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Tepusquet Road

Tepusquet Road is another one of my favorite rides, offering 16 miles of twisty bliss through tree-lined roads and California chaparral. The ride stretches from from Hwy 166 in Santa Maria (San Louis Obispo County) to Foxen Canyon Rd (Santa Barbara County).

While the road conditions on the north end of the ride are less than favorable, almost the entire south side was completely repaved sometime in August of 2002 and is in perfect condition. It's my hope that the north side will also be repaved soon (I will keep you posted on that).

I would recommend this ride to any motorcyclist. Sport bike riders will surely appreciate the twistie extravaganza, cruisers and tourers can enjoy both the ride, the scenery and make a nice day of it by connecting to other scenic, fun routes in the area, such as Foxen Canyon Rd.

Tepusquet Road stretches from Hwy 166 to Foxen Canyon Rd. The turnoff for the north end of Tepusquet Road is approx. 15 miles on Hwy 166, from Hwy 101. The south end turnoff is 19.8 miles on Foxen Canyon, from Los Olivos.

3D Contour Map

Tepusquet Road is well marked coming from either direction on Hwy 166. There is only one way to turn into it, heading south.

You start on some pretty rough, dry road.

Soon the road smooths out, but it can still be very patchy in spots. Gentle sweepers begin almost immediately into the ride.

About 2 miles into the ride the road turns into single lane through the lower tree line. While traffic is usually extremely light, there can be the occasional car, motorcyclists or bicyclist. Use caution in the blind corners.

My favorite road sign. Thank you Mr. Road Engineer.

Twisties in and out of the trees. While not in the best condition, the road is certainly good enough to make the north side quite enjoyable.

Some tight switchbacks greet you...

Tight sweeper. This patch shows probably the worst of the road conditions on the way up. Some patching, some deterioration and a pot-hole here and there.

The grade is getting a little steeper here...

Looking back down over a spectacular section....

You do get an occasional small straightaway here and there....

Some of the views from the top of the north side.

And now descending into the valley. The road is still a bit spotty here.

Big wide sweeper and last of the poorer road....

Fresh Pavement! Yes! Sometime in August of 2002 nearly the entire south side of Tepusquet Road was resurfaced and repaved. When this ride was initially shot in late August/early September 2002 the condition of the road was spectacular.

Again my favorite sign! Heading down the canyon on some gentle sweepers...

While this is a twistie paradise, you do also get your share of straightaways.

Starting to get into some tighter corners. Note the light gravel build up on the roadside. This is not common on the majority of the road, but will occur in some sections. Keep and eye out for it.

Great road, great twisties, through the treeline. For me, there is no other way to experience a road like this except on a motorcycle (ok a bicycle would be quite a blast as well).

Light changes when motoring through the trees can be dramatic. Keep this in mind if wearing a dark shield or glasses, the shadows can be upon you in an instant.


See A 25 Second Biker-Cam Video Clip of Tepusquet!

Big sweeper....

Just look at that road! Bring it on! The twisties just don't quit...

Coming down towards the base of the valley, mailboxes and fences of local residents dot the roadside.

Gradual elevation changes carry your bike around the corners.

Getting out into the farming/ranching community. There is really some terrific scenery to see here.

Deer Farm.

Back through some rolling sweepers, straightaways and the occasional switch back.

Now you are approaching the wine country. Vineyards start to pop up along the country side.

The fork of Tepusquet Road and Santa Maria Mesa Rd. You want to make a left at this fork, bearing south-east.

The gravel ravine. You need to cross this small section of gravel. It only lasts to the crest of the ravine on the other side, and is about 300 ft. It is easily passable.

End of the line, Foxen Canyon Road. From here you can make a left and hit some of the best sections of Foxen Canyon. You can also go right and get to Palmer Rd (and Cat Canyon Rd) or Hwy 101.

If your starting from Foxen Canyon Rd, this is what Tepusquet will look like heading into the ride.

Wine Country.

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