“A short climb on the best county road you'll find in Yolo. An awesome quick get away.
— Lance Buck
Road 53 is unique. According to the Yolo County Surveyor, Road 53 has been a public right-of-way since 1889.
You have two options for this ride. You can park at the Guinda post office but I like to park across town at the Vernon A. Nichols County Park is located where Co. Rd. 57 Crosses Cache Creek. Start by heading up Forrest Ave. (aka. Road 53) toward the mountains. At the end of the paved section of the road, the road will turn left (south) and you'll see a gate (see the photo on the side).
The gate will have two signs on it; the first sign will be in the center, and will read: "Livestock - Keep gate closed". The second sign will say "No Trespassing", and will have a handwritten message saying "All the land behind this gate is private property." Trespassers will be prosecuted by the owner. The sign is misleading. Yes, all the land is private, but it is a PUBLIC road. So you may hike it, or bike it.
Be aware that while this is a public road, it does cross over private property. This means that if you leave the right-of-way, you'll be trespassing. However, so long as you stay on the road, you're fine. Respect the private property, the property owners are naturally wary of visitors, and have posted ample 'no trespassing' signs, but again, it is a public road, so know your rights and respect theirs, and everyone will get along fine.
Need to Know
Stay on the 50-foot wide right-of-way! There are some tempting cattle trails along the creek bottom; don't do it! You'll put the use of this area in jeopardy!
The Gate crossings are annoying, but hang in there it quickly gets very interesting. The narrow road is quickly enveloped by the canyon and surrounding trees. There is an old bridge at about the 3 mile mark, here is where the climbing starts. The grade kicks up and the switch backs kick in. With good technique it is all very ride-able and the views are fantastic. There is even a large, picturesque waterfall in the spring after good rains.
Spoil yourself by rolling on to where the public access ends at two big gates. Then turn around and enjoy the quick descent. There are some switchbacks that you do NOT want to miss; the loose gravel and abrupt drops should keep you in check if you have good disc brakes. Retrace your ride back to the car or look for the Road 57
climb on the other side of the valley for an additional grind.