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Potential Routes for asphalt/dirt adventure ride from Reno to s.f.

Looking for route suggestions for Reno,NV to San Francisco.  I'm studying the maps but, if anybody has any routes they've ridden, I'm open to suggestions.

3 Replies

Hi @SSKarateMonkey13 - Thanks for reaching out. What a fun trip you're planning!

To confirm, are you talking about gravel biking or riding on a motorcycle? 

For gravel biking, I can speak to the Reno to Clearlake portion of your venture. There is a cross-state gravel route that covers 180 miles of territory east-west that I suggest looking into. The Lemon Canyon Rd section near Stampede Reservoir is an incredible stretch of road!

Hopefully some other folks in this community familiar with the area will be able to share suggestions too. @Tommy and @Vitaly - Y'all have talked about longer bike rides on the West Coast. Do you have any routes to share? 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thank you for the suggestion (!); sounds like a simple enough section.  As per what I'm riding, an alt-flatbar (Surly Moloko bar) rigid single-speed mountain-bike.  Idea percolating/gear tweaking for Spring '22 since riding season is toast here in Northern Nevada.  

  As per other routes here, the Pyramid to Truckee trail is a good ride.  Parallels (for the most part) the Truckee River so, plenty of water and excellent cell-service coverage amazingly enough.  Excellent trail system in local Peavine range too.  Additionally, rumor saith there's a trail running from Reno to Tahoe (or will be soon); do your research though.  The Virginia Range has trails too.  Truckee has many a good trail; sadly 80 percent hostile to cross-country bikes-rent or buy a long-travel, full suspension Enduro mountain-bike for most of the Tahoe-Truckee area.  In essence, much excellent riding in many of the local ranges in N/NE Nevada (Ruby Range in Elko supposedly nice) plus Sierras and Cascade ranges.  Just check for weather/wildfire status and closures before planning anything.

  As per Southern California (born, raised, lived, and started mountain-biking in...), the Cleveland National 'Forest', both the Orange County and San Diego portions are sweet.  Crystal Cove State park aka El Morro in O.C., Alta Laguna park in Laguna Beach, and some cool spots in the Santa Monica mountains in L.A. County are excellent too.  Just beware of idiot, busybody rangers in the Santa Monica trail system area-cut you a ticket for riding over 15 m.p.h. or riding over one of the little bridges in the area.  Also, you might encounter hikers who have issues with mountain-bikers (H.O.H.A. types...); popular area-ride with a bell (!).  Down in San Diego you also have a ton of good mountain-biking trails; leave the gravel bike at home and take a cross-country or trail orientated hard-tail mountain-bike though; many of the trails cut in SoCal were cut by dirt-bikers or mountain-bikers later (all the single-tracks), and drop-bar rigs and chunkier trails doth not mix...

  As per the Intermountain West, tons of good stuff.  Pick a state, eyeball what's there, and ride it.  Additionally, much good beer and food attached to the mountain-biking mini-meccas; in some cases very tasty breweries, etc.  Hostels can be your friend too; Google the IH site for cheap/cool lodgings (excellent hostel in Truckee btw!).


I'm assuming bicycle.   Take a look at the Nevada/California sections of the American Discovery trail.  I have not done it but it is supposedly bicycle friendly.