Open roads in the Santa Cruz Mountains

Happy Friday, all. More rain is on the way to the SF Bay Area and Monterey Bay region Wednesday so enjoy the sunny bike riding weather while you can. This information is collected from county public works departments the morning of Friday, January 27, 2017 and from scouting and is thought to be accurate, but please use caution even when riding on familiar roads, because pavement conditions may have changed since you last rode there. Even roads not listed on the closure lists may have issues; some roads I ride in the Santa Cruz Mountains, for example, have enormous potholes that have probably damaged more than a handful of automotive front-ends this week.

Santa Cruz County Road Closures

According to the Santa Cruz County road closures list, most roads popular for road cyclists have opened to traffic, though they advise caution due to debris in the lanes, with many roads reduced to a single lane due to slides and slipouts.

The few roads that are still closed may or may not be passable by bike. Crews apparently allow bikes to pass on Valencia School Road near Aptos. Valencia Road remains a hard closure. Upper Zayante, which is listed as closed due to a “large slide blocking entire roadway” is passable if you don’t mind hucking your bike up and over a pile of mud.

Earlier I had posted that Mountain Charlie might be closed, but Strava shows several people have ridden up and over this week. The riders report the road is in rough condition but ridable. For road riders, this is probably a good weekend to use the widest tires you can fit on your bike.

A portion of Highway 9 between Felton and the city of Santa Cruz is expected to remain closed through February 1, 2017 to remove a large debris slide.

A part of Highway 129 connecting Watsonville with Highway 101 is currently closed due to storm damage, so it might be pleasant to ride Riverside Drive east of Watsonville due to reduced traffic. Caltrans says 129 should re-open Saturday morning.

View the current and complete Santa Cruz County road closures here.

Santa Clara County

These are the Santa Clara County road closures as of the morning of Friday, January 27, 2017:

  • Highway 9 from Redwood Gulch Road to Skyline Boulevard remains closed. Caltrans says Hwy 9 should open to traffic at 11 A.M. on Saturday, January 28, 2017.
  • Redwood Gulch Road, one lane closed.
  • Black Road, one lane due to pavement failure.
  • Mt Hamilton Road closed due to snow.
  • Gist road close indefinitely.
  • Soda Springs Road behind Lexington Reservoir, one lane due to pavement failure.

Monterey County

I’m much less familiar with Monterey County roads; I don’t really know where people ride, but you can find Monterey County advisories and closures here. The county even provides a handy interactive map here.

Monterey County road closures January storms 2017

A portion of the Monterey Bay Trail in Pacific Grove is now gone after record high surf washed it and adjoining parking lots and a road out to sea. I don’t know the status of other portions of this popular trail; perhaps Marilyn in Monterey County will post updates.

Finally, a portion of Highway 1 well south of Monterey remains fully closed due to extensive storm damage. You can’t get through to San Simeon or Cambria from Monterey, but perhaps reduced traffic might make for a more pleasant out-and-back through Big Sur. Businesses that depend on tourist traffic might appreciate your visit.

One comment

  • Mark
    January 28, 2017 - 5:49 pm | Permalink

    As of Saturday, Redwood Gulch Road has the mud cleared. It’s only down to one lane where it has always been a single lane.

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