I've decided to share some of my favorite drives & motorcycle rides. Most of these routes start and end in the South Bay Area. These routes are in the GPX format which can be downloaded to GPS units that support them.

If you don't have a navigation unit that supports GPX, you can upload them to http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/ to view the route in Google Maps or a number of other formats.

Use these? Please drop me a note and let me know!

Lunchtime Route (43 mi)
Mt. Hamilton (100 mi)
Santa Cruz County Backroads (120 mi)
Santa Cruz Classic / Doc Wong Route (130 mi)
Bay Area Loop (240 mi)
Big Sur Loop (300 mi)
Sierras I (700 mi)
Sierras II (700 mi)
NorCal Extreme (1350 mi)


Lunchtime Route


Route Map
Elevation Profile



Route: Sierra Rd to Calaveras Rd, 680 Home

Distance: 43 miles

Time: 1

Notes: Climb steeply up Sierra Rd to 2000' and then enjoy nice sweeping turns on Felter. Turn right on Calaveras - 15 mile long one-lane road that takes you by the Calaveras Reservoir. Great lunchtime loop for those that work in Milpitas/N. San Jose!

GPX File Download

Pictures from this route: [smugmug] [flickr]
(Tip - to add YOUR pictures from this route, upload them to smugmug with the tag linquistrouteslunch or flickr with the tag linquistroutes-lunch)



Mt. Hamilton


Route Map

Route: McKee Rd to Alum Rock Rd to Mt Hamilton Rd to San Antonio Valley Rd to Mines Rd to Tesla Rd to Concannon Rd to 84 and 680.

Distance: 100 miles

Time: 3 hours

Notes: There can be lots of traffic, gravel, and bicyclists heading up Mt Hamilton. Once at the top, get a 30 minute tour of the Lick Observatory and head down the back side. It's about 4 miles of steep riding on the back - once you reach the one lane bridge, it's bliss (as long as Mines Rd has not recently been chip-sealed). Have a drink or lunch at the Junction and continue on Mines Rd (For a longer ride, take Del Puerto Canyon Rd out to I-5). Law enforcement is often heavy on Mt Hamilton Rd but absent on Mines Rd.

GPX File Download

Pictures from this route: [smugmug] [flickr]
(Tip - to add YOUR pictures from this route, upload them to smugmug with the tag linquistroutesmthamilton or flickr with the tag linquistroutes-mthamilton)



Santa Cruz County Backroads


Route Map
Elevation Profile



Route: McKean to Uvas to Watsonville to Hecker Pass to Pole Line (through Mt Madonna County Park) to Mt Madonna Rd to Hazel Dell.. over to San Jose-Soquel to Summit to Old Santa Cruz Hwy to the back side of the Lexington Reservoir to Shannon to Hicks. Stop by Seacliff State Beach (park at the top and walk down the path to avoid paying an entrance fee).

Distance: 120 miles

Time: 3.5 hours

Notes: Mostly smaller, tighter roads. Traffic is low except on Hecker Pass and San Jose-Soquel Rd. Law enforcement most present on Uvas Rd. Eat breakfast at the Flames on Santa Theresa and continue along the route.

GPX File Download

Pictures from this route: [smugmug] [flickr]
(Tip - to add YOUR pictures from this route, upload them to smugmug with the tag linquistroutesbackroads or flickr with the tag linquistroutes-backroads)



Santa Cruz Classic / Doc Wong Route


Route Map

Route: 84 to Kings Mountain Rd to Tunitas Creek Rd to Hwy 1 to Stage Rd to Pescadero Rd to Cloverdale Rd to Gazos Creek Rd to Hwy 1 to Bonny Doon Rd to Pine Flat Rd to Empire Grade to Jamison Creek to Highway 9. For a little longer ride, take the Swanson Rd loop from Hwy 1 and take Smith Grade from Pine Flat to Empire Grade and take 236 through Big Basin State Park.

Distance: 130 miles

Time: 4 hours

Notes: A good mix of roads. Kings Mountain, Tunitas Creek, and Jamison Creek are tight goat trails. Bonny Doon/Pine Flat/Empire Grade/Hwy 9 are fun. Watch for law enforcement on Hwy 1, Bonny Doon, and Hwy 9. Have lunch at Duarte's in Pescadero or the taqueria in Davenport.

