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E-bike guide pointing out trail on Alisal Ranch

The Best Ranch Views from Alisal Ranch's Lead E-bike Tour Guide

Lead e-bike tour guide, Earl Richmond, takes us through his favorite views of Alisal Ranch as seen from the back country trails:

1.) Back country trail view

Girl riding e-bike on Alisal Ranch

Behind Alisal Lake on the unpaved wooded trails you can find single track trails made for one cyclist at a time. Some of these trails are made by cattle and some are man made. One of the benefits of a guided e-bike tour is the opportunity to ride through oak groves that are over 600 years old. “What you’re seeing hasn’t really changed since the 1800s,” says Earl.

2.) Meet Stephen Richmond, Earl’s son and professional rider

Stephen Richmond on Mountain Bike

Earl’s 22-year-old son, Stephen, an award-winning professional mountain bike rider who races in enduro racing (i.e. “up the mountain and back down”) has become very familiar with the Ranch’s many trails. Here he is on the top of Copass Ridge, looking due West, which is a 1,000-foot climb (“hence the usefulness of the e-bike”).

3.) Follow the herd: or is the other way around?

Cow Checking Out Bike Tire

Not only are you primed to see wildlife on an e-bike tour but the resident cattle may come to greet you as well. “The cattle will come within 10 to 15 feet and before you know it, you’ll be surrounded by 100 of them,” says Earl. The bike group will sit and enjoy them for a bit and then earl will wrangle the group through the herd of cattle. “Once one steps backwards, the rest will follow.” Earl has been known to give a “hoop holler” like a wrangler to get them to back up when the crew is ready to continue the ride. “It’s a great experience for guests, even those initially nervous to be near a steer enjoy it.”

4.) Deer Canyon

Deer Canyon on Alisal Ranch

Deer Canyon is located on the east side of the Ranch, looking out toward the Santa Ynez Mountains.

5.) The many faces of cattle

Steer posing for the camera on Alisal Ranch E-Bike Tour

“They come up to us and look at us,” explains Earl of the cow’s curious nature. “They often partner up and you’ll see the same cattle together. These steers have long white eyelashes.”

6.) View from the top

Hill Top View on Copus Ridge, Alisal Ranch

Jake Copass Ridge—named after Alisal Ranch’s former cowboy poet—includes a 1,000-foot climb where you can see the River and Ranch Golf Courses. In fact, you get a great view of almost the entire 10,500 acres of the Ranch from this height. Look down on the right and see your entire ride. It’s an excellent way to feel accomplished. There are three different ways to get back down, giving repeat guests many variations of this trail ride (in addition to the myriad other trails on the Ranch).

7.) Watch the sunset on Alisal Lake

Sunset at Alisal Lake: View from dam

Earl takes evening riders to Alisal Lake at sunset to avoid the horseback riders, ensuring the bikes don’t spook the horses. “It’s a great time to see wildlife”, says Earl. “We have seen black bears a few times on this trail. Don’t worry, the bears ran away each time!” An e-bike tour is a great way to see this side of the Lake.

8.) The springs are flowing this spring!

Rock Creek on Alisal Ranch

There are lots of springs on the ranch including Three Springs Trail which boasts three natural springs, one of which feeds water troughs for the cattle. The springs and creeks are flowing this season due to recent winter rains. “Thanks to the rain, there should be a lot of wildflowers this spring,” says Earl.

With so many gorgeous views to take in, many only accessible by e-bike, a guided tour is a “must do” activity when visiting the Ranch. To book a guided pedal-assisted mountain e-bike tour of the Ranch, contact (805) 693-4209 or email Ranchconcierge@alisal.com. Rides are offered in the morning (8-10am) and evening (3-5pm in the winter and 4-6pm in the summer). Find out more about Earl and an inside look at our e-bike tours in our latest blog post.

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