Today the Tour Of California races from King City to the Laguna Seca Raceway by way of Carmel Valley Road. This past weekend we rode a favorite loop of ours that covers some of the same ground, traveling down the Salinas Valley on River Road, through the river valley of Arroyo Seco and Carmel Valley Roads.
I hope you make the trip and enjoy this route.
87 miles, 5400′ feet of climbing.
Some ride notes:
- It will be hotter on the Carmel Valley climb than the nearby areas, so check the forecast for Carmel Valley and King City, then add 10 degrees. Carry a third water bottle and fill it at the Mission.
- I hope the Strava route get’s you to the right spots. We took the narrow and wiggly route down off Lareles Grade, but it goes on a private road for a short distance and a quick cut through on a degraded, closed road, which the Strava route doesn’t really capture. If in doubt you can just take Laureles Grade all the way to highway 68 for easy navigation.
- We prefer to park on the street in Carmel Valley Village and start/end there. There are a couple small stores, restaurants and coffee there, though the group favorite post-ride lunch is down the Valley at Baja Cantina. They have a nice deck in the sun with views of the hills.
- If you are in need of water late in the ride, you can find a hose bib near the gate/fence, behind some shrubs, at the property that is roughly across the street from the Tassajara Road intersection.