CAT CANYON RD. Date reviewed - 2/06
Fun . . . . . . . . 4
Difficulty . . . . .High
Traffic . . . . . . None
Driveways . . . .None
Condition . . . . VERY Poor
Length . . . . . .14 miles
I've talked to people who actually call this a road. While I've driven roads in worse shape than this, those roads had the valid excuse of being dirt. I can honestly say that I have never seen a paved road in worse shape. As a friend said, "If they just connect the potholes it would be a nice ride". It seemed that the road wasn't paved as much as it was simply an assemblage of patch jobs. Still, bone-jarring ride aside, this was actually a pretty fun little road.
After looking at the satellite photograph, I'm pretty sure that Thomas Guide has improperly shown the route the road actually takes. While the squiggly grey lines all over the map give the impression it is difficult to figure out which way to go, once there the proper route is obvious. Most of those roads are dirt, driveways, or gated service roads for the oil field. This area seems to be owned by Texaco and other oil companies, but many of the facilities appear closed and are boarded up.
The northern section headed south from Palmer Rd. (yellow on map) maintains a fairly consistent elevation, but this is not to say it is flat. There are plenty of creeks, hillocks, and dips to add spice to the constant left-right-left of the road. If the pavement was in better shape this section would be absolutely amazing, but in addition to the poor maintenance job of the roadway surface you have to contend with plenty of dirt and small rocks - it doesn't appear that many people choose to travel this particular road.
The southern section headed away from Highway 101 is somewhat relaxing, without too many tight corners or elevation changes. Once you crest the top of the hill, however, things start to get very interesting. The center section, while not very long, will probably leave the longest impression in your memory. If you are headed north, you will find yourself dropping down a pretty steep hillside with seemingly endless switchbacks. Again, the pavement here is not your friend. There is no center stripe, the road isn't wide enough for two cars to pass, and guardrails are a luxury not included with this ride. I wouldn't recommend going off the edge, it is a long way down.
A fairly short, and very brutal road, it is still quite fun if treated with respect and can definitely add some color to the post-drive/ride discussions at the next gas stop.- Back to Region
Most of those grey lines are gated or not passable.
Green: Cat Canyon Rd.
Yellow: Palmer Rd.
Blue: Foxen Canyon Rd.
This road is in the worst shape I have ever seen.
You can even see the pothole repair from space! Trust me, conditions have not improved since this photograph was taken.