Back Roads to Explore?

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By an edhat reader

Hi all, I'm looking to explore some dirt roads and cool back roads in the area in a jeep or truck. Hoping to get up into the mountains around here. Any suggestions? Thanks!

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nomo Apr 07, 2019 02:28 PM
Back Roads to Explore?

Just went this weekend exploring: West Camino Cielo is open all the way through from HWY 154 to Refugio road. It was a great drive but definitely a little technical at some points - some areas are pretty rutted/washed out and there are a few features where a short wheel base and 4-wheel drive are needed. Paradise road is still closed at the first river crossing, so can't get back to Red Rock. Checked out White Rock though, good amount water is still flowing, but not as much as I would have thought. East Camino Cielo is officially closed at Gibralter Rd. Gates block all roads that drop down to the Santa Ynez river on E. Camino Cielo, including Gibralter Road, the Forest Road (FN20) next to the glass factory, and Romero Camuesa Road which is at the end of East Camino Cielo (where the pavement ends) that leads down to the Divide Peak route. I will say that it appears that motor cycles and small OHV are still allowed to travel down Romero Camuesa Road as there is a sign saying "no vehicles greater than 50in wide" next to a gap on the side of the gate.

jak Apr 06, 2019 03:59 PM
Back Roads to Explore?

Used to be that almost innumerable roads and trails were available. East Camino Cielo to Ojai for example. Few required 4WD and many were accessible to a careful driver in a family sedan. I covered a lot of miles up there in a generic Studebaker family wagon and a Volvo wagon even as late as the mid eighties. The word from the rangers at that time was that all unpaved roads were eventually going to be treated as wilderness. I guess that day has come.

EastBeach Apr 06, 2019 01:35 PM
Back Roads to Explore?

And as mentioned, normally the other option is ECC down towards Juncal and Pendola Station but the last time I was there it was closed before the parking area for the Divide Peak OHV trailhead. And about a month ago, ECC was closed at the intersection with Gibraltar Rd. When open, sedans make the drive down to the two hot springs. You can also visit Mono Debris Dam which is fun to explore. Forget about Divide Peak OHV - do that on your dirt bike or mountain bike. And don't forget about hiking, that's a great way to explore outdoors in SB.

EastBeach Apr 06, 2019 01:14 PM
Back Roads to Explore?

Last time I took my rig out on WCC was right before the Rey Fire (summer 2016). High clearance was needed but not 4WD - a Subaru and experienced driver could have made it except maybe for one off-camber spot. That spot also forced less capable vehicles to the side so you'd get pinstriped (beware if you want to keep your shiny new Rubicon shiny!). I don't know what current conditions are like. Please be mindful of other users especially dirt bikes - they will often raise their left hands to signal how many riders are behind them.

MasterChief Apr 06, 2019 11:14 AM
Back Roads to Explore?

Rock Front Ranch,HWY 166. Pozo Trail,Lake Lopez, Lockwood Valley,Etc: All good! TREAD LIGHTLY!

Eggs Ackley Apr 06, 2019 06:51 AM
Back Roads to Explore?

A jeep to Divide Peak....hahaha. Let me know when you go so I can record the attempt and alert SAR.

canuck215 Apr 05, 2019 12:01 PM
Back Roads to Explore?

154 to Kinevan Rd. Head West to West Camino Cielo for approx 8Miles. The Road ends, and turns to dirt. Follow that dirt road and you will end up at Refugio Rd. At that point you can either turn around and go back or head down Refugio Road and you can take the 101 back to SB. There are a number of side trails off West Camino Cielo that will allow you to either explore you Jeeps 4WD abilities or you can drive up to the Radio Towers for some of the most spectacular views of our coastline.

SB_Dongs Apr 05, 2019 11:48 AM
Back Roads to Explore?

There isn't a single OHV route open anymore! Road to Pendola, Divide peak, Buckhorn, Camuesa, Santa Cruz Trail, etc have all closed and no one seemingly cares. Please call the LPNF and ask them what are their plans to re-open these roads because if we don't they'll never re-open and the wonderful Sierra Club will do its work to keep them closed. Support organizations like C.O.R.V.A who actually fight to keep our public lands public not restrict access to them.

a-1568991322 Apr 05, 2019 12:56 PM
Back Roads to Explore?

Not true, there are OHV areas open in Santa Lucia District. Plus, it's wet season, it is totally reasonable and normal for most to be closed. OHVs are absolutely terrible for the environment, increasingly so when the ground is wet and vulnerable. Air pollution, noise pollution, habitat destruction, not to mention spreading of plant diseases and non-native species because vehicles aren't properly washed down after each use... There are good reasons people don't care for OHV "rights". An OHV is not your only avenue to use public land, you have not been prevented. OHVs don't get the same priveleges as citizens, your OHV is not an extension of you.

a-1568991322 Apr 05, 2019 12:59 PM
Back Roads to Explore?

No. Damaged in Jan 2019 storms according to the forest service website

oceandrew Apr 05, 2019 11:20 AM
Back Roads to Explore?

Simple ... take E Camino Cielo east and keep going until you run out of pavement. Google maps has it as Romero Camuesa Rd. Should take you into the backcountry. Also note the Divide Peak OHV.

tagdes Apr 07, 2019 08:18 PM
Back Roads to Explore?

Love how the first comment is someone that has to jump in when they have absolutely no clue what they are talking about. That's been closed for like year and as stated by those above that do actually know something it's been closed at ECC and Gibralter for actually more than a month.

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