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Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour

Santa Barbara + Sierra Madre/San Rafael Mountains, California

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Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour

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  • Afternoon riders at a leisurely pace through the Sisquoc River rangeland.- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • Cyclist on the south end of Foxen Canyon Road cruising past a large oak tree.- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • Friendly little guys.- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • Looking east from the summit of the first climb.- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • For many hours throughout the day you will be able to find shade throughout the ride.- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • Harvest season in Foxen Canyon.- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • Even on a weekday, you're likely to see a fellow cyclist on the road.- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • On the north end of the trail there are more open views of the vineyards closest to the road. - Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • The entire ride from Andrews Boulevard to Los Olivos is spectacular.- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • Most of the ride is beside agriculture and vineyards.- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
  • Don't forget to reward yourself with a glass of wine!- Foxen Canyon Cycle + Wine Tour
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Scenic ride. Paved road. Vineyards.
Cons: 
Narrow roads. No public restrooms. No potable water.
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Region:
Santa Barbara + Sierra Madre/San Rafael Mountains, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Highest point: 
1,566.00 ft (477.32 m)
Year round: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
None
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Suitable for:
Motorized vehicles
Trail difficulty: 
Green
Total Distance: 
29.40 mi (47.31 km)
Total elevation gain: 
1,201.00 ft (366.06 m)
Trail type: 
Shuttle
Trailhead Elevation: 
800.00 ft (243.84 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

When people think of wine country in California, they think of Napa Valley, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lodi... but it wasn't until the movie "Sideways" came out in 2004 that a greater mass of the wine-loving population became familiar with Foxen Canyon in Santa Maria Valley. Even though some of Foxen Canyon's vineyards have been around for quite some time, Rancho Sisquoc pressed its first grapes in 1972, and it still remains a highlight of the area. So, what does all this wine talk have to do with outdoor adventure? What better than a weekend bike ride through some of the prettiest landscapes in Santa Barbara County?

Foxen Canyon Road is a great destination for a moderate length ride. From start to finish, the entire road is 29.4 miles along; however, you can chose to do this route in a number of ways. If you have your own bike and a friend, you can set a shuttle in Santa Maria and Los Olivos. Alternately, you can do an out-and-back that is fit for your strength level. The road is windy, offering spectacular views of the San Rafael Mountains at the summit of the second of two climbs when heading south to north. Unfortunately, there is no designated bike lane or much of a shoulder, but local traffic is used to cyclists and seems to pay attention well enough.

What's a ride through wine country without some wine? Currently, there are 14 vineyards on the Foxen Canyon Wine Tour. Most of them are open for tastings until at least 4 p.m., and some are open until 5 p.m. An excellent halfway point is the Rancho Sisquoc Vineyard. Cottonwood Canyon alxo offers wine cave tours, if that sparks your interest! Built in the mid-1990s, Cottonwood Canyon was the first winery on the Foxen Canyon Trail to utlize these subterranean structures for the purpose of storing and aging wine. 

Here is a full list of the vineyards on the wine tour route you can choose from (south to north): 

  • Firestone Vineyard
  • Andrew Murray Vineyards
  • Koehler Winery
  • Fess Parker Winery and Vineyard
  • Zaca Mesa Winery
  • Martian Ranch & Vineyard
  • Tres Hermanas Vineyard and Winery
  • FOXEN
  • foxen 7200
  • Rancho Sisquoc Winery
  • Riverbench Vineyard Tasting Room
  • Kenneth Volk Vineyards
  • Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard and Winery
  • Cambria Winery and Vineyards

Too many options? Guess you'll have to do the ride more than once! If you choose to ride with a company, Santa Barbara Wine Country Tours offers an excellent half-day option with a farm-to-table lunch and wine tasting with your ride. The tour starts in Los Olivos and weaves its way up and through Foxen Canyon Road, following the Sisquoc River Valley rangeland, up through Ballard Canyon, and finishes in Slovang where you will be shuttled back to your start point.

Whichever route you decide to take, you won't be disappointed. Just remember to bring plenty of water because it can get quite hot from late spring to early fall.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

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