REMEMBER, these are multi-user trails. It is a local custom and recommended that you use a bell when traversing the trails by bike to warn other users and horses of your approach.
This route covers a great deal of what Lopez Lake has to offer trail-wise and begins at the Park's entrance kiosk. Be aware, parking at this location will incur the County's Day Use fee. There is a location that is free to park if you take Hi Mountain Rd east, right before entering the Park. Just past the intersection with Upper Lopez Canyon, you will see a large fenced dirt lot for equestrian and vehicle parking on the left side. This will add a couple miles of relatively easy pedalling to your overall route. Generally, this is a pretty safe spot to park but don't give thieves a lure to chase.
You will traverse up Cougar Trail that will run alongside some active campsites and then behind them. A short but VERY punchy climb will lead you out onto the road in the Cougar Campsite where you should bear left and immediately pick up the trail that splits the 2 campsites on your right. Cross the road to catch the trail again and you will traverse some great, fun, singletrack that runs behind all the campsites in the park. This leg is pretty much under the canopy of Oak trees so be cautious during wet rides as the duff can be quite slippery...even without moisture at times!
Shortly past your passing of the Mustang Waters Slides, the trail will spit you out onto the road at the Arboleda Group Site. You will go right on Lopez Drive which will quickly turn to an improved dirt road taking you all the way back to the old Camp French Boy Scout Camp. Your routing will be through the parking area and beyond where you will meet the Duna Vista Loop trail. Weaving your way in and out and up and down through the oak canopy and alongside the lake, you will experience a myriad of different grades consisting of punchy, loose climbs and drops and then you'll emerge into the open with a view south looking across the Lopez Lake.
Eventually you will reach the star of the Duna Vista Loop trail which is a steep, shale, grunt of a climb that is about 100 yards long before you arrive at a flat spot to recuperate and then continue on with a long, but far more friendly climb to the summit.
After a sharp right hand switchback, you're only 100 feet from the intersection of the Duna Vista Spur trail. You'll negotiate a series of nicely laid out switchbacks and then you'll begin your gradual descent out in the direction of the Lopez Dam. This trail is a jewel and one of the newest additions in the park built by CCCMB.org volunteers. It's built at sustainable standards so you'll encounter some fun and flowy sections with grade reversals and sweeping turns. Ultimately you'll end up at a fork in the trail which is the small loop at the top of the ridge. You're route will take you right where you'll be exposed to magnificent views of the lake below, the Dam across the valley, and an exposure all the way to the city of Arroyo Grande. Enjoy the Eagle Scout Project bench provided by one of Arroyo Grande's Eagle Scouts. Begin your return on the same trail to reconnect with Duna Vista Loop.
Once back to Duna Vista Loop trail, bear left and work your way up the ridgeline to the true summit where you can pick up the very short spur taking you up to the top where there are 2 benches to take in an absolutely magnificent 360 view with Big Baldy to your north, Tar Springs Ridge to the E/SE, the Oceano Dunes, and Pacific Ocean to your south. A look down, both east and west will give you a great view of both arms of Lopez Lake. The Lopez Arm at the west, and the Wittenberg Arm at the east.
Departing the Duna Vista Summit Trail , a very short, gradual climb will get you to what begins your awesome downhill run and back to the previously travelled stretch of the trail near lakeside. Watch for real loose, root strewn, and chunky segments and turns on your way down. This segment can be very fast and loose so be aware. Near the bottom, you'll encounter several switchbacks shortly before reconnecting at your intersection. Bear left at this opportunity and begin your return leg back on the previously travelled trails, through to the French Camp, and back to Lopez Drive, the paved portion of the route. At Arboleda Group Site, you can choose to return via the Cougar trail or catch the paved road through the campgrounds as depicted in this route. The paved road routed on this route is no slouch. You'll encounter a couple of sections where the uphill will bring on the BURN, only to be rewarded with a speedy downhill return to the Park's entrance Kiosk.
Local Trail AssociationCentral Coast Concerned Mountain Bikers (www.cccmb.org)
Trails in Route
More Stats for Lopez Lake: 13mi / 2550' mountain bike route
Altitude change-2 ft
Altitude min520 ft
Altitude start535 ft
Altitude end533 ft
Distance climb6 miles
Distance down6 miles
Distance flat1 miles
- Snow Packed
- Snow Covered
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
Recent Trail Reports Along Route
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