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Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

Denver
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Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

I would like to take a biking vacation and see the Redwood Forests as well as Wine Country. Can anyone suggest areas that would be good from a car camping perspective. Looking for real rides and not mellow tours. More interested in the scenery than stopping in every winery for samples. Will be my first time in N. Cal. so not sure where to start. Driving out from Denver in September.

Thanks for any tips.

Lassen National...
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1. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

Do you mean tent camping?

You might be interested in this loop, or a variation of it, near the redwoods.

http://tuccycle.org/rides

Menlo Park...
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2. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

redwood forests extend along the coast from the Oregon border south to the Big Sur area south of Monterey. So you do not have to go see your redwoods and then go see your wine country. there are redwoods even as far away from the coast as Napa Valley. But you'll see denser forests the next valley over, around Sonoma or one more valley over, around Santa Rosa. For casual biking I would advise getting out of Napa and away from Santa Rosa. The Dry Creek area west to the Russian River has lots of redwoods as well as vineyards. Often the vineyards are bordered by redwood forests. And the roads are splendid and not heavily trafficked. You'll find lots of bikers. Look at towns like Sonoma, Sebastopol, and Healdsburg. Another possibility is the smaller area north and inland of Santa Cruz with small wineries among the redwoods. But there is little level ground there. You can turn any ride into a serious trek, since there are mountains to climb all over.

In terms of places to camp, there are lots of lovely state parks, but unfortunately none right in the wine areas, except possibly around Santa Cruz. Near the Sonoma wine area you might find some public commercial campgrounds along the Russian River. Personally after a day of biking around in hot weather, I do not want to return to a tent. Have fun.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

Biking in the wine country? Oy. Please be careful if you do.

May I suggest you leave the biking for local parks, and enjoy the wine country in a car with a designated driver.

Bay Area, CA
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4. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

I'm more familiar with the peninsula than Napa/Sonoma, but my favorite climb is Tunitas Creek, up through the redwoods on a narrow one-lane road that doesn't have much car traffic. There are places to camp in Pescadero/Loma Mar, Memorial Park is favorite of my family. I just did a charity ride that included Tunitas Creek using this route:

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1476747

There's quite a few variations of rides up the bay side of the hill to Skyline/35 (Thomas Fogarty Winery is on 35 with great views), down to the coast, and back up via a different road. Road cycling is very popular; you can hook up with very fast (i.e., Webcor/Alto Velo "A" rides) to more casual groups like Western Wheelers.

Far from Napa, but definitely fitting your "scenic" criteria would be the Big Sur coast. There are a variety of places to camp there; I can suggest Kirk Creek Campground right on the coast (it even has bike-in spots) with the caveat that you have to make sure you bring in your own water; the faucet there warns that it's not safe to drink. But the location is really hard to beat. I imagine Sonoma and Mendicino would also be great, I just haven't gotten up there although it's on my to-do list. Also, I believe this company:

http://www.udctours.com/

is run by a serious roadie, and you can look at some of the tours to get an idea of what the riding is like in different areas.

Denver
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5. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

Thanks for all the responses. That definately gives me some planning ideas. Just to clarify by car camping I mean in a tent. Here in Colorado it's either car camping or back country camping.

I looked at udctours. They are quite expensive. The best thing about biking and camping is it is an affordable vacation. But they did give me a few ideas.

Big Sur would be great but not sure I would have time to go there. Looking at 2 days to and from coming from Denver, so5 days in the area we choose. Looking for some all day rides ending with a new bottle of wine at camp. Didn't understand Lynn's comment. It it that there are lots of intoxicated drivers?

I will start looking at the areas mentioned. Mainly want to see wine country, the ocean, and take lots of pictures. And of course bike.

Thanks all

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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6. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

If you want to go Redwood National Park, you have to go north. However, there is only one road through much of it (Hwy 101) and it gets a great deal of traffic - including great big tractor/trailer trucks and large RVs of all kinds. Not pleasant to bike along, IMO.

You might be interested in biking Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. That's old 101 and much quieter.

There is also Newton Drury scenic route north of Orick - again old 101 and pretty quiet. Arcata is a college town so lots of bikes there.

>> Here in Colorado it's either car camping or back country camping.<<

And presumably RV camping ;-)

Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

Really, if you want *both* redwoods and wine country you should stay just north of San Francisco rather than go all the way to the northern part of the state.

The Russian River area might work, because there iare wineries and there iss a wonderful redwood grove in Guerneville. Armstrong Grove. I have no idea of how the riding to the wineries around there might work.

russianrivertravel.com/parks-armstrong.htm

Sonoma Valley has bike trails that go to vineyards...check out the Sonoma Valley Visitor's Center. But your redwood experience would be separate. and would require a drive of about 40 miles to get to Armstrong Grove.

Denver
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8. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

"And presumably RV camping ;-)"

I don't make that kinda money. :)

Puter: I guess that raises another question. Since the traffic on some road could be dicey, would it be better to bring mountain bikes and hit trails?

Bay Area, CA
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9. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

Mtn. vs. Road I'd say is up to what you'd feel like doing. While there are roads I know that have more speeding cars than others, in general the road riding around the Bay Area is pretty nice, and there's good mtn as well. I've done the Marin Century (road) and I don't remember much car traffic on the route up there.

If you do bring a mountain bike, I've heard Annadel Park is good, and Whitmore Gulch/Purisima Creek on the peninsula. Also if you're passing it, the Flume Trail at Lake Tahoe is pretty well known.

These folks can probably help you with specifics around wine country.

http://srcc.memberlodge.com/TGR

10. Re: Cycling Redwoods and Wine Country

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