 3.5-7%. Take in the magnificent views of the headlands and rocky coast to Salt Point State Park.
CA-1 S to Gerstle Cove:
Ocean Cove to Stillwater Cove:
Timber Cove to Fort Ross:
From Fort Ross, CA-1 S levels out to the coastal cattle ranch. Watch out for the free-roaming cattle on the road!
CA-1 S continues with a series of climbs and descents with gradient ranges of 5-10% from Mill Gulch to Timber and Jewell Gulch. The coastal views are stunning!
CA-1 S climbs out of Jewell Gulch to Meyers Gulch with gradient ranges of 5.5-7%; it continues winding along the coast on rolling terrain to the summit at Meyers Grade Rd.
Get ready for a screaming wild descent on CA-1 from Meyers Grade; the road swiftly winds down and around the guardrails on super smooth pavement to Russian Gulch. Keep your eyes on the road-the views can be distracting!
The road climbs out of the gulch for half a mile with an average grade of 6.6%.
CA-1 S continues on gentle rolling terrain towards Jenner.
We make a brief stop at the River’s Mouth, where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean.
CA-1 s runs through Jenner and continues along the Russian River to CA-116.
The rolling terrain on CA-116 E leads us along the river valley through the cattle ranches and barn to Duncans Mills.
Moscow Rd takes us back to the Casini Campground just in time to see the tractor hay ride and kids following along on their bikes-FUN!
This hilly inland route leads out to the phenomenal 27 miles stretch along the spectacular Pacific Coast from Stewarts Point heading south to Jenner. The views are absolutely breathtaking; from the craggy coastline, secluded coves and ragged headlands to the coastal grasslands and shrubs. We hit perfect weather on today’s ride-sunny and warm with clear skies and mild west winds-WOW! It can’t get any better than this-Life is grand!
71.0 Miles with 7684′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1509′
Max grade: 20%
Terrain: Extremely Hilly with steep climbs
Weather: Overcast morning skies > sunny and warm with temps ranging from the low 50’s to the low 80’s. SW winds with 88% humidity.
Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile
Follow this route for today’s ride:
Sorta breathless here.
This area has been on my list for years, since I first saw a photo from atop Meyers Grade.
Jeff, You’re welcome! If you’re ever in the Bay Area, look me up for a ride. Nancy