Planet of the Apes and Devil’s Slide

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

More time travel on my trusty trike this day. Almost starred in a movie. Sorta.

There’s an old road that winds its way up and over a mountain on the Pacific Coast south of San Francisco, officially called Pedro Mountain Road but people in the know call it Planet of the Apes. The road was paved in 1915 and used until 1937. As you might imagine, the road is pretty overgrown 80 years after the fact. I first heard about Planet of the Apes years ago from a cyclist who said he rode it for his commute to San Francisco during one of the many road closures due to Devil’s Slide doing its devilish thing on Hwy 1 at the foot of the mountain. On a fine spring morning I decided to see if Pokey and I could ride it. Of course we could!

I mapped out a route that went up and over on Planet of the Apes, then north on Hwy 1 a short distance to the Devil’s Slide Trail, then back to where I parked my car. The Devil’s Slide Trail is the old bit of Hwy 1 that is now a bike trail since they built a tunnel to avoid all those road closures. Those of you who have ridden this part of the Pacific Coast Route may remember the Devil’s Slide section.

On the day, I wasn’t feeling up to the amount of elevation gain so decided to break it up into two shorter sections and drive from one trailhead to the other.

And we’re off. Plenty of roadside parking on a weekday.
Suspension = good.
Gets a little spooky. Looking for Charleton Heston or Kim Novak to show up.
Hmm. I see what that hiker meant when she said she didn’t think I’d get very far: a little slide I had to negotiate by walking Pokey, right wheel up the bank a bit.
Nice views when you can get them. That’s the Pacific Ocean out there, and parts of the town of Pacifica.
Sitting on a trike you can get a nice close look at the wildflowers. This is blue witch, a nightshade.
And this is western columbine, one of my favorite wildflowers. There was a lot of this flower, banks of them in some places.
Another shot of the Pacific, but we see Hwy 1 on the left by that exposed dirt bank. At the very left edge is where the Devil’s Slide Trail peels off and the highway heads into the tunnel.
I was praying there was no poison oak. I don’t think there was.
Getting a little apey again.
At the top! Just inside a state and county park so the roads are little more cleared. I walked up that little rise to the peak.
Apparently we are at Bill’s Overlook. Here we see the lovely Pacific Ocean with inbound fog at this elevation. And goodness knows how someone got a router (and a generator?) up to this point unless they found a way to drive up here. They really love Megen.
It was windy and cold so I didn’t stay long at Bill’s.

I turned around and had a nice downhill all the way back to the start. I picked the vegetation from Pokey’s spokes then onward to the next segment.

Part Deux: Devil’s Slide (for Em)

This was my first time riding this trail since it became a trail just a couple of years ago. Well, maybe four years ago. You know how that goes. This trail has lots of nice geology that Em will help us all digest.

Rode up the trail a little ways and looked back towards the southern trailhead. Please note this is Montara Mountain Granitic Rock. That structure is called locally the Devil’s Slide Bunker. It’s left over from WWII coastal fortifications. It used to have solid land all around it but this soil erodes pretty easily.
Please read.
Looking back down the 9% grade, which was a surprise. I only hit 34mph going back down because of a headwind.
Please note: sedimentary rock. How’s that for examples of folding?
I wonder which slide took out this flagman.
Enough of geology – here’s the ocean.
All right, here’s some more sedimentary rock.
Our routes. So Planet of the Apes rides just above Devil’s Slide.

In the end, I probably could have ridden the entire loop without too much more elevation gain than I did. However, I had a lot of fun exploring and it made for quite a nice day.

tricycle tricycle tricycle I want to ride my tricycle tricycle tricycle I want to ride my tricycle I want to ride my trike I want to ride my tricycle I want to ride it where I like (And I like to ride my bicycle too)

14 response to "Planet of the Apes and Devil’s Slide"

  1. By: Kathleen Jones Posted: May 31, 2019

    Please note that I did this ride in 2018 and I’m just catching up.

    • By: Kathleen Jones Posted: June 1, 2019

      It was pretty cool. We should do it together.

  2. By: Bill Stone Posted: May 31, 2019

    Next time, maybe you ought to see if Janet will loan you that fancy new Troll of hers. πŸ˜‰

  3. By: gregblood Posted: June 1, 2019

    From the look on your face, I could actually feel your pain from the wind and cold on Bill’s Overlook.

    • By: Kathleen Jones Posted: June 1, 2019

      Yeah it was pretty freezing. But funnily enough when I dropped down the few feet back at the trike it was just lovely. Cool but lovely.

  4. By: MrGrumby Posted: June 1, 2019

    Wow, a beautiful trail! Yet another reason to get to California for a visit.

    • By: Kathleen Jones Posted: June 1, 2019

      Yeah, get out here soon as you can.

  5. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: June 1, 2019

    Great trail and ride — interesting geology of Devil’s Slide too — thanks for including that.

    • By: Kathleen Jones Posted: June 1, 2019

      Yes, the geology was interesting. When it was Hwy 1 even on a bike you had no time to notice the rocks because no shoulders / usually lots of traffic / steep drop offs / curvy. So having the trail there makes it all wonderful.

  6. By: Suzanne Posted: June 2, 2019

    Great trail for sure! Don’t you think the picture in part deux with your trike of the road and the rock could somehow qualify for the old and new challenge?

    • By: Kathleen Jones Posted: June 2, 2019

      You may be right about that. We’ll have to see what the judges say.

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