Motorcycle Route Author
Written DirectionsStart form I-505 and take the exit for Esparto (about half way if you are coming either from the 5 or from the 80. From there just follow California Route 16 for 36 miles. The first 20-25 miles are crossing a rural area with some interesting views. After the Cache Creek Casino there is virtually no traffic. When the road enters the Bear valley the real fun begins. A lot of wide and fast turns, beautiful wild scenery. At the end of the road you can turn right and go back to the HW 5, or you can turn left to Clear Lake. If you choose to turn left my recommendation is to combine this ride with the one that goes from Clear lake to Napa: http://www.motorcycleroads.com/75/114/Routes/Napa-to-the-Shores-of-Lake-Berryessa.html
SceneryIf you love the country side the first part of the road offers a lot of great views. The second part of the road, once you enter the Bear Valley, offer stunning views of a wild and untouched valley. I would recommend to stop on any of the many parking area along. During the summer you will see people coming down the river on kayaks and canoes.
Drive EnjoymentThe road is always in great conditions. Occasionally, but very rarely, you can see a small amount of rocks on the pavement.
Tourism OpportunitiesThere are several opportunities to stop along the road:1. If you like to play or just want to enjoy a drink the Cache Creek Casino is a perfect stop. 2. If you like to take pictures, the Cache creek offers plenty of opportunities for great shots. 3. Just a few miles after the Casino there is a place that offers local Olive Oil tasting. The quality is really good. 4. A few miles after the end of the road there is a famous hot springs place called "Wilbur Hot springs". Be aware that they require reservations (and the road to the hot springs is not paved).
The directions as described work well and the best way to tackle this road. The bottom section is through farm land, then starts rolling hills for a bit around Cache Creek Casino. That is a great place to stop for bikes with a smaller gas tank. The canyon ride begins shortly after this and is (somewhat obviously) the most fun part of the ride. As per much of the Nor-Cal canyon rides, there are potential for rock/mud slides and there were in a couple of places softball sized rocks on the road. So, lots of care needs to be taken - especially on the blind corners.
Photo Gallery of CA Route 36 from Esparto to Wilbur Springs (1 Photos)
Interactive Views Along This Route