Routes/destinations to be seen in NorCal?

Discussion in 'West – California, the desert southwest and whatev' started by some call me...tim, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. some call me...tim

    some call me...tim Been here awhile

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    Hi guys, my friend and I are going to be taking a trip soon, starting in Seattle and heading to Santa Barbara. We're planning on staying with friends/relatives from the Bay Area south, but most everything above that is a blank slate. My friend has only briefly seen redwoods before, and it's been many years since I've gotten so see them up close and personal, so definitely some time in the big trees is high on our priority list. I imagine we'll likely go through places like Avenue of the Giants, but would also like to check out some stuff that's a little more off the beaten path. We're also looking for fun roads and good campgrounds--or even better, good guerilla camping. We'll probably spend 2-3 days making our way through there to the Bay. Any suggestions of where to go? Or, for that matter, where to avoid?
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  2. speedmonkey7

    speedmonkey7 Been here awhile

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    Oh boy where to begin!! Are you on street bikes or dual sports? Either way, there are a crap load of amazing roads! There is a thread here called California adventure rider or some such that is all ride reports but more for ds bikes. Let me know which you are on and I can send you some routes through Google maps. I'm sure there are some roads I don't know in N Cal but not many. :beer:

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  3. some call me...tim

    some call me...tim Been here awhile

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    Ah yeah, I should have added that. I'm on a Tiger 800 XC and he's on a FZ6R. We'll mainly be staying on asphalt, but are OK with doing some light off pavement stuff. I know there's lots to see in CA and we could easily spend a couple weeks in NorCal by itself, but we'll have to keep something of a pace up, so we can't get TOO distracted. :lol3
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  4. sparkymcgee

    sparkymcgee Been here awhile

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  5. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I don't know how far off the coast you want to get, but if you wanted to see the Sierra I would suggest including Hwy 4. You can either make a loop with Hwy 88 or Hwy 108, or just do an up and back. Hwy 4 (Ebbets Pass) has a lot of good stuff. You could catch a concert at Ironstone Vineyards, have a beer at Snowshoe Brewery in Arnold, camp at Lake Alpine/Utica Reservoir/Union Reservoir, see the Giant Sequoias at Calaveras Big Trees State Park, and camp along the Walker River. It is only one lane at the top, because its the least traveled of the passes.

    Speaking of beer...Bear Republic in Healdsburg, Lagunitas in Petaluma (cheap hotel 2 doors down), Auburn Ale House in Auburn...all good choices.

    I think some of the best roads are the east-west secondary highways just north of the Napa and Sonoma valleys. Basically anything south of Geyserville, from Drake's Bay Oytser Company to Lake Berryessa. That area is worth a whole day, with an evening listening to live music at Lagunitas Brewery.
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  6. RocknTroll

    RocknTroll Been here awhile

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    Waldo/Happy Camp/Greyback Rd, Near Cave Junction OR. to 96 to Salmon Rd (slow going but paved) to hiway 3, South on 3 to 36 then West to hiway 1. Or stay on 96 to 299 to Arcata Eureka.
    Samoa Cookhouse for breakfast aint a bad way to start the day.
    Matole Rd from Ferndale to Weott will put you right in the Humbolt Redwoods park on 101
    .
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  7. speedmonkey7

    speedmonkey7 Been here awhile

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    +1 on that Samoa cookhouse is an excellent way to start the day!

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  8. speedmonkey7

    speedmonkey7 Been here awhile

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    Yes to all of that. That entire section of California is just awesome especially way up on hwy 4. 88 is pretty great too. You could even drop into Lassen then cut through on 89 to Truckee around Lake Tahoe and into the passes that way.

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  9. some call me...tim

    some call me...tim Been here awhile

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    We'll probably be staying towards the coast side of things on the way down, but I very well may come through the Sierras on the way back up. I'll definitely keep those suggestions in mind--and certainly wouldn't mind stopping by Lagunitas, they're one of my favorite breweries. What are the night time temps like in the mountains this time of year?

    Hah! I'm actually somewhat familiar with that area. I once spent a long weekend in the vibrant city of Petrolia, about 10-11 years ago. Memories are somewhat fuzzy, but I do recall it being gorgeous out there. :thumb
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  10. Garbage Marc

    Garbage Marc Adventurer

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    I just spent 4 days in the area last week and would add FS 1 from Mad River on 36 to just west of Willow Creek on 299. It's paved all the way across so the FZ shouldn't have a problem with it. Butler's Northern California map is very good too.
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  11. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    High 40's. You will probably want to add a warm layer across the top of the high passes.
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  12. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"I just spent 4 days in the area last week and would add FS 1 from Mad River on 36 to just west of Willow Creek on 299."

    Yes, everyone should ride FS1... gorgeous.

    Turn South on Berry Summit (hwy 299). (Berry summit is the second summit in from the coast). Just follow the pavement ! If you take the left fork on the end puts you at South Fork Mth summit on 36... right puts you on 36 down at Mad River.

    If you ride south to north, turn north at South Fork Mtn summit. Follow the pavement.

    Salmon River road is great too. IMHO: Must ride.
    Turn east off Hwy 96 at Somes Bar... go to Forks of the Salmon and take the North Fork road to Sawyers Bar and Etna. No gas on Salmon River road, so fill up in Happycamp or Orleans.

    Hmmm... maybe route?

