Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Ride #2-SJB: Today’s route heads east from San Juan Valley into Hollister for a couple of beautiful remote out and back climbs around Hollister Valley and Quien Sabe Valley on Lone Tree Rd to Santa Ana Valley and Quien Sabe Rd. Return west through the Santa Ana Valley on John Smith Rd to Hwy 25 and Union Rd.
Exit Mission Farm onto Old San Juan Hollister Rd.
Take CA-156 E through the agricultural fields and apple orchards along San Juan Valley with views of the Gabilan Mountains Range.
Exit CA-156 E onto Union Rd; this road travels SE for 3.9 miles through the rolling countryside ranches to the flat farmlands, orchards and nurseries around Hidden Valley to the outskirt of Hollister.
The hills and valley meadows are covered with a carpet of vibrant yellow mustard flowers-it’s spring in the winter!
We cross over the San Benito River and head north on San Benito Rd into town.
The turn on E Nash St takes us across Hollister through the residential neighborhoods, business plazas and shopping centers towards CA-25.
We cross CA-25 onto Sunnyslope Rd; this road continues through the residential neighborhoods to the east edge of town at Fairview Rd.
The left turn on Fairview Rd leads north through the flat open farmlands, orchards and rich agricultural fields along Hollister Valley to Lone Tree Rd.
Lone Tree Rd is not a through road, the stair step climbs winds up 10.7 miles through the valley and ridges around the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountain peaks to a dead end at a private ranch. The first 3 flat miles cuts across the valley ranches and expansive farmlands to the creek crossing over Arroyo Dos Picachos.
At the other end of the bridge, the good pavement ends; it becomes a narrow single lane road with rough patches and potholes. The next 1.7 miles with gradient ranges of 4-7% goes along the rocky upper valley through a scattering of ranches to a paved driveway leading down to the estate homes.
The road winds around the ridge with magnificent views of the Three Sisters Peak along with a dazzling display of yellow mustard flowers blanketing the entire hillside-WOW!
Lone Tree continues snaking up around the ridge with increased grades of 7-9%.
At around mile 19.4, the road kicks up to steep grades of 10-12% with steep pitches of 13-14% for the next mile up to the high point.
Lone Tree descends into the other side of the valley with wonderful views of the verdant hills and mountain peaks.
The road winds around the open valley for the next mile with 7-9% grades.
Lone Tree drops down and out from the shaded woodlands to the next climb.
The road kicks up for the next half mile under a canopy of trees with steep grades of 10-13%.
The terrain levels out for the remaining 0.7 mile to a dead end at the private closed gate.
Enjoy the upper valley views!
Reverse way out on Lone Tree Rd to Fairview Rd; Caution-bumpy descent!
The route continues SE on Santa Ana Valley Rd; the flat terrain cuts across the beautiful expansive valley dotted with grazing cattle and acreage ranch homes.
The short pitch on the road takes you up and over the other side of Santa Ana Valley.
Santa Ana Valley Rd continues for 3.3 flat miles through the agricultural valley farmlands and small residential ranching community.
The valley meadows and hillsides are covered with a cheery glow of yellow-it puts a smile on your face!
At the intersection with John Smith Rd, Santa Ana Valley Rd tilts up for a short climb up to the transmission towers.
The road drops down and opens up with expansive views of the verdant valley!
Santa Ana Valley Rd continues across the valley through the ranches, pastoral fields and agricultural farmlands.
The road winds around the valley to the Santa Ana Creek crossing and name changes to Quien Sabe Rd.
Turn left at the Y in the road to stay on Quien Sabe Rd; this road heads east for 4.2 miles to Little Quien Sabe Valley before coming to a dead end at a private ranch. Quien Sabe Rd winds around through the gorgeous green valley with a scattering of oak studded hills for the first flat mile.
The road gradually climbs up to the ridge for the next half mile with gradient ranges of 3-7%.
It continues winding up along the ridge with increased grades of 9-10%! Stop for a moment and enjoy the stunning valley views! Earlier on, we noticed a huge shadow of a bird flying above us and it turned out to be a golden eagle-now it’s perched atop of the oak tree-WOW!
Quien Sabe Rd continues climbing for the next 1.5 miles with 9-10% grades up to the cattle guard crossing at the summit.
The road descends for under a mile and comes to a dead end at the San Benito Cattle Compay in Little Quien Sabe Valley.
The return climb up to the summit has gradient ranges of 4-6%.
Descend Quien Sabe Rd back to Santa Ana Valley Rd and John Smith Rd.
Head east on John Smith Rd for the next 5 miles; the road cuts across Santa Ana Valley for a short climb up towards the summit top ranches.
The 3 mile descent drops down pass the San Benito Landfill/Recycling Center towards Hollister at Fairview Rd.
Head south on Fairview Rd for 1.1 mile before turning west on CA-25 into Hollister.
The turn on Union Rd leads back to the 3.4 mile flat stretch through San Juan Valley on CA-156.
This hilly scenic route explores the remote country back roads around San Benito County with minimal to no traffic. You’ll enjoy the stunning ridge top views of the expansive valleys, peaks and mountains! Spring is in the air-nature’s handiwork is on full display with a bounty of yellow flowers everywhere-seek and you shall find!
There are no stores or facilities once you exit Hollister through Nash Rd at mile 9-bring plenty of food, snacks and water for the duration of the ride. I did find a water spigot/hose on Santa Ana Valley Rd at around mile 37; it’s on the right hand side of the road on a gated driveway at 4V Maderis A. User Beware-it’s on private property!
71.79 Miles with 5331′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 2423′
Max grade: 14%
Terrain: Hilly with a few steep climbs
Weather: Plenty of sunshine and blue skies. Temps ranged from the mid 40’s to the low 70’s with breezy NE winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: