EPIC ROUTES

Heads up! Courses are still being finalized. Make sure to check back later for the most up to date route information.

This year's Bay Area Epic routes are a bit of a departure from previous year's singletrack-heavy courses. This time around we'll be on quite a bit of tarmac with a beautiful course that that heads out to the coast and tackles the legendary Planet of the Apes!

Our Grand and Big routes start out with a bit of familiar terrain from 2022, taking the reverse route through Fremont Older and Montebello Open Space, down dirt Alpine, and through Portola Valley into Woodside. Here we meet up with the Mini route and follow the popular Cañada Road out to Sawyer Camp Trail. Soon, you'll be descending into Pacifica with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and close to 20 miles of gorgeous riding along the California coast -- including the Planet of the Apes. Stop for a fish taco in Half Moon Bay, and then begin your climb back to Skyline via the Purisima Creek Trail. From there the Mini bombs down Kings Mountain back into Woodside, while the longer routes continue along skyline and get a couple more helpings of gravel in El Corte de Madera and Russian Ridge before taking Page Mill back down to the valley floor.

The elevation gain on these routes are fairly similar to previous years, but we get some extra miles on pavement. There are more options for food and water along the route, but make a note of your options to refuel along the way and be prepared with enough water and calories to make it through the more remote stretches.

What kind of bike should you ride? This year's route will favor narrower tires and more aero setups than last year, but there are still a few sections that where you might prefer to go wider. These are long routes, so whatever you choose make sure you'll be comfortable in the saddle all day long.

This year's start and end points have options for coffee, breakfast, and post-ride chow downs & brews! With three different courses to choose from, there's an epic ride here for everyone.

The Grand Epic // 125 miles • 14,024' elevation • 32% gravel

The Grand Epic is the longest course option at 125 miles and over 14,000' feet of climbing.

Your ride starts with a reverse of last year's Grand Route, taking a tour through Fremont Older's rolling singletrack before heading into Stevens Canyon and climbing Canyon Trail towards Black Mountain. We'll skip the detour to the peak this time, and instead head down dirt Alpine for a spin through Portola Valley toward Woodside. In both Portola Valley & Woodside, you'll find Robert's Markets which open early and are mainstay pitstops for cyclists looking for a snack or a soda.

Once you reach Woodside, you'll hop onto Cañada Road. This is another popular stretch of road -- on Sundays, San Mateo County shuts the road down to automobile traffic from 9:00am - 3:00pm.

Next you'll take Sawyer Camp Trail, which is a nicely paved path undulating along the edge of Crystal Springs Reservoir. This trail is popular with bikers, joggers, and walkers -- so expect it to be busy on a weekend. Please watch your speed and be courteous to other trail users.

You'll drop onto Skyline, turn left, and come into a fast, swooping descent with breathtaking views of the Pacific. The route continues along the coast for a couple miles and then heads a bit inland to the section affectionately known as Planet of the Apes -- the Old San Pedro Mountain Road, which used to be Highway 1 until it was rerouted in 1937. The section is broken down and overgrown and almost feels like you're on another planet.

After cresting the climb, you'll drop back towards the coast for a gorgeous stretch of bike trail that will bring you into Half Moon Bay. This is a great place for a rest stop - grab a drink or a taco at one of the many restaurants just off route. Once you're refueled, you'll start the climb back up to Skyline on Pirisima Creek Trail which gets steeper and steeper the closer you get to the top. Just when you think you need to take a break, you'll crest on Skyline, hang a right, and drop into the trail system of El Corte de Madera Open Space.

The terrain in El Corte de Madera is pitchy, but you'll soon find yourself back on Skyline headed towards the finish. Russian Ridge Open Space adds another gravel (ok, singletrack) detour and a phenomenal view of the ocean on clear days.

Once you hit Page Mill Road, you've got almost all your climbing done for the day. Point the bike downhill (but stay alert - there are some very sharp hairpin turns), spin through the Los Altos Hills & Rancho San Antonio, and you're just a couple miles from the car and your well deserved cold one. (Don't forget your last selfie!)

This ride will challenge your legs and your resolve, but you'll be rewarded with some of the best scenery the Bay Area has to offer!

Course Notes

This course starts at the the Target shopping complex at 20745 Stevens Creek Blvd. There are a lot of options in the area for coffee before your ride, and dinner afterwards. Voyager Craft Coffee opens at 7am, and the Philz and Starbucks across the street open at 6am and 5am respectively. While you can't park here overnight, consider starting this ride in the dark (or very early) if you think you might need more than 12 hours to complete it.

If you're looking for a good estimate for how long this ride will take you, check out the Better Moving Times Chrome plugin for Strava.

Unlike previous years, there are plenty of places to stop along the route for food and water. One stretch to be aware of; there is no water from the bottom of Higgins Canyon (mile 78.1) until Skyline & La Honda (mile 99.4). So make sure to fill up in Half Moon Bay or at Johnson House Historic Site before you begin the Purisima Creek Climb.

