Sonoma Coast/Stewart's Point/Tin Barn Road
Farthest point north: Stewarts Point/Tin Barn/King Ridge Road. This is the ride where you can see the golden domes of the Buddhist monastery peeking out above the forests of Sonoma county... King Ridge Road is only a little bigger than a cowpath, in fact it is narrower than my driveway. The way winds through cow pastures and old abandoned orchards, sometimes the road seems like it is a farmer's driveway, and in fact it is... The section from Stewart's Point to Cazadero is spectacular, and will give you views across Sonoma county that are hard to equal. Our timing, early March, should be about right for the fruit orchards, maybe a little early for the wildflowers. In any event, you won't be disappointed by the landscape.
We'll ride north from the shop via 280 over the Golden Gate Bridge and then follow Highway 1 north to Bodega Bay. Our lunch stop will be at the Tides Wharf Restaurant in Bodega Bay, (707 875 3652) for a regular sit-down lunch or snacks to eat on the wharf with the fishing boats. After lunch we'll follow Hwy 1 north about 40 miles till we come to Stewarts Point. There is a small store at the intersection, with sodas and an outdoor bathroom, but no gas! Get gas in Bodega Bay at lunchtime if you think you will need it. You'll find Stewarts Point just after Fort Ross & Salt Point State Park. The road is marked "Stewarts Point/Skaggs Springs Road. The next turning point, Tin Barn Road, is about 5 miles in. Watch carefully for King Ridge Road, the next left turn, and then drop down into the Russian River valley. we'll most likely turn left on Cazadero Highway, Hwy 116. This is the most direct return route to 101 south and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Tin Barn/King Ridge roads branch off Hwy 1 about 30 miles north of Jenner, at the north end of Sonoma County, and take us about as far north as our Carmel Valley Ride took us to the south on our February Ride. We'll be riding through open pastureland so keep your speed down and watch out for livestock! The landscapes are so beautiful and the roads are so narrow, there really is no reason to ride fast along this section. Expect to return home by around 4:30 or so. This ride will cover some roads that make Carmel Valley Road look positively like a freeway! The roads are all paved, and Tin Barn & King Ridge Roads are the best part of the ride. These roads are Sonoma ranch roads, barely one lane wide in places, following a ridge line that leads from the east side of the Gualala River watershed south to Cazadero and the Russian River. Once we reach the Russian River, we can return to 101 South via 116 east through Sebastopol, or take 116 west out to the coast and return via Hwy 1 south.
Depart at 9:00 am and head north on Hwy 280 via Charleston/Arastradero. Take 280 to 19th Ave. to 101 north over the Golden Gate Bridge. We'll stop at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge at the Vista Point (9:45-10:00 am) and regroup. Head north on 101 to Mill Valley/Stinson Beach/ Highway 1 exit north of Sausalito. Take Hwy 1 over Mount Tamalpais and follow signs to Stinson Beach. (We'll be following Highway 1 north all the way to Stewarts Point.) Do not cross the double yellow line or you may get a ticket!
The towns are - Bolinas (sign only) - Olema - Point Reyes Station - Marshall - Tomales - Valley Ford - Bodega Bay (regroup). It is about 25 miles from the GG Bridge to Pt. Reyes Station. From Point Reyes to Bodega Bay is about 30 miles.
We'll regroup at the Tides Wharf Inn, the fishing wharf restaurant across from the gas station in the middle of Bodega Bay. This is a good place for a lunch stop. (The restaurant number is 707 875 3652.) It is about 10 miles north to Jenner , and another 28 miles to Stewarts Point. Just stay on Hwy 1 north. We will regroup at the Stewarts Point turn-off.
Return Route options
Option 1 - -Stewarts Point/Skaggs Springs Road - south on Tin Barn Road - east on King Ridge Road - south on Cazadero Highway - east (left) on 116 (Gravenstein Highway) and continue on through Forestville and Sebastopol to 101 South.
Option 2 - -Stewarts Point/Skaggs Springs Road - south on Tin Barn Road - east on King Ridge Road - south on Cazadero Highway - west (right) on 116 through Duncan's Mills, and on out to the coast at Jenner. Then return home via Hwy 1 south as far as Point Reyes, turn left onto Point Reyes/Petaluma Road, then right on Nicasio Valley Road (at the reservoir) and left on Lucas Valley Road, back to 101 south. This is a nice alternate with less freeway riding, but will take a little longer.