Santa Barbara, CA - Imperial Beach, CA (251 miles)
Adventure Cycling Association
Because the heavy traffic tends to be even heavier in summer, we recommend that you ride this route in the spring or autumn. May and September-October are the best months for riding. Note that during summer, strong winds prevail from north to south. In Santa Barbara and the towns surrounding it, prepare for urban riding conditions. US 101 between Santa Barbara and Ventura is closed to bicyclists, so you'll ride on city streets and county roads. The route stays close to sea level here. Traffic levels build near Ventura and Oxnard, then taper off until Los Angeles County. You'll ride on a bike path through Emma Wood State Beach north of Ventura, and join SR 1 southeast of Port Hueneme. South of the Ventura/Los Angeles County line you'll ride through Malibu on a four-and six lane freeway with wide shoulders. Traffic is heavier on weekends and during the summer. Through Los Angeles you'll be using beachside bicycle and pedestrian paths. You'll follow city streets through Palos Verdes Estates and Long Beach, then rejoin the busy Pacific Coast Highway, which has shoulders. You'll encounter busy local traffic on CR S21 in San Diego County; the road shoulders are continuous. South of La Jolla, you'll pedal along residential streets and bicycle/pedestrian paths through San Diego. A ferry takes you to Coronado and a path along Silver Strand Beach. The route ends at the Border Field State Park south of Imperial Beach, where the U.S.A and Mexico share the border at the Pacific Ocean.
Current Printed Version: 2016
Average rating: based on 16 reviews.
Beware Camp Pendleton
mark swedlund on 11/5/16
First I want to say I have now done the entire Pacific Coast using these maps and they were great. In fact, I intentionally deviated from the maps 3 times, (twice in Oregon and once in SoCal and each time I paid the price of too much traffic, ugly climbs, etc. As a friend said, these maps contain the tribal knowledge,
THERE IS ONE THING ANYONE DoING MAP 5 needs to know. Passing through Camp Pendleton, south of San Clemente now requires you to sign up online for a security clearance 7 days in advance. And when you get there you must show valid ID. In my case, I'd have not gotten through anyway as they were doing military exercises for several days and no-one was allowed through. This was not a disaster for me, because I had a SAG driver, but for the self-supported guy I met, stuck 100 miles from the end on the entire Coast, it was a real hurdle. The only options are to return to SanClemente and take a bus or train to bypass or to bike down I-5 which is a nasty alternative.
Santa Barbara to San Diego
Mike Beringhaus on 10/15/15
The map worked great. I cut the map along each page section, used sticky clear sheets to laminate both sides of each page. Punched a hole in the end of each sheet and connected them all together with a key ring loop. The pages fit in the pocket of my jersey for ready reference as I rode along.
Only draw back was, some municipalities don't identify there streets very well and I missed a few turns along the way, but got back on track by showing the map to a local resident, all of which were happy to help. .
A customer from Right now, LA. on 3/5/12
I just finished touring the California coast and used we sections 3, 4, and 5. I had to wait for 5 it was on backorder. 5 was just as good as the others as far as route and info, but it was printed on noticeably lower quality paper and prefolded with little care. It made using it a pain. Difficult to fold and not loose info. Difficult to slip in the handlebar map case. Methinks a cheaper printer was contracted for poor section 5.
Pacific Coast Route, Sections 4 and 5
Sasha Kwapinski on 2/28/12
Rode the route both ways from Monterey Bay to San Diego and back in 2008, and then down again on a ride across the country in Spring of 2010. The maps were indispensable, and helpful in showing where it is legal to ride the freeways and where not to. In urban areas that I am not familiar with, I have found that it is helpful to get a regular (AAA-type) map to show the whole area in perspective.
Haven't used it yet, but looks great
Alissa Barnard on 8/8/11
My sister and I are planning to cycle this section of the pacific coast this winter, and the map seems to have all of the information we were looking for. Won't really know how good it is until we ride the route, and I do wish it had topography information, but we will try to research that on google instead. Overall, very compact and weatherproof - looking forward to using it!
If it's consistent with other's I've use.....
Robert Colvin on 8/3/11
I've not used the map so far, but my experience with others I've used is that they are almost always spot on accurate and easy to use. I do look forward to my trip in Feb of '12. Any issues, I'll let you know.
