~19 miles with 3400 ft vert gain – combination of road and gravel
The Dirt Alpine-Monte Bello gravel loop in the California Bay Area Peninsula region is an excellent route for riders looking to get some climbing in on dirt trails and ride some fun single-track in an open space preserve. The loop starts and ends at Rossotti’s Alpine Inn in Portola Valley, which has a parking lot and overflow space on Arastradero Road. From Alpine Inn, turn left onto Alpine Road. About two miles into the route, the road narrows and becomes less busy as you become surrounded by oak trees. Though there is less traffic in this section, be wary as some cars zoom down this section of Alpine Road.
Eventually, the paved section of Alpine Road ends right when it meets Ciervos Street. Take the dirt turnout and continue riding past the gate around mile 4.6. In the next 2.4 miles, you will climb on single-track dirt trails with an average of 8% grade (there are a couple of steep pitches with a max grade of 19%!). As this is a single-track section, be on the lookout for downhill traffic from riders that descend dirt Alpine.
Once you reach Page Mill Road, cross the street to start riding in the Montebello Open Space Reserve, which boasts beautiful open vistas weaving through a single track in rolling grasslands and forests. You’ll start on the White Oak Trail and continue onto the Skid Road Trail. This will eventually merge with the Stevens Creek Nature Trail you’ll take until you hit the Canyon Trail. Turn left and keep riding the dirt trail down to Page Mill Road. Turn right onto this paved road and descend for 4.5 miles until you hit the Foothills Open Space Preserve. Unfortunately, there aren’t many bike-legal dirt trails in Foothills, so ride through the park and take the Arastradero Creek Trail. This will bring you into Arastradero Preserve, where you can explore the numerous bike-legal single-track. Gravel and mountain bike riders can spend over an hour exploring the dirt trails in Arastradero. Without repeating any of the routes in the trail network, you can ride up to 10 miles of dirt!
After finishing up in this dirt playground, take Arastradero Road back to Rossotti’s Alpine Inn and enjoy a beer and post-ride meal at the restaurant. You deserve it!
Ride submitted by PEARL iZUMi Crew Member Anthony Venida, IG: antoekneeohh