|Highway 154 - Foxen Canyon Rd|
|Foxen Canyon Rd is yet another of my favorite
rides in Santa Barbara County. It is 31.3 miles long, with a good portion of
the ride on excellent road with light traffic. It also takes you through some
fantastic scenery, right through the heart of wine country.
Foxen Canyon dishes it all up, rolling straightaways, wide sweepers, tight switchbacks and overall excellent twisties. I would recommend this ride to motorcyclists of all types, there is something for everyone here.
Foxen Canyon also connects to Zaca Station Rd, Alisos Canyon Rd, Tepusquet Canyon Rd, and Palmer Rd (which connects to Cat Canyon Rd), making for numerous variations of this ride.
A quick note about this one; the sports-car enthusiasts are also well aware of Foxen Canyon and make good use of it. On twistie sections, they really like to hug the center line, so use caution in the blind corners. Fortunately, a good majority of the twisty sections have real good visibility and traffic is for the most part, very light. You also have people in 4 wheel powered cages coming out of the wineries. Keep in mind that they did not go there to sip the spring water; some may not be in top driving form.
The Foxen Canyon ride was shot going from Foxen Canyon Rd in Los Olivos to Foxen/Betteravia Rd. in Santa Maria.
|Foxen Canyon Rd, From Hwy 154 just north-west of Los Olivos
to Hwy 101 in Santa Maria. It is 5.70 miles from the Hwy 246 (Santa
Ynez/Solvang exit), and 2.4 miles from the north end at Hwy 101 (which at
that point Foxen has turned into Betteravia Rd).
3D Contour Map
Foxen Canyon Rd is well marked on Hwy 154.
|Starting off with some straights through some residential
ranches of Los Olivos...
|Soon you are into the open country side, through some
straights and gentle sweepers. Road conditions are descent, with no potholes,
but some patching.
|Gentle rolling hills carry your bike around the
|Big, wide sweeper taking you into the heart of the wine
|Getting close to the Zaca Station Rd junction through the
|The Zaca Station Rd junction. Zaca Station Rd goes to the
left, while Foxen Canyon Rd goes to the right. If you are coming the opposite
direction, from the north side of Foxen Canyon, you really need to watch for
this, it is not very well marked.
|Road conditions deteriorate here. Patching and bumpiness are
the norm, but no real potholes to speak of.
|Fes Parker's winery. For those of you not old enough to
remember, Fess Parker was a famous actor in the 1950's/1960's (and re-run
well into the 70's), staring in the TV series "Daniel Boone" and
"Davy Crocket". Every time I ride by here the theme song just pops
into my head "Daniel Boone was a man! Yes, a big man! With a dream of a
country that'd Always forever be free". It annoys me to some extent,
but regardless it always pops into my head. Fess is still very much alive and
has since become a legend in the County for things unrelated to his acting
career, the winery being just one of them.
|Continuing through the chaparral, you can see some of the
patching on the road here...
|Getting into some good twistie action....
|When you hit this straightaway, at the Zaca Winery, slow
down. This is the worst stretch of the road and is extremely bumpy. I've nearly
catapulted myself out of the saddle on more than one occasion here. About a
mile beyond this you have good road to look forward to...
|About 10.5 miles into the ride and you hit quality road that
is in near perfect condition, right where you need it; through the
Canyon Rd exit. Alisos Canyon goes directly to Highway 101 and exits about
2 miles south of Los Alamos. If you find yourself low on gas at this point
Alisos Canyon is only about 6.5 miles, then you have another 2 miles to Los
Alamos (and a gas station).
|Life is good on a road like this, when your on a
|Some real nice twisties and very light traffic. Road
conditions are still near perfect.
|You will also get a good fill of straightaways, passing
through some farmland and smaller wineries.
|There is a lot of Mother Nature to take in on this ride.
Ranches, farms, wineries, great twisties, good road, is this rich or what?
|Where the road goes, I will go.
|I do not know this rider, but it sure looks like he (or
she) is having fun! I mean, look at that switchback he/she just came
|The Foxen Memorial Plaque, erected in 1926.
|Back to the twisties, zooming through the country side.
|Foxen Canyon Winery. Those wooden sheds to the right are the
tasting rooms for the Foxen Canyon Winery. They are authentic remnants from the
1800's. While I would never condone drinking while riding, if you've got some
saddlebags with empty space, Foxen is one bottle you want to fill that space up
with and enjoy after you return home.
|The twisties just don't quit. A good deal of these are
gentle sweeping corners, not real tight, you can keep the throttle pretty
steady through a good portion of this ride.
|Now your getting back to some farm country through some
|The Tepusquet Road
Intersection. Tepusquet Road is one of my favorite rides, and while there are a
few nice sections of Foxen Canyon Rd left, the best is now really over.
Tepusquet makes a terrific connector to Highway 166 and I highly recommend
|These corners are just fantastic!
|When you get to this monstrosity you know the ride is
nearing the end. It is obviously not one of your plush wineries or secluded
ranch retreats. Your now going through some more industrial farming
Rd Junction. Palmer road continues to the left, Foxen road continues to the
right. Palmer Rd is a nice run back to 101.
|Ok a few nice wide sweepers left on Foxen Canyon.
|Through the final straights, which last for a few miles. At
some point which is not at all obvious, Foxen Canyon Rd turns into Betteravia
Rd. Just stick to it, your nearing Hwy 101 and Santa Maria...
|End of the line, Santa Maria and Hwy 101. If your up for a
long ride, you've got a lot of options. If your out for a small loop, there are
a couple of neat alternatives to get you back to the sweet spots of Foxen
Canyon for a run back in the other direction (shown below).
If you are riding Foxen Canyon starting in Santa Maria, you will want to exit Hwy 101 on the Betteravia exit.
If you headed north and ended on Foxen/Betteravia in Santa Maria, come back down going south on 101 to Palmer Road. Palmer Rd will take you back to Foxen right at the north end of the twisties and the wine country. If you headed south and ended on Foxen in Los Olivos, head west on 154 to Hwy 101, then north to Alisos Canyon Rd. Take Alisos Canyon road to Foxen, it puts you back right were the quality road begins.
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