Goto Home Page Highway 101 - Cat Canyon Rd

Cat Canyon Rd. is a short little 9.2 mile ride that connects Hwy 101 to Palmer Rd, which can be used to connect to Foxen Canyon Rd. It offers some nice twisties and descent straightaways and at one point in time had become a very popular canyon run in the area. However, at the time of this writing (9/4/02) the road conditions are quite poor. Heavily patched and quite bumpy, with a few pot-holes and other deterioration. If this road were to be repaved (and I will keep you posted on that) this would once again become a very, very nice ride to traverse Hwy 101 to Palmer Rd and Foxen Canyon.

Cat Canyon does wind through some interesting scenery including vineyards, chaparral, ranches and oil field wastelands. Traffic is also extremely light; I've been on Cat Canyon several times without seeing a single other vehicle.

The Cat Canyon ride was shot heading from Hwy 101 to Palmer Rd.

From Hwy 101, Cat Canyon is approx. 14.0 miles south from the Betteravia Rd exit in Santa Maria and approx. 1.25 miles north of Los Alamos.

3D Contour Map

Cat Canyon Rd is well marked on Hwy 101 from both directions.

Starting on Cat Canyon Rd, exiting from Hwy 101.

Through a few vineyards, the road is a bit bumpy but no too bad at this point.

Quite quickly you get to road conditions that will continue for the remainder of the ride. Some collapsed patching, a few potholes and somewhat bumpy, although bearable. The first couple of miles the road is a selection of small straightaways and tight 45 to 90 degree corners.

Heading up to the crest of the canyon...

Cows, Steer and Oil. That's what it's about in Cat Canyon.

At the top of the crest you meet your first cattle gate crossing, there is one more later in the ride. Just go through in a straight line with steady speed, no problem.

At the crest sits this small, working oil/gas refinery. It's old, and there are really no humans in site....must be somewhat automated. The noises coming from it sound like the equipment is dying, gasping for last revolutions in the pumps, about to collapse.

Going down the canyon the twisties begin. Road conditions are still quite poor but good enough to provide some fun on the way down.

More Oil equipment. This one really moans as the cranks make their long, slow revolutions.

Careful on the twisties, there is no guardrail and not much room for error here.

If this road ever gets repaved (and I will let you know) it will be just fantastic! The twistie section on the way down is a bit unique, with some tight ones such as this one at the base of the corner.

Heading down into the valley, still on some nice twistie action.

They hide oil junk everywhere out here.

Down at the base of the valley and the second cattle grate. The hills are quite brown as this ride was initially shot in the late summer of 2002. Green chaparral dots the country side.

A couple more miles of some nice twisties. Road conditions have improved here slightly, but are still in less than favorable conditions.

Through some final straights nearing Palmer Rd.

End of the line, Palmer Road. From here you can go West and back to Hwy 101 or East , to Foxen Canyon Rd.

Highway 101

This website and all material contained within is © Copyright 2002 by Jeffrey Donovan. No portion of this website, or the material contained within the website, may be reproduced, cached, or stored on another computer or storage device in any way, shape or form without the expressed written permission of Jeffrey Donovan.