Remember Alpine Road!

Alpine Road from Portola Valley to Skyline used to be a nice ride. I'll never forget.

Alpine Road from Portola Valley to Skyline used to be a nice ride. I’ll never forget.


Just a friendly reminder, this is how Alpine Road looked in 1990. Fabulous!

It was the best way to Skyline Boulevard.

16 Responses to “Remember Alpine Road!”

  1. Stephen Smith Says:

    Yes, it was very nice. We first road up Alpine in 1957. Jobst had a 3 in the hub speed. I road a Folis 10 speed. The dirt road was not as nice as it looks ion the picture.

    Stephen Smith
    Pedale Alpini

  2. ted pauly Says:

    what’s it like today ray……is it still the best route up, and if not, what do you think is?

    • RatOtis Says:

      I remember that in the early 70’s it was a good climb but that in the summer it had serious moon dust that was a real drag, up or down.

  3. Jan Johnson Says:

    Love it!!
    So many Sunday mornings riding up that road.

  4. Ray Hosler Says:

    Stephen: It was at its best in 1990 because it was graded and hard. Today it is a DISASTER. A gnarly single-track overgrown with brush.

  5. xbr976 Says:

    Sad I used to ride it on a regular basis until the heavy rainstorms in early ’86 washed out parts of it. It sounds like it was repaired for a while, but I never really went back. I remember that around ’85 it started to be pretty common the have mountain bikers descending on it which diminished its appeal for me.

  6. Peter Tapscott Says:

    Dirt Alpine is still rideable on a road bike, perhaps a bit less than half the time with no dabs. Jobst claimed he built the singletrack we now use to bypass the slide on the dirt road. Still a challenge on a cross bike, but a full suspension 29er easily passed me while I was struggling up a couple weeks ago.

    Best way to get to Portola Redwoods Park and Old Haul Road.
    Great photo, Ray, with Jobst, Peter and Jan!

  7. Ray Hosler Says:

    Peter:
    Jobst did not build that particular single-track. We built some level single-tracks where the road slid out 1987-88. Even had a large pipe for drainage. The county graded the road one last time in late Dec. 1989. However, they failed to clean out the culverts. The ensuing slide from a plugged culvert took out a huge area. It could be fixed but it would be a project, so the county leaves it as is, oddly, unwilling to abandon. Midpen owns all the land, but not the road, so it languishes.

  8. Jon Spangler Says:

    Is any of the road in private hands or is it all county road? How much would it cost to repair?

  9. Ray Hosler Says:

    It’s all public. Cost? No idea.

  10. RideSCRyan Says:

    I was able to climb it, out of the saddle on the steepest parts, in my road bike with 25mm Open Paves just before this set of storms.

    No, not as buff and smooth, but still excellent access

  11. Jim Denton Says:

    Has anyone ridden Alpine Rd recently? I was considering descending Alpine Rd @ Page Mill on Saturday 5-14-16. Perhaps I should check the top section out and make a determination on whether I should ride it on my gravel bike at a later time.

  12. Ray Hosler Says:

    I rode it last weekend (May 8) on road bike with some friends. It was a bit muddy, but rideable uphill. There’s poison oak encroaching in places and a fair amount of plant growth each side of the trail. On a mountain bike not a problem.

  13. fehguy Says:

    I was on it yesterday and it’s a mess. A huge section has been washed out and my guess is, it’ll never be fixed 😦

  14. jamesRides Says:

    I rode this in May 2018 to see how difficult is was (the 2018 Sequoia was going to offer some dirt options and this was one option – though they ended up cancelling the option in 2018). To my surprise it was very rideable on a road bike (I have smooth 30 road tires) though I suspect most pure road riders wouldn’t enjoy it. The grade of the single track portion isn’t too steep with the exception of one root strewn section that has about a 17-22% grade for about 100 to 200 feet. I walked that. There was one other section above this that looked to be a washout area that was rideable though I walked up that. Towards the top the dirt road becomes wider though with lots of ruts so you have to pick the smooth line but the grade is mild. Probably gravel or cross type tires would be ideal but road tires let you roam further once you’re at the top. I’d say this is the least strenuous way to get to the top of Page Mill. Montebello via Black Mountain is still my favorite way to get to the top of Page Mill though.

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