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Buellton to Jalama Beach (& Back)


So, 2 days after doing a double metric century (with a fair amount of climbing)..what to do? Why not ride a 68 mile round trip route from Buellton to Jalama Beach? Yeah, great idea..

Anyway, started by parking in the Park & Ride lot on Santa Rosa Ave/Avenue of the Flags right to the west of the 101. Seemed to be a pretty safe parking spot. Heading west on Santa Rosa Avenue, the scenery was quite nice. Initially, lots of open space, rolling hills and some farms along the way (and somewhat bumpy road surface):

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

Quickly, this led into some beautiful vineyards:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

Parts of this section were repaved (probably within the last month or so, as you could still smell the tar!). The newly paved sections are brief respites from what is otherwise a rather bumpy road. I didn’t mind though; the scenery was quite nice. A couple of tasting rooms along the way too…maybe I should have stopped here:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

Looked quite inviting! But, sad to say, I hammered on and did not taste a single drop of the nectars offered along Santa Rosa Road. A bit farther and a touch of climbing was encountered. 100-200ft max..but, with a newly repaved section, and a hillside blooming with native flowers, the climb was well worth it (if you can even call that a climb!):

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

A bit farther and some orchards..maybe apple..beautiful nonetheless:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

And, shortly thereafter, climbing through a limestone (I think) ridge:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

before descending into a striking valley:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

So, finally, after a great 16 miles on Santa Rosa Rd, I turn left on CA-1 for a couple of miles of incredible beauty before intersecting Jalama Rd. You may not find the ocean in this picture, but it is one more reason I consider 1 to be a breathtaking road:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

Soon enough, the turnoff:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

Initially, Jalama Rd (the single road out to Jalama Beach), is secluded and shaded:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

The secluded aspect remains, but the shade quickly disappears (not usually a problem…either the cooler temperatures or the wind will almost always keep you from overheating!). Initially, you meander, then climb, through a beautiful valley (complete with working farms and all):

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

After a decent climb out of that valley, and some nice descents, you have one final, scenic and dramatic climb:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

Only a couple hundred feet, but quite striking. The reward?

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

Yup. Doesn’t get much better than that. Epic. One nice way to see the Pacific Coast:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

So, after all that, could anything top such views? Yes. This:

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling
From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

Huge, juicy burger. Fries. Can of Newcastle. All for $10. Nice. Highly recommended!

Oh, and the scenery at Jalama Beach is not so bad either!

From 2009-06-01 – Buellton to Jalama Beach Cycling

All the pictures from the ride can be viewed here.

And, for those of you who want an incredibly scenic, out and back route, here you go:

By the way, I was hurting on the way back. Having definitely not recovered from the double metric two days prior, every mile on the way back (especially sea level [Jalama Beach] to the 1100 ft high point on Jalama Rd) was slow and tough. Regardless, I urge everyone to do this ride…incredibly scenic with some varied terrain. If you don’t want such a long ride, you can always park in Lompoc and make this a 35 mile or so roundtrip. You’ll miss Santa Rosa Road, but you’ll still hit Jalama Rd for some of the most incredible scenery. Can’t go too far wrong either way!

The Discussion

see what everyone is saying

  • Mark Wilson August 2nd, 2009 at 8:16 pm #1

    I live in Ohio but send my bike to Solvang each April for 10 days of training rides. I’ve done the Jalama Beach route with the requisite burger and of course the “Fig” many times. Really enjoyed your report and especially the images. Thanks!

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