Carmel Valley Rd

Carmel Valley Rd starts in Carmel-by-the-Sea ay Hwy 1 and follows the Carmel River into Carmel Valley. After around 35 km you come to the first serious (7%-8%) climb, but it's short, just 1.5 km. At kilometer 40, you get to the second climb which extends over 8 km, but its quite moderate with its less than 4% average grade. From the top you roll down to the intersection with Arroyo Seco Rd.

You can take Arroyo Seco Rd East and get back via Fort Romie Rd and River Rd. Arroyo Seco Rd West becomes at dirt road at the entrance to camp ground / day use area of the Los Padres National Forest. The side trip to the Arroyo Seco Gorge is definitely worth it. On bike which can handle rougher conditions, you can continue South on Arroyo Seco / Indian Rd.

At the Northern side you can also continue Laureles Grade Rd. It's relatively busy and doesn't have much of a shoulder, but it's the only connection towards Salinas.

Traffic is moderate to light once you passed Carmel Valley Village.

Yes, there are fall colors in California, too

Upper Carmel Valley

The final stretch to the summit from the Northern approach

Done

Looking South from the summit

The Southern portion of the road

There's a waterfall coming out of the mountain

Southern end of Carmel Valley Rd at intersection with Arroyo Seco Rd