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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Norcal

We are considering coming to the Santa Cruz area in October. I have a few questions for those of you who know the area

1) Is October an ok time to visit? (weather?)
2) I know about the Soquel trail, but is there more there to warrant 4 days and the long drive? Would you consider SC an "Epic Destination " like MOAB?


Thanks in advance

Doug in San Diego
 

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1. October should be great aside from being a bit dry. You may get lucky and get a little rain. Typically its still quite hot though.
2. Not quite as epic as Moab, but if you are driving down and have access to a vehicle, there are probably 10 individual areas/rides to do within an hour of Santa Cruz. You wont run out of riding if you research your plans.
I would suggest Demo/Soquel day 1, UCSC day 2, Skeggs or Saratoga Gap area day 3. Then you could do San Luis Obispo one day, on the way to or from San Diego.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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The weather should be great that time a year, unless it or some other area is on fire. The last two Octobers were chocked with smoke. Are you doing activities other than mountain biking?
 

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Like Moab? - Nope. Just a little surf town with some hills behind it. Nowhere near the access to riding acreage like the BLM wonderland in Utah offers. Nowhere near the legality, either. But the shade afforded by the trees is far superior.
 

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Not knowing your schedule consider maybe fort ord, butano, nisene, UC and Demo. If i was going to make somewhere a single 4 day destination id be downieville/greagle...especially in October......
 

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Not knowing your schedule consider maybe fort ord, butano, nisene, UC and Demo. If i was going to make somewhere a single 4 day destination id be downieville/greagle...especially in October......
Or Lake Tahoe. South lake for a day or 2. Truckee for a day or 2, and then mills peak or something for a day.
 

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If you like to pedal, a big ole Henry Coe day would be a good use of time. October can be pretty nice out there. About an hour from Santa Cruz. Proper XC riding if you're into that kinda thing.
 

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Depends on what you like. If you only want to ride legal trails, SC is probably not for you. In October it's usually extremely dry, loose, and blown out. And smokey like someone else mentioned. Camping will be hard to find, and bike theft is as bad as anywhere.

That being said, it's still better than Moab all day every day, no questions asked.
 

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1. What kind of riding do you like? That will narrow things down.

2. Moab doesn't have loam. Or redwoods. And the surfing sucks.

3. I have a bunch of friends in Socal that make an annual trek to Santa Cruz. It's worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We like all kinds of riding. Technical, cross-country, rocky. Not a big fan of 12 foot gap jumps, but smaller jumps are fun. Mostly looking for epic trails that you can spend a few hours on. Not sure anything could ever top Captain Ahab or the W.E.


I'm a little concerned about bike theft now that 2 people mentioned it.
 

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We like all kinds of riding. Technical, cross-country, rocky. Not a big fan of 12 foot gap jumps, but smaller jumps are fun. Mostly looking for epic trails that you can spend a few hours on. Not sure anything could ever top Captain Ahab or the W.E.

I'm a little concerned about bike theft now that 2 people mentioned it.
Santa Cruz has a robust population of junkies and tweakers who happen to like fencing nice mountain bikes. Use caution and common sense and you will be fine.
 

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Not without a guide

Like Moab? - Nope. Just a little surf town with some hills behind it. Nowhere near the access to riding acreage like the BLM wonderland in Utah offers. Nowhere near the legality, either. But the shade afforded by the trees is far superior.
This is the harsh truth.

Unless you have a guide, you're riding mid-week, and are somewhat to mostly okay with some degree of legal jeopardy [getting a ticket], no. Without doing a ton more driving, through some potentially ugly traffic snarls, Santa Cruz isn't a four day riding destination. Add that in October, many of the trails have had more than their fair share of use, I'd recommend from San Diego, head for Prescott or Sedona, AZ, those destinations are closer to you, and are more welcoming than Santa Cruz.

Best destiny and have fun on your trip!
 

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where are you coming from, and what is your range of states/areas you would be willing to visit. The Bay Area would be pretty low on my list of "destination" MTB areas to visit.

Just saw youre from SD. If i was you, id head out to Crested Butte/southern Colorado area to get in some high elevation epic riding. the trees will be turning around then too for some even more beautiful scenery, and the wilderness trails will be gorgeous. That or the Taos area would be super cool too- good amount of epic singletrack available then. Fall is an ideal time to visit actual mountains as there is usually some moisture back in the soil, the trees are turning colors, and the days are mild to cool which lends itself to bigger days on the bike. Maybe Park City too- lots of ways to link up big rides in the SLC area.
 

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This thread is turning into quite a buzzkill. Personally, I’d love to have 4 straight days riding in Santa Cruz. I’d probably do 1 day at Demo and 3 at UC. I always leave UC so stoked, and never can ride as many trails as I want to.

But as others have said, you’d need a guide to ride the good stuff.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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We like all kinds of riding. Technical, cross-country, rocky. Not a big fan of 12 foot gap jumps, but smaller jumps are fun. Mostly looking for epic trails that you can spend a few hours on. Not sure anything could ever top Captain Ahab or the W.E.

I'm a little concerned about bike theft now that 2 people mentioned it.
Trails in Santa Cruz are not in the literal sense epic. They are short but a lot of choices where you do 3-5 mile loops.

Excluding el nino winters the weather in Santa Cruz much like San Diego is almost always perfect.

If you take normal precautions like locks and always having eyesight of your bikes they will be fine.
 
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