Cuyama Roads Survey
Attached is a pdf with pics of the worst spots of the road. I drove the loop up Bates Canyon, east across Sierra Madre, down Santa Barbara Canyon, and back out to the 166. I ran out of time and thus did not attempt the detour up to Alamar. Ultimately the trip was kind of boring because the roads were all in such good shape. I drove the whole loop without having to move a single rock out of the road, never used 4x4, etc. The road shows signs of recent flood activity between Santa Barbara Potrero and Reyes Ranch, but it all seems to have been fixed since then. In fact, I found an example of where Rick and I took a picture in almost the exact same place (see Before & After pdf). If you look real close you can see the same log in the bottom left of both pics. Clearly someone came through and used a machine of some sort to clear the rocks and even the road bed. The conditions I observed can easily be driven by anyone with a regular high clearance truck or SUV.
The worst obstacle I encountered is a 300lbs boulder on the shoulder of the road just east of Macpherson Peak, but vehicles can steer around it to the left. There are some encroaching bushes that need to be trimmed in that area as well.
Temps were about 100 in Cuyama and 85 up on the ridge. Spits of rain came and went but not enough to even wet the ground. I saw three motorcycles along Bates Canyon Road but no full sized vehicles or hikers. Someone was at the tin shack cabin up at the potrero. I saw no running or pooled water in Cottonwood or Bates Canyons. There was a little bit of pooled water near the Santa Barbara Canyon Trailhead, but not much. All gates were locked and in good working order. The pit toilet at Painted Rock is out of TP.