GPX File Download

Pictures from this route: [smugmug] [flickr]
(Tip - to add YOUR pictures from this route, upload them to smugmug with the tag linquistroutesclassic or flickr with the tag linquistroutes-classic)



Bay Area Loop


Route Map

Route: Sierra to Felter to Calaveras to 84 to Palomares to Redwood Rd to Pinehurst to Skyline to Grizzly Peak to Bear Creek to Alhambra Valley. Across the Richmond San Rafael Bridge, Sir Francis Drake to Fairfax-Bolinas to W. Ridgecrest to the Panoramic Hwy. Across the Golden Gate to the Great Highway. Hwy 1 to Lobitos Creek to Tunitas Creek to Skyline to Black Rd.

Distance: 240 miles

Time: 8 hours

Notes: Beware, this route takes longer than the mileage makes you think! Most of these roads are back roads with little traffic. Plenty of tight goat trails (especially Calaveras, Fairfax Bolinas, Lobitos Creek, Tunitas Creek, and Black Rds). Great route that circles the entire Bay Area!

GPX File Download

Pictures from this route: [smugmug] [flickr]
(Tip - to add YOUR pictures from this route, upload them to smugmug with the tag linquistroutesloop or flickr with the tag linquistroutes-loop)



Big Sur Loop


Route Map

Route: Uvas, 152 over Mt Madonna, back roads to Hwy 1 through Big Sur, Naciemento-Fergusson Rd, Jolon Rd, Carmel Valley Rd (G16).

Distance: 300 miles

Time: 8 hours

Notes: Lots of fun roads here - traffic on 152 and Hwy 1, otherwise fairly open. Naciemento-Fergusson Rd (very tight/twisty) takes you through Fort Hunter Liggett - you will have to show your license/registration/insurance to pass through. Have lunch at Nepenthe south of Big Sur on Hwy 1 OR pick up a Lee's Sandwich in San Jose in the morning to eat at one of the campgrounds on Naciemento-Fergusson Rd. Carmel Valley Rd remains one of my favorite roads in the area.

GPX File Download

Pictures from this route: [smugmug] [flickr]
(Tip - to add YOUR pictures from this route, upload them to smugmug with the tag linquistroutesbigsur or flickr with the tag linquistroutes-bigsur)



Sierras I


Route Map

Route: Begins at the Motel 6 in Auburn, CA. Mosquito Ridge Rd down to the French Meadows Reservoir, back up to Sugar Pine to Iowa Hill. Pleasant Valley to 49 to Marysville to Oregon Hill to Quincy-La Porte to Hwy 70. Overnight in Oroville. Back roads to Clear Lake to Lake Berryessa home.

Distance: 700 miles

Time: 2.25 days

Notes: After work, head up to the Motel 6 in Auburn. From there, fantastic roads to Oroville (Iowa Hill is hairy!) and overnight at a cheap hotel. Some fast straight farm roads until you pick up Clear Lake and Lake Berryessa home.

GPX File Download

Pictures from this route: [smugmug] [flickr]
(Tip - to add YOUR pictures from this route, upload them to smugmug with the tag linquistroutessierras1 or flickr with the tag linquistroutes-sierras1)



Sierras II


Route Map
Elevation Profile



Route: Begins at the Motel 6 in Auburn, CA. Mosquito Ridge Rd down to the French Meadows Reservoir, onward down a bunch of back roads, Mormon Emigrant Trail, over Carson Pass. Overnight at Topaz Lake, NV and then over Monitor and Ebbett's Pass and Calaveras County backroads home.

Distance: 700 miles

Time: 2.25 days

Notes: After work, head up to the Motel 6 in Auburn. A great mix of pure bliss and smooth Sierra back roads to the hotel in Nevada. Over Ebbett's Pass home.

GPX File Download

Pictures from this route: [smugmug] [flickr]
(Tip - to add YOUR pictures from this route, upload them to smugmug with the tag linquistroutessierras2 or flickr with the tag linquistroutes-sierras2)



NorCal Extreme


Route Map
Elevation Profile



Route: Long 5-day route with epic roads such as Skaggs Springs, 299/3/36, and Quincy-La Porte. Glass Mountain in Modoc County. Check it out on GPSVisualizer for the entire route!

Distance: 1350 miles

Time: 5 days

Notes: 5-day ride overnighting in Ukiah, Weaverville, Mt Shasta, and Quincy. Truly the NorCal Extreme. Route file contains hotels and gas station points.

GPX File Download

Pictures from this route: [smugmug] [flickr]
(Tip - to add YOUR pictures from this route, upload them to smugmug with the tag linquistroutesextreme or flickr with the tag linquistroutes-extreme)