Cycling is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of Lompoc while breaking a sweat! Explore gorgeous vineyard-covered hillsides, historic downtown architecture, flower fields and pristine beaches along your two wheel journey. Tackle some of the best (and most scenic) bike rides in Lompoc with these four easy-to-medium-to-challenging trails boasting plenty of exciting views and stops along the way.
Distance: 10 miles
For a ride that combines a historic downtown with amazing water views, start in Old Town, Lompoc along Ocean Avenue. As you ride through town, you’ll notice the city’s commitment to art. Lompoc is home to 40 murals that cover alleyways and prominent buildings all over town. In between Ocean Avenue and Cypress Avenue, you’ll find Art Alley. It’s about a six-block radius that has the highest concentration of murals.
After riding through Art Alley, stop at one of our downtown eateries for lunch before heading out of town, and then follow Ocean Avenue right to Ocean Beach Park. Here you’ll find a park where the mouth of the Santa Ynez River provides the perfect spot for a little R&R. Keep your eye out for rare birds that use the area as a nesting ground as well.
Jalama Road from the Pacific Coast Highway
Distance: 13 miles
The Pacific Coast Highway is an iconic ride for cyclists. Riders who stick to the highway, which runs the entire length of California, are looking at a 650-mile ride. Of course, there are many trails and off-shoots along the way that take riders away from the busy highway. One of those must-see stretches is Jalama Road.
From Lompoc, riders make a 4-mile trek south along the Pacific Coast Highway and find Jalama Road. You can also drive to a small parking area just off the Pacific Coast Highway and start your trip right on Jalama Road.
The road starts out secluded and shaded, but you’ll quickly climb through the valley where you’ll see farms dotting the hills. You’ll come around and bend, and there it is – the Pacific Ocean.
Keep riding, and you’ll find Jalama Beach, a quiet, windswept spot that’s one of Lompoc’s top five photo-worthy spots. After snapping a few pictures and walking along the beach, head to Jalama Beach Grill, home of the famous Jalama Burger. Locals and tourists alike rave about it.
Distance: 34 miles for entire loop
This loop circles the Santa Rita Hills, known for their beauty and vineyards. Most of the 34-mile ride runs along Santa Ynez River, where you traverse remote roads that are home to rolling hills and farms. The entire trip takes you through Ballard Canyon by way of a neighboring town, Solvang.
If you’re not up for 34 miles, you can easily break the trail into smaller, more manageable pieces. You can ride 17 miles roundtrip from Lompoc out to Santa Rosa County Park, for example, or you can cut that distance in half and ride from Lompoc out to the Sanford Winery. You won’t be disappointed with any ride you chose.
Drum Canyon to Harris Grade
Distance: 17 miles
A few miles northeast of Lompoc is Drum Canyon Road. You can follow it south as it whirls its way around the Purisima Hills with a steep climb to the canyon summit. It’s a narrow, isolated road where you’ll encounter beautiful farm country, and a descent with winding, breathtaking views of the valley. You’ll take Highway 246 from there, passing by La Purisima Mission State Park. As the most extensively restored mission in California, it’s worth a stop.
After visiting the mission, turn right on Rucker Road, which eventually meets Harris Grade Road. It’s another challenging trek with demanding gradients, but the summit here is unbeatable too with views of valley crops and Lompoc in the distance.
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