R1200GS Adventure to Carrizo Plain
Day 1 – Hayward to Maricopa
I said goodbye to my kids and left the house at 8:30am heading to Maricopa. The first 70 miles or so were fairly boring, riding on I-880 and Highway 110 just to get to Hollister and on to the glorious Highway 25 (yes, I did actually use the word “glorious”).
At Hollister I stopped at a local gas station and got 2-3 bottles of water, from Hollister to Coalinga it’s about 100 miles with no place to buy anything. As always, riding on Highway 25 was a blast, the scenery was amazing with green rolling hills and long sweeping turns.
I got to Coalinga at around noon, and had a great 5 star lunch at…Mcdonalds. Then I trailed back about 9 miles west on 198 and headed south on a small scenic route. From that point I road on some amazing routes with great views and zen like riding.
I was at Maricopa at around 5pm, booked my hotel room, watched a movie, and took a short ride 6 miles up route 33 to Taft for dinner.
Day 2 – Carrizo Plain Exploration
- Carrizo Plain – Day 2 interactive map.
- Carrizo Plain – Day 2 gpx/GPS file (right-click and “Save Target As”).
This is where the real fun began, I spend most of today riding on unpaved roads in the Carriso Plain Monument National Park. I started at the South/East corner riding about 40 miles on Elkhorn Rd, this road is maintain by the county and was very easy to ride on. Along the way there are a few smaller dirt roads forking off of Elkhorn to different sites in the park.
I got to the Goodwin Education Center at around 10:30am and had a quick Beef-Jerky snack. I asked the rangers about riding to Painted Rock, but the only way to get to it is via a guided tour, riding the bike to about a mile from it, and walking the rest of the way…I’m not big on walking.
From the education center I headed south-East on Soda Lake Rd than made a right toward Selby Camp Ground. On the way to the camp ground I took a right-turn somewhere, and stumble on a very nice road climbing the mountain ridge with amazing view. Eventually I got to the camp ground, there were a few people camping there…a note to self, defiantly camp there next time around.
Leaving Selby Camp ground I headed to Hurricane Crocker Spr. Rd via Panorama Rd, the later was a little sandy but I had no problem navigating it. Leaving Hurricane Crocker Rd I headed to Taft for lunch at another 5 stare restaurant…Burger King.
For the 2nd half of the day I wanted to go up on Soda Lake Rd, then cross to route 166, I tried a few left turns off of Soda Lake Rd but all ended up in closed gates. Eventually I gave up and headed all the way up Carrizo via Soda Lake Rd, to 158, to San Lois Obispo for the night.
Day 3 – Winging It Home
- Carrizo Plain – Day 3 interactive map.
- Carrizo Plain – Day 3 gpx/GPS file (right-click and “Save Target As”).
I left San Luis Obispo at around 10:30am, took 110 to Paso Robles, and then some amazing back-roads toward King City and then to Salinas (Routes G14, G16, and G17 are something I need to get back on and explore off-roading across the mountain ridge).
From there I guned it on 110 and I-880 all the way home.