Saturday, September 5, 2009

Santa Cruz Cycling

For those in the USA, I hope you're enjoying your three day holiday.

Boardwalk Cycletrack

Somebody told me about a top secret access to the UCSC trails from south Felton that involved some gut busting grades on narrow single lane roads that switchback west of Highway 9, climbing from Gold Gulch (elevation 300') to the top of Upper Scenic Drive (elevation 1,000').

It sounded interesting and I've never tried it before, so I went for it this morning. After a couple of wrong turns and backtracking up some 20% grades, I finally got to the end of Upper Scenic Drive.

Dane and his dog  Chewie

My guide told me to expect a dirt road that leads to UCSC's fire roads. What I found instead was barbed wire, logs, a big "NO TRESPASSING VIOLATORS WILL BE PROSECUTED TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE LAW KEEP OUT," and a woman telling me I'm on private property.


So I turned around and got out to Highway 9, cut south and intended to take the UConn trail to get me through Pogonip and back up to the UCSC trail system. By the time I got to UConn, though, I had already traveled 11 miles on my mountain bike with over 2,000 feet of total elevation gain, and I had yet to touch any singletrack.

No Trespassing

I bailed and went to Plan B.

I coasted down into Santa Cruz, where I took some photos of people, bikes and pelicans; enjoyed the ocean view; ate a taco; and then rode the bus, where I met a delightful retired couple touring Santa Cruz County with public transit. I hope you enjoy the photos. The end.

Candy Man


  1. Sorry your expedition did not work out. The pictures are lovely, though!

  2. It was a little disappointing getting to the end of that road, but Plan B worked out fine as well. It's all good!

  3. Were you looking for the Toll House Gulch Rd/Trail? This is not (ahem) legal to Mt Bike, but neither are the other 10 or so trails that lead from UCSC to 9.

  4. @Kat: I'm not sure -- I'm told there's a gate with access to the Chinquapin Trail in Wilder Ranch way at the north end of the UCSC reserve, somewhere at the deadend of Scenic Drive beyond Toll House Gulch.