This route has 3 KOM Segments:

  1. Stevens Canyon Gate to Parking Lot - 4.95 miles, average grade 4.4%, elevation gain 1,404'

  2. Planet of the Apes II - 2.41 miles, average grade 5.6%, elevation gain 720'

  3. Full Purisima Creek Climb - 4.00 miles, average grade 7.3%, elevation gain 2,391'

This route has 8 selfie locations*:

  1. Start of the ride (mile 0)

  2. Entrance to dirt Alpine (mile 22)

  3. Beginning of Sawyer Camp Trail (mile 43.5)

  4. Rockaway Beach Overlook (top of the zig zags, mile 58.3)

  5. Top of Planet of the Apes climb (mile 63)

  6. Entrance to Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Reserve (mile 82.2)

  7. Ted Norton's Rock (Russian Ridge OSP, mile 104.8)

  8. End of the ride (mile 125)

* Mileage numbers are approximate.

The Big Epic // 111 miles • 10,453' elevation • 25% gravel

The Big Epic route is pretty similar to the Grand route, but we cut out 15 miles and about 3,500' of climbing. The biggest difference between the two courses is that we bypass Fremont Older at the start of the ride, and cut out a climb in El Corte de Madera, while maintaining a nice bit of gravel that parallels Skyline.

The Big Epic gives you all the same incredible views along the coast and almost 10,500' of climbing, getting you back to your car an hour or two faster than the Grand route would. It's a huge day of type 2 fun that's sure to check all the boxes for an epic ride!

Course Notes

This course starts at the the Target shopping complex at 20745 Stevens Creek Blvd. There are a lot of options in the area for coffee before your ride, and dinner afterwards. Voyager Craft Coffee opens at 7am, and the Philz and Starbucks across the street open at 6am and 5am respectively. While you can't park here overnight, consider starting this ride in the dark (or very early) if you think you might need more than 12 hours to complete it.

If you're looking for a good estimate for how long this ride will take you, check out the Better Moving Times Chrome plugin for Strava.

Unlike previous years, there are plenty of places to stop along the route for food and water. One stretch to be aware of; there is no water from the bottom of Higgins Canyon (mile 71.5) until Skyline & La Honda (mile 86.2). So make sure to fill up in Half Moon Bay or at Johnson House Historic Site before you begin the Purisima Creek Climb.

This route has 3 KOM Segments:

  1. Stevens Canyon Gate to Parking Lot - 4.95 miles, average grade 4.4%, elevation gain 1,404'

  2. Planet of the Apes II - 2.41 miles, average grade 5.6%, elevation gain 720'

  3. Full Purisima Creek Climb - 4.00 miles, average grade 7.3%, elevation gain 2,391'

This route has 8 selfie locations*:

  1. Start of the ride (mile 0)

  2. Entrance to dirt Alpine (mile 15.4)

  3. Beginning of Sawyer Camp Trail (mile 36.4)

  4. Rockaway Beach Overlook (top of the zig zags, mile 51.7)

  5. Top of Planet of the Apes climb (mile 56.5)

  6. Entrance to Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Reserve (mile 75.5)

  7. Ted Norton's Rock (Russian Ridge OSP, mile 91.6)

  8. End of the ride (mile 111)

* Mileage numbers are approximate.

The Mini Epic // 59 miles • 5,293' elevation • 24% gravel

At about 60 miles, 5,300' of elevation gain, and 76% paved surfaces, this year's Mini Epic is almost the perfect Sunday gravel ride.

The Mini begins in right in downtown Woodside, skipping Fremont Older & the Black Mountain climb. There should be a lot of parking options here, but it can get busy on weekends as cyclists come out to ride Cañada Road.

From here the route follows the Grand & Big courses down to the coast, over Planet of the Apes, into Half Moon Bay, and then back up to Skyline via Purisima Creek Trail.

After you hit Skyline, you'll take a left and head down Kings Mountain Road, which is a beautiful, swooping descent. Watch your speed here, because there are a quite a few tight turns and you may see a lot of cyclists coming up hill.

After you hit the bottom of Kings Mountain, it's a quick spin back to your car in Woodside. There are some great options here to grab everything from a snack to a fancy dinner, so plan some time into your schedule to relax after your ride and reflect on a great day in the saddle!

Course Notes

This course starts in downtown Woodside. There are a lot of options in the area for coffee before your ride, and dinner afterwards. Robert's Market opens at 6:30 and Village Bakery opens at 7 if you're craving coffee and a pastry. Parking in the area could be a bit limited -- park anywhere around here where you can leave the car for the day.

If you're looking for a good estimate for how long this ride will take you, check out the Better Moving Times Chrome plugin for Strava.

Unlike previous years, there are plenty of places to stop along the route for food and water. One stretch to be aware of; there is no water from the bottom of Higgins Canyon (mile 44.8) until Huddart County Park (mile 56.1). So make sure to fill up in Half Moon Bay or at Johnson House Historic Site before you begin the Purisima Creek Climb.

This route has 2 KOM segments:

  1. Planet of the Apes II - 2.41 miles, average grade 5.6%, elevation gain 720'

  2. Full Purisima Creek Climb - 4.00 miles, average grade 7.3%, elevation gain 2,391'

This route has 6 selfie locations*:

  1. Start of the ride (mile 0)

  2. Beginning of Sawyer Camp Trail (mile 9.8)

  3. Rockaway Beach Overlook (top of the zig zags, mile 24.4)

  4. Top of Planet of the Apes climb (mile 29.3)

  5. Entrance to Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Reserve (mile 48.3)

  6. End of the ride (mile 59)

* Mileage numbers are approximate.