The Saratoga area and the Santa Cruz Mountains are mountain biking and road biking havens, attracting Bay Area riders for the scenery, challenging climbs, and technical trails.
Saratoga Gap Trail
The mountain biking site Singletracks.com describes the Saratoga Gap trail, a 10 mile singletrack/fire road combination with great views.
More details at www.singletracks.com.
Big Basin Redwoods Trail Ride
Big Basin State Park has some of the oldest and largest redwood trees in the state. Most visitors to the park arrive through Saratoga via scenic Highway 9.
From the trails.com website: “The ride through Big Basin Redwoods State Park is along wide fire roads with some bumps but no technically difficult sections. There is plenty of climbing, but the presence of much shade along the way makes this ride comfortable even on hot summer days.”
Read more at Trails.com.
Saratoga’s shady, twisting Highway 9 rises from the Valley floor over 2500 feet to Skyline Boulevard, a popular road biking route that runs along the summit of the mountains dividing the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco Bay. Skyline Boulevard offers beautiful views, landmarks like Alice’s Restaurant, and the opportunity to do long rides that parallel the entire San Francisco Peninsula.
From the BikeForums.net site:
A 50-mile route
- Up Bohlman, (take On Orbit for a spectacular view)
- Back to Bohlman, turn left to keep climbing. At the end of Bohlman take the dirt road (on the right) for about a mile (almost all do-able on a road bike, veer right at the fork)
- Down Montevina to the bottom, turn right, go about 100 yards to Black Road
- Climb up to Skyline and turn right.
- Skyline all the way to Page Mill, turn right and have a nice descent
- Turn right on Foothill. Foothill turns into Stevens Canyon; go deep
- Left at Redwood Gulch for a fun short ascent to Hwy 9
- Turn left at 9, back down to Saratoga.
A 100 mile route
The Sequoia Century 100K route starts in Palo Alto, but it goes through Saratoga, so you could start there instead.
- From the corner of Mt. Eden and Stevens Canyon in Saratoga
- Take Stevens Canyon north
- Continue north on Foothill Expressway
- Left on Page Mill Road up to Skyline
- Right on Skyline
- Left on Hwy 84 down through the town of La Honda
- Left on Pescadero Road
- Left on Alpine Road back up to Skyline
- Right on Skyline
- Left on Hwy 9
- Left on Pierce Road
- Left on Mt. Eden back to where you started
This route has two long, not-too-steep climbs (not nearly as hard as Bohlman). Scenic views from two different sections of Skyline. Two long fast descents on good roads.