Carrizo Plain area advice

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by tar356, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. tar356

    tar356 Adventurer

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    Looking for advice or a route to get me from Orange County, through the Carrizo Plain area, and ending up around SLO.

    I'm riding a big twin, so nothing too technical, but needs to include dirt! I don't have any dates set, but probably sometime in early March?...I can adjust based on conditions.

    Suggestions? I have maps, etc., but the more details you can provide the better.

    Thanks
    #1
  2. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    if yer on a big twin, yer gunna want to stick to Soda Lake road. It's dirt but it might as well be a highway. There are some sandy bits but nothing super tricky.
    What is your range? You are going to need to make sure to gas up in Frazier Park or Taft because it's at least 40 miles across the monument and no gas very close.
    If you have never done it, I highly reccomend Little Tigunga cyn out of Sunland (off the 210) to Sand Cyn --> Vasquez Cyn --> Bouquet Cyn --> Spunky Cyn then make your way over to Frazier Park, gas up and take the one road heading west..... some of the best twisties around. Where that dead ends is right next to soda lake road. When you head back, take Hwy 58..... freaking beautiful out there

    near Frazier Park

    [​IMG]

    Soda Lake Road

    [​IMG]

    oh yea and bring a camera

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. scotts_4x

    scotts_4x lookin for a ride

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    Soda lake road will dead end into hwy58 going north. Take that west all the way in to Santa margarita if you want to take the pavement or take red hill road into los Padres national forest and go out pozo road which will take you through pozo and into Santa margarita the back way if fuel allows. This will give you 7-10ish more miles of dirt road.

    -scott
    #3
  4. tar356

    tar356 Adventurer

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    eatpasta - My reserve light lights up around the 150 mark, dry at 200. I can carry more if need be, but looking at the map, it seems about 125+/- from Frazier to Santa Margarita. Looks like a good combo of dirt, twisties, etc. Not for this trip, but your Sunland route looks good too!

    scott - I'm not seeing Red Hill Road??? Does it come off of Soda Lake or 58?
    #4
  5. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    You can always gas up at Maricopa, it's not very far to come back to Soda Lake Road. That's what we do for the group rides out there. Pozo Road is pretty cool too, very scenic. Stop at the saloon for a burger.

    If you need tracks post up. We just did this ride last weekend.
    #5
  6. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    150 should be plenty. You're going to have a blast.... pretty tough to screw up a trip around here unless you're on the freeway the entire time
    #6
  7. bashplate

    bashplate ugh

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    Urge you to consider ending your ride with High Mtn. road from the Pozo Saloon. It was in good shape a couple weeks ago. When you get back on the pavement you can ride through the Edna Valley wine country on Orchid Rd up to SLO and maybe stop at Bailayana for a bottle of one of their nice whites.

    Here's a GPS track. Look for the Pozo Saloon weigh point for the turn: http://www.findmespot.com/spotadventures/index.php/view_adventure?tripid=317578
    #7
  8. goldentaco

    goldentaco Been here awhile

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    Skip Soda Lake Rd. and ride Elkhorn Rd./Elkhorn Grade Rd instead. It's on the East side of the Plain Soda is on the west and down in the "valley". Elkhorn is much more picturesque and you won't get bored passing all the minivans stuffed full of tourists.

    I've ridden both and prefer Elkhorn...incase you couldn't tell.

    You can gas up 6miles off 166 along Hwy33 at the Santa Barbara Pistachio co. and get some bomb ass Pistachios too. They only have regular gas. If you need premium, you'll need to head to Taft a few miles past 166/33 junction Pick up Eklhorn Grade a mile or so West of Taft. Elkhorn Grade connects to Elkhorn Rd at this intersection:[​IMG]


    Take the right fork. The left will lead you over to Soda Lake Rd eventually which is just over the hills you can see on the left in the pic. It's 45 miles of gravelly/sandy/rocky fun. The sand isn't bad. Big bike loaded with gear is no problemo. As you near the North end of the plain, check out you GPS and have a look around you...why is that street sign in the middle of nowhere?


    J
    #8
  9. johngil

    johngil Reseda, CA

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    I'll have to agree.
    #9
  10. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    Ride Elkhorn, on a cruiser?

    if he is used to riding it in the dirt, sure. Elkhorn isn't super tricky but if you're not used to your bike in the dirt you're going to be uncomfortable

    :lol3
    #10
  11. goldentaco

    goldentaco Been here awhile

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    Who said anything about a cruiser? Op said he has a big twin and wants to ride dirt. I wouldn't call an 1150GS a cruiser.


    J
    #11
  12. johngil

    johngil Reseda, CA

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    ADVrider.com, not holdmytamponcase.com
    #12
  13. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    Wait...where's my tampon case John?????

    :lol3
    #13
  14. watchmen

    watchmen Been here awhile

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    I also recommend trying out Elkhorn instead. I always end up getting bored on Soda Lake and cross over to elkhorn. You should check out some of the different crossroads too if you have the time.
    #14
  15. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    Perfect timing on this thread! I might do a Carrizo Plain ride this weekend or the next. Out of curiosity, is it possible to "stealth camp" in the Carrizo Plain area? Or am I better off looking for a developed campground?
    #15
  16. dyvking

    dyvking ahead of his flamin star

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    There are only two 'developed' campgrounds inside the monument. But you are allowed to camp outside those two in some areas..essentially the hills. Open camping isn't permitted either on the Carrizo or Elkhorn plains (meaning the flat areas between the two ranges).

    Camping rules: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/bakersfield/Programs/carrizo/camping.html

    The whole place is 'pack it in, pack it out'. No garbage service inside the National Monument.
    #16
  17. Jedi5150

    Jedi5150 Road Warrior

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    Thanks Walt, I checked out the link you provided. Nice to know that open camping is allowed in the foothills. That solves that problem nicely.

    PS- I've been checking out your excellent website for the Carrizo Plains. You are quite the expert on the area. Can you suggest some good open camping (wild camping) spots that would offer good views at sunrise or sunset? I'm going to be taking some landscape photos, and would appreciate any suggestions. But on that note, I'm not much into taking panoramas from hilltops or ridges, looking down over valleys. I prefer to take photos from the standpoint of being in the valley, looking up towards ranges and mountains.
    #17
  18. eatpasta

    eatpasta Lawnmower Target

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    Usually when people refer to "Big Twins", they are referring to cruisers.....I supposed it could be something else.

    But cmon.... there's a magazine!

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. DSM8

    DSM8 Where fun goes to die....

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    Just a note you can get gas at the Marina it is 10 miles past Pozo Saloon, otherwise you have to go into town.

    Santa Magarita Lake Road.

    They have bankers hours though. But I believe it is Methanol free gas cause its for boats.

    Just a little more info.
    #19
  20. dyvking

    dyvking ahead of his flamin star

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    I'd say go back up Padrone Canyon and look around there for a spot to camp. There are some decent spots back around Lawson Spring that could fit your requirements.


    #20