Friday, February 24, 2012

Tuna Canyon Rd - First Descent

Exploring the Santa Monica Mountains has its moments. The famous Rock Store is the only cafe.
Water refills have to be pre-planned with precision. Some roads are way too busy with cars.
Paying attention to your road position is essential, as motorcyclists and sports cars abound & play here at speed.

It is way worth putting up with these small issues ...... the roads are almost perfect.
The surfaces are superb, the views spectacular, the climbing endless and the descents .... well, the descents are FAST. 

The Vicroads of this area must know a thing or two about safety. They have a few tricks in place.
Like continuous yellow double lines to tell everyone to stay on their side of the road. They even gorge ripple holes in with the double yellows, so that if you do happen to venture to the line on one of the tighter-than-expected corners, you get a rude awakening. 

The authorities gave up on one road though. It is too steep, too narrow ...... too dangerous for cars going in opposite directions to safely pass. Few guard rails, big drops off some corners.

So they made it into a racers dream, by making it ONE WAY.
Instead of it being one way up, they made it one way DOWN. Whoever approved this, obviously drives a sports car. 

And of course, this road is .....
One way downhill, make sure you have good brakes.

Tuna Canyon Rd has turned out to be my most surprising discovery on this trip.
I knew of it before. It comes off Fernwood. But Fernwood is such a nice road that it has been my choice route up/down to the top of Saddle Peak and Stunt (remember, this is the junction of the Santa Monica Mountains Crucifix). 
Once I even stopped at the start of Tuna, and peered down it. The surface looked great and I wondered how far down the wash outs & gravelly bits started. I even knew it quickly turned into a One Way road. Because of the bad surface .....  or so I had thought.

Then I discovered something quite different .... Tuna Canyon has been reviewed as a 5 ....
being the most FUN road in the whole area !!
6.5Km of ONE WAY only .... DOWN. 
Two way becomes one way, and look at how the road narrows.
The first of the stop signs, to force- check the road ahead.
Quickly the road starts dropping at 8%
That might be a bit of a guard rail, but the next right hander had none !
Lot's of skid marks here .... and why not. You can run off into the scrub.

Fast here !
With no fear of up coming traffic, hug the LHS line, drop in fast to the RHS and try and stay off the brakes ......
NO WAY ..... this is my first go !
The road was covered in tyres marks heading into the tightest corners.
Some were from single wheels ....
Half way and still a long way to get down to the ocean at PCH. 
Looking back up at 16%
Whoa .....
This guy was going up another 16% section ... slowly
Reviewed highly. Link here for a detailed description from a sports car driver.
My Garmin Connect ride map


  1. Baz - How good does it look ! I'll pass those tips on to my colleagues at VicRoads.

    1. LR, maybe you should add a suggestion as to a suitable road to close to One Way Down.
      Arthurs Seat maybe .... ?