    199 to Waldo Road (near O'Brien Orygun), goes to Happy Camp - Hwy 96
    Hwy 96 south to Somes Bar, take the Salmon River road.
    Etna - Hwy 3 south to Weaverville,
    At Weaverville, take Hwy 299 east, 10 miles turn on Hwy 3 to Hayfork.
    Go thru Hayfork to hwy 36 west.
    36 to South Fork Mtn road (summit) to FS1... to Hwy 299.
    299 west to Arcata/Eureka.
    101 South - Fernbridge exit to Ferndale.
    Ferndale ride to the end of 'main street', turn west.
    1 block turn south on Wildcat (Petrolia road).
    Petrolia road to Honeydew.
    Left turn in Honeydew (across the bridge).
    Ends up start of Avenue of the Giants on 101.
    #12
  13. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    Hey Twilight Zone- I hit FS1 out of Mad River on a whim (had no maps and have no GPS) and thought I was taking a road to Hyampom but took the left fork you describe above and ended up back at South Fork on 36. Where did I miss the road to Hyampom? Did I not go far enough on FS1?

    Chuck
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  14. some call me...tim

    some call me...tim Been here awhile

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    Phew, that looks like an epic route indeed. I followed it via Google Maps and things got a little iffy at the South Fork Mtn Rd -> FS 1 section. I take it it's pretty straightforward in real life? Also, it seems like that would probably take up the better part of a riding day?
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  15. DowDuer

    DowDuer !rn00b-aK

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    From Ferndale you can go to Mattole Beach and camp there. Do not count on finding stealth spots. A lot of these roads are fenced on both sides and the parts that are not are too step to camp in. If you want to stealth camp you well probably need to go into the national forests that are inland. .

    Highway 36 is a motorcycle road, 299 is not.

    There its not a lot of tent camping near Eureka and Arcata and what there is costs $35.

    Fern canyon in the Prarie Creek Redwoods is my favorite place on the coast. Agate Beach is also near, I think there are tide pools there along with the beach.

    Remember to carry a large cowbell around to keep Sasquatches from invading your camp... This is an under reported problem.
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  16. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"Hey Twilight Zone- I hit FS1 out of Mad River on a whim (had no maps and have no GPS) and thought I was taking a road to Hyampom but took the left fork you describe above and ended up back at South Fork on 36. Where did I miss the road to Hyampom? Did I not go far enough on FS1?"

    Yes, you needed to go a little further (north) on FH1.

    Pelletrau Ridge road is a bit north of the fork.
    The road is somewhat 'unmarked' on the top end.

    What is there... look for a pretty substantial roadsign on the west side of FH1. Across from the sign, Pelletreau ridge road is dirt on the top... takes off on a NW tangent to the FS1. Winds back and forth across the mountain.

    There used to be some 'Hyampom" paint writing on the roadway. Next time I go up there I'll take a can of paint and renew it.

    Somewhere on this computer, I have a photo of the intersection.
    Will post here if I find the damm thing.
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  17. TwilightZone

    TwilightZone Long timer

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    >"South Fork Mtn Rd -> FS 1 section. I take it it's pretty straightforward in real life?"

    Yes, FH1 is a paved road that takes off to the north of the South Fork summit. It is the ONLY paved road there... stay on the main pavement and it will deposit you on 299. (and vice versa).

    >"Also, it seems like that would probably take up the better part of a riding day? "

    Yes indeed... that is a good ride.
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  18. Hookalatch

    Hookalatch Born Under Bad Sign

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    This ride Twilightzone posted a good ride?

    199 to Waldo Road (near O'Brien Orygun), goes to Happy Camp - Hwy 96
    Hwy 96 south to Somes Bar, take the Salmon River road.
    Etna - Hwy 3 south to Weaverville,
    At Weaverville, take Hwy 299 east, 10 miles turn on Hwy 3 to Hayfork.
    Go thru Hayfork to hwy 36 west.
    36 to South Fork Mtn road (summit) to FS1... to Hwy 299.
    299 west to Arcata/Eureka.
    101 South - Fernbridge exit to Ferndale.
    Ferndale ride to the end of 'main street', turn west.
    1 block turn south on Wildcat (Petrolia road).
    Petrolia road to Honeydew.
    Left turn in Honeydew (across the bridge).
    Ends up start of Avenue of the Giants on 101.

    That's not a good ride, that is a fantastic, world class ride. Providing you like roads that seems like they were made for motorcycles, have little to no traffic for the most part, and travel through very beautiful and scenic areas. I hope you have time to sample it.

    Chuck
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  19. oobus

    oobus Been here awhile

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    Dow and I did the Ferndale to Honeydew ride two weekends ago, yes, epic road, much of the landscape looks like it is still spring (blooming wildflowers, green and lush).
    The coast was a little cool in the morning, but just a stunning beautiful ride!
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  20. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    These are all great roads,there are more though.

    If your in the mood to play sportbiker a little the road from Leggett to 1 is not to be missed,then there's Mountain view road from Manchester on the coast to Boonville,then 257 out of Boonville to 101 and south to Hopland,take 175 out of Hopland for a thrill ride,then 29 can be followed towards Santa Rosa for lunch,all excellent twisty up and down swoopy roads.

    Stewarts Point/Skaggs road is a classic......but little known Tin Barn to Kings Ridge and into Cazaderos is like a super moto road through the Redwoods and Tin Barn takes off to the right a little ways inland on Stewarts Point.

    Riding all of 36 is just fun,huge variety of pavement types and corners and many dirt roads taking off. Mad River on 36 has a burger joint,its a trailer with a roof over it,food is good,friendly people,sometimes there is gas there. Van Duzen road takes off close to Mad River,it gets you out in the wilderness quickly with many options off of it.

    But then hiway 1 itself is why people fly in from all over the world just to ride/drive and gawk and take pictures.

    Nor Cal is spectacular,were spoiled living here.
    #20