Leaving the Arroyo Seco Campground. You know it’s mid-winter when the road is still shaded at 11:00 am.
But you wouldn’t know it’s winter once you turn the corner. It’s dry as August on the traverse above the gorge.
Looking up the Willow Creek drainage. The Arroyo Seco River in the foreground.
As the road climbs higher, rock piles and encroaching vegetation frequently narrow the passage to singletrack.
The river below …
The faded sign at the junction with the spur route to the Santa Lucia Trail and Last Chance Camp looks a little tired. It now reposes directly on the ground.
You’d be tired too if you’d been standing on that ridge for all those years with nothing to do for fun but misspell people’s names.
Near Jackhammer Springs.
At the slide. Don’t complain about having to carry your bike over this mess. If it wasn’t for the slide, the road would probably have been reopened to cars more than 10 years ago.
At the edge of Hanging Valley.
All that’s left of Hanging Valley Camp is a clearing and a fire ring. There was plenty of fresh water in the stream just below.
Hanging Valley scenery. Black Cone in the left background.
Above Escondido Camp. Look carefully (clicking through to the larger picture helps) and you can see the Lost Valley Trail switchbacking up toward the saddle.
View toward the Indians from the Escondido Grade.
Another one bites the dust. Never tell someone riding a bike to make it look good because you’re taking their picture. Especially when that person is an exceptionally skilled on and off-road cyclist with more than 30 years of racing, touring and even frame-building experience.
No harm, no foul.
With the exception of some scraggly Goldenrod and California fuchsia still holding out from last summer near a seep, the only blooming plant we saw on the entire ride was this clump of Indian Paintbrush (Castilleja affinis?). Did we mention that it’s dry out there?
Crossing the slide on the way back.
Congressman Sam Farr’s Big Sur Forest Service Unit Management Act would designate this road a National Recreational Trail, preserving it for hiking, biking, and equestrian use and ensuring that it is not reopened to motor vehicles. Just another reason to hope that legislation is enacted soon. For more reasons, click here.
The Arroyo Seco-Indians Rd. is becoming a popular route for bicycle tourists. A mountain bike is not required. We saw a couple on loaded touring bikes today, and these people made the Arroyo Seco-Indians Rd. part of what must have been one of the greatest wildflower tours of all time.