Section 5 Pacific Coast Route
A customer from San Luis Obispo, Ca on 10/5/10
I find all of the ACA maps to be quite helpful. Most people initially have trouble orienting the map to north, but once its explained the maps are great. The maps I have used are accurate. I have only had trouble at one or two intersections. Especially like the new elevation profile on the Sierra Cascades route.
A customer from Steamboat Springs, CO USA on 6/19/10
I bought a couple of copies of this map as a group of us rode from San Diego to Santa Barbara. We did not find them particularly helpful--not much better than a general road map. We had notes and suggestions from other people who had done the ride that were much more explicit. I felt like I could have saved the price of the maps since we really did not use them very much--only for distances.
Santa Barbara to San Diego mase easy
A customer from Montreal, QC, Canada on 4/4/10
The map was very accurate and detailed where necessary to get us through the tricky parts. The only complaint I had was the lack of precision concerning campground locations. If the tent symbol was indicated slightly off of the bike route it wasn't clear how far off the route we needed to go. For example one evening the campsite turned out to be a 1 hour 30minute detour from our route and we arrived just before dark. Of course its up to you to plan ahead but a little more detail or info about this would be nice.
Otherwise a great product and I will definetly use these maps for other tours in the US.
Pacific Coast Route - Section 4 and 5
Thomas Nelson on 12/4/09
These maps were excellent tools during the planning stage of my trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles. However, while on the "road" these maps were essential to the day to day comfort that I experienced. The comprehensive information contained in the maps put my mind at ease for locating quickly the services required by a self contained cyclist traveling alone. My trip would have been far more stressful and therefore less enjoyable without my ACA Maps. Thank you.
Review of Section 5 per your request.
Tim Tolford on 11/4/09
Sorry so late to respond but were in Washington State when we got this request. We loved the sections 2 - 5 and wished you had one for the Peninsular route for Washington. My comments are from our ride south from Vancouver to Imperial Beach.
1) Topos. were missing. Even though generally flat section it would have been nice to look into the future. Loved the topos on Sections 2 - 4.
2) Map 59 - a local showed us a bypass below and around a big hill in Malibu. Riding south on PCH take a right on Malibu Road, ride 2.25 mi. until reconnects to PCH.
3) Map 60A - at the end of the bike path just before it hite Torrance Blvd. the path runs under and through a hotel and its parking garage, path is POORLY marked. Last 0.5 mi. of Torrance Blvd. is VERY narrow and busy with a blind curve...watch out!
4) Map 64C - bike path in front of SD Airport along N. Harbor Drive crosses Harbor Island Drive but has no markings...DO NOT take Harbor Island Drive unless you want a nice view of SD Harbor.
5) Map 64E - Border Field State Park is closed. I would recommend taking exit from bike path entering Imperial Beach onto 7th St. South. Croee Rt 75, take next right on Palm Ave. to the beach. To get to the furthest southern point, take left on Ocean Lane to the end.
Pac Coast Route
A customer from San Diego, California on 10/2/09
1st rode in 1977; did Canada - Mex. in 1980, portions of route many times. This summer, Monterey to San Diego.
Still fun, maps still work.
Is there an alternate route mapped through Los Olivos, Cachuma Lake, San Marcos Pass to Santa Barbara? That route is fun, too.
Bottleneck right where Santa Monica begins has been hell for years. Still is.
Some maps route from Redondo Beach over Palos Verdes Peninsula, to Wilmington; the current path more inland, through Torrance, is not pretty, but it works much better.
No topo profile on southernmost route means some might assume the last 200 miles are quite flat. The hill at Torrey Pines s. of Del Mar will dispprove that.
Works like a charm
Ed Johnson on 9/21/09
I've used these maps three separate times over the past 20 years. Always work great.
Great Parks North instead
John Spence on 7/7/09
We didn't end up doing this ride. 3 of us- my son , his buddy and myself ended up doing a Missoula-Missoula loop ride of 13 days, just under 900 miles- we used the Great Parks north map for part of the ride and then went on our own into Idaho. Your map was very good- we liked the low traffic roads that we were on approaching Glacier and it was very good to have all the info re:campgrounds, grocery stores, etc.
Michael Clemson on 12/25/06
A couple of confusing turns, but otherwise very good
Santa Barbara to Imperial Beach
Peter Wagner on 12/25/06
Excellent - particularly getting through LA! Key is staying aware of "bike route" signs. These maps were critical to our trip.