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point sal

Perhaps the single most beautiful road in the entire valley system.


Originally published 12:29 p.m., December 3, 2007
Updated 12:24 p.m., December 3, 2007

THE BASICS

Distance-28 miles (from Lompoc 37 miles)

Difficulty- Strenuous

Elevation Gain- Total elevation gain out and back 2500’

HIGHLIGHTS

This is a great country ride leading over the western end of the Santa Ynez Mountains down to one of Santa Barbara’s prettiest beaches. This is ranch country and in the spring as green as it gets. Jalama Beach makes an excellent place to relax and enjoy a walk at the ocean’s edge before heading back. By bike you’ll have a much more enriching experience than if you had come in by automobile.

THE RIDE

Jalama Road is perhaps the single most beautiful road in the entire valley system. In springtime its emerald green grasses and oak hillsides and canyons are magnificent, but this is an excellent ride in any season.

A lot of climbing on this out and back ride is involved and many riders may want to ride only part way out to Jalama Beach-or better yet go with someone who will drop you off at the beginning of Jalama Road and pick you up at the ocean’s edge.

From Lompoc drive (or ride) 4.2 miles along Highway 1 to the Jalama turnoff. There is an excellent spot to park on Jalama Road a half mile up from Highway 1. This is a good place to start your ride.

The first half hour of the ride is pretty easy and gives you a chance to enjoy the countryside and stretch the legs before you begin climbing up to Jualachichi Summit. It is 1.5 miles of steadily rising uphill most of this distance with a last steep section near the end). The incredible viewpoint at the 1,100’ crest makes it all worthwhile.

Next is a well-deserved downhill and 8 miles of wandering through the magical Jalama Canyon, with a number of short climbs along the way. These short ups and downs add to the total elevation gain and make the ride a bit more strenuous.

Land near Jalama Creek was once a Chumash Indian settlement named “Halama”. In 1943, 23.5 acres of privately owned land was donated to the County of Santa Barbara, creating the park. There are 98 campsites, all overlooking the ocean or beachfront should you bring the BOB.

Each site has a picnic table and BBQ pit, with hot showers, restrooms and water nearby. Campsites are assigned on a first come, first served. Only group areas may be reserved in advance. For information call (805) 736-3504.

Your time at the beach will most likely be so enjoyable you will almost forget the ride back. Unfortunately, what is lost must be regained. However, if you kick into your all day pace and take your time to appreciate the surroundings, the 14-mile return trip will be equally as pleasant to your ride in.

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