valley views

Marin: Red Hill-Spring Hill-Chileno Valley-Wilson Hill

Sunday, August 23, 2015

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This ride heads north from Nicasio to Petaluma via Red Hill on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for a stop at the Bovine Bakery. Continue west through the beautiful valley on Spring Hill Rd to Tomales Rd. Return east along the gorgeous Chileno Valley and climb Wilson Hill back to Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.

Begin this ride from Nicasio Square.

Head north on Nicasio Valley Rd for 3.3 scenic miles through the Nicasio Valley. Enjoy the expansive pastoral meadows and views of Nicasio Reservoir.

Turn right on  Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the mile long 6-8% climb up to the summit; the descent drops down the other side of the valley towards the Marin French Cheese Factory.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd continues through Hicks Valley with gorgeous views of the open grasslands and agricultural farmlands!

The climb up south Red Hill begins at mile marker 2.83; it’s 0.4 mile with gradient ranges of 9-11%.

The twisty descent leads you down through the valley ranches out to San Antonio Rd.

The road name changes to D St as it crosses into Sonoma County. Dt St continues north with a few gentle climbs up to a high point at the eucalyptus stands.

D St sweeps down the hill into Petaluma; it cuts across town through the residential neighborhoods towards the downtown area on 4th St.

Bovine Bakery stop on Kentucky St:

The left turn on Western St takes you out of town through the old downtown area pass the creameries, churches and neighborhoods to the junction at Chileno Valley Rd.

The road name changes to Spring Hill Rd; this quiet bucolic country back road stretches 7.2 rolling bumpy miles through the gorgeous valley to Bodega Ave. The road begins with a short steep climb from the Springhill Montessori School up to a high point at the open cattle barn; it’s half a mile with gradient of 6-9.5%.

The road eases down to lesser grades of 4-6% as it rolls up towards the Azari Vineyards and scattered ranch homes.

Spring Hill Rd continues on rolling terrain through the rural country side with grand views of the expansive valley.

The road climbs up from the equestrian facility to a high point at the red barn before dropping down for a bumpy descent through the valley floor.

Spring Hill rolls through the country dairy farms and ranches to Bodega Ave.

Turn left onto Bodega Ave followed by an immediate left onto Tomales Rd; the road goes through the flat valley on smooth pavement along the USCG Training Center before crossing back into Marin County.

Make a left onto Chileno Valley Rd; this idyllic country back road turns south along a creek for a short climb up towards the cattle ranch; it’s 0.6 mile with grades of 3-6%.

The road descends pass the farmhouse and cattle barns before curving eastward along Chileno Creek through Chileno Valley.

Chileno Valley Rd continues on gentle rolling terrain through the expansive ranch lands and open meadows.

The terrain levels out as you reach the dairy farm and the blue waters at Laguna Lake; it continues along the valley floor through a scattering of ranches and farm houses before coming to a T at Wilson Hill Rd.

Turn right onto Wilson Hill Rd; the flat rolling terrain leads to a steep climb at mile marker 0.88-it’s 0.96 mile with an average grade of 8.9% and steep pitches of 11-12% up to the summit at mile marker 1.84 along Antonio Mountain.

Enjoy the wonderful valley views!

Wilson Hill Rd drops down swiftly from the ridge onto Hicks Valley Rd. Hicks Valley Rd goes along a less traveled road through a small ranching area.

The climb up Hammock Hill leads down to the expansive valley meadows with hillside vineyards and open pastoral lands.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd south goes through the picturesque Hicks Valley with beautiful views of Hicks Mountain and the wide open valley.

Stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the short climb up and over into Nicasio Valley.

Splendid valley views!

The flat terrain on Nicasio Valley Rd rolls around the reservoir to Nicasio.

This is a wonderful scenic loop out to Petaluma with a climb up Red Hill. You’ll enjoy the long traffic-free stretches of quiet country back roads from Spring Hill to Chileno Valley and Wilson Hill!

Garmin Stats:
49.51 Miles with 3212′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 738′
Max grade: 12%
Terrain: Moderately hilly with a few steep climbs

Weather: Overcast morning skies > brilliant afternoon sun. Temps ranged from the high 50’s to the high 70’s with NW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Red Hill Springhill

Follow this route for today’s ride: