Take a detour off of Highway 1 for this high-flying ride into the mountains, past Lake Nacimiento and all the way to Big Sur. The peak altitude for this route is 2,776 feet, so be prepared for some challenging climbs—and some incredible views from the top, as well. After making your diversion, you’ll return to Highway 1, riding all the way to the northern end of the Central Coast.
Note: You may want to break this route down into a multi-day adventure. There are plenty of campgrounds and lodging properties on the way that are very friendly to bikepacking cyclists.
Points of Interest
Lake NacimientoPaso Robles, CA 93446
Green Valley Viewing Point
Green Valley Viewing PointCA-46
Cambria, CA 93428
If you love hiking as much as you love cycling, pause at McWay Cove and head up to the trailhead to the east for a short hike to a beautiful waterfall and view of the ocean. This is a great opportunity to stretch your legs and take in a breathtaking vista—and also stop for a restroom break.
Stop here for a restroom break—or take a quick, one-mile hike on the Partington Cove Trail, which leads to the creek, a beach, and the Partington Cove overlook, depending on the route you take.
This small, historic market in Lockwood is your last convenient stop for food, water, and using the restroom before 50 miles of remote cycling.
Stop in town for a bite to eat at Rock’n’Robles Grill & Pizza Kitchen, or head in to the local grocer, Oak Hill Market, to fill up on water and snacks. You can even head down to the lake for a quick dip in the warmer months. This is one of your last opportunities to ‘refuel’ before a long stretch of open road.
Big Sur has one of the most well-known shorelines in the world. Whether you choose to camp at one of the many campgrounds or stay in a luxurious lodging property, this 90-mile stretch of craggy coast is sure to draw you in.
High above the Pacific and watched over by the majestic Santa Lucia Mountains sits a little slice of paradise. This mecca of poets, artists, travelers and vagabonds has served guests for many decades, opening for business on April 24, 1949. Sitting on the terrace, enjoying a glass of wine, an Ambrosia Burger, or one of their exceptional homemade desserts is a quintessential California experience.
Vista Point: Green Valley
Pause here on Green Valley Road for a stunning view of the valley below.
AronHill’s westside Paso Robles vineyard resides atop a steep limestone and yields stunning views. They cultivate 8 acres of dry-farmed Primitivo & Cabernet Sauvignon, producing small-lot wines of natural purity and structure. You can experience their award-winning, dry-farmed estate wines while also enjoying their hilltop vineyard views while you take a break from your ride.
Tablas Creek Vineyard
Tablas Creek’s limestone-rich 120-acre organic estate vineyard is located in the heart of the Adelaida District, in the hills north and west of Paso Robles. Their viticulture practices emphasize quality through dry-farming and moderate crop levels. Stop by to taste some wines and visit their herd of sheep, donkeys, and alpacas, which are a key part of their Biodynamic farming methods.
“Kukkula” means hill or high place in Finnish, the first language of founder Kevin Jussila. The winery is aptly named, referring to the stunning view from its westside location overlooking Adelaida and the Adelaida Schoolhouse. Kukkula exclusively produces blends with a Rhone focus, from dry-farmed, organic and estate vines, resulting in unique, powerful flavors. The winery itself and the home of the owners have both won awards for architecture and design.