Thursday, March 31, 2016
Day 5: This gorgeous loop rides around the expansive foothill meadows and open prairies below the Santa Lucia and La Panza Mountain Ranges from Santa Margarita out to Pozo, a quiet unspoiled back country town. The rolling climbs on Park Hill cuts across the open range which leads to the beautiful run through the shaded canyon along Pilitas Creek with a return on W Pozo Rd.
Group meet-up on Hwy 58/H St.
Head SE out of town on Hwy 58 towards W Pozo Rd.
Go straight onto W Pozo Rd; the flat-rolling terrain travels across the expansive grasslands with oak woodlands and fabulous views of the Santa Lucia Range.
The road continues SE to the Santa Margarita Lake Rd junction at Rinconada.
The next couple of miles leads to a climb up towards Hi Mountain; it’s one mile long with an average grade of 7%.
W Pozo Rd descends along the north end of Los Padres National Forest.
The road travels through a scattered horse ranching community with pastoral fields and open paddocks.
W Pozo Rd crosses over the Salinas River before continuing east through the beautiful open prairie meadows.
The road leads into the tiny town of Pozo.
Stop at the Los Padres Natl Forest Pozo Station on Hi Mountain Lookout Rd.
Continue through town past the historical Pozo Saloon. Pozo Rd rounds the valley floor past the Vintage Cowboy Winery and oak studded hills with splendid views of the surrounding mountains.
Go straight onto Park Hill Rd; it crosses over Pozo Creek and continues to travel through the valley floor with fantastic views of the beautiful open range.
The flat terrain rolls past a few scattered ranches with grazing cattle and horses, it leads out to camp junction at Black Mountain Rd.
Park Hill Rd climbs out of the valley area followed by a scenic ride through the meadows and ranches along Toro Creek.
The road climbs out of the creek area up to the transmission towers; it’s 0.5 mile with an average grade of 6.8%.
Park Hill Rd rolls along the top of the ridge for the next scenic mile.
The road tilts up to a 0.7 mile climb with an average grade of 4.7% as it winds it way to the upper meadows.
Park Hill Rd drops down the hill to Las Pilitas Rd.
Head west on Las Pilitas Rd; the road takes you down through the flat grassland community.
The rolling terrain continues through a shaded canyon before descending into the creek area at Salinas River.
The Salinas River crossing leads to a climb out of Pilitas Creek; it’s 0.5 mile with an average grade of 6.7%.
Las Pilitas Rd comes to a T junction at W Pozo Rd.
Return on W Pozo Rd to Hwy 58.
Santa Margarita Cemetery
Miniature horses on Hwy 58.
Take Hwy 58 back to Santa Margarita Community Park.
This is a quiet ride around the beautiful remote country back roads in San Luis Obispo County. Take the roads less-traveled and enjoy the wide open ranges and the overall unspoiled beauty this area has to offer-it’s simply wonderful!
40.68 Miles with 2730′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1763′
Max grade: %
Terrain: Moderately hilly
Weather: Sunny and warm. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the low 70’s with NW winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: