Skyline Blvd-Oakland Hills

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

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Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is a great place to start this short ride; free parking, restrooms and water are available at this site.

The 10.4 mile stretch of Skyline Blvd from Sibley out to the south end at Grass Valley Rd has plenty to offer; good and bad pavement, flat to rolling terrain, short steep climbs and fast descents, redwood trees and fabulous city views!

From Sibley, the road nicely descends towards Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve and levels out from the tri-intersection at Snake, Colton and Manzanita. Stay to the left to continue on Skyline and watch for traffic in all directions. The road conditions for the next half mile or so is really bad with many wide open potholes, huge cracks and uneven pavement. It greatly improves as you near Pinehurst and Shepard Canyon.

The road continues on rolling terrain with short steep pitches of 6-9% through the residential neighborhoods and hugs the NW end of Redwood Regional Park. The towering redwoods come into view as you pass Piedmont Pines and cut through Redwood Park and Joaquin Miller Park towards the Chabot Space & Science Center. There are many trails here that are popular with mountain bikers-pay attention to possible bike crossings!

This area is also part of Oakland’s rich horse history; the M H A-Metropolitan Horseman’s Association clubhouse is located here and the Sequoia Horse Arena across the road at Joaquin Miller Park.

The summit of Skyline Blvd is located near the entrance to Roberts Regional Recreation Area. The road descends quickly to the traffic light at the intersection with Joaquin Miller Rd. Make a left turn at the signal to continue on Skyline Blvd-this is also a fantastic spot to stop and take in the spectacular views from the top of the ridge!


The speedy descent towards Redwood Rd brings you to a series of climbs with gradient ranges of 6-11% and short downhills for the next 4.6 miles. This less traveled section of Skyline Blvd is one of the most gorgeous roads in the Oakland hills! The first 2.5+ miles is a four lane road with a beautiful median strip filled with towering coniferous trees. You can instantly feel the quiet serenity of the whole area.

This area is home to Skyline High School and upper end mansions and estates with magnificent sweeping views of the Bay Area and beyond!

As you near Keller Ave, Skyline becomes a 2 lane road all the way to the turnaround point at the Anthony Chabot Regional ParkClyde Woolridge Staging Area. You can sometimes hear the loud sounds of gunfire from the Chabot Gun Club. Do take the time to enjoy the surrounding landscapes of the regional parks.

From Grass Valley, you just turn around and head back up Skyline Blvd to the start at Sibley Park. The climbs on the return up to Robert’s Park have gradient ranges of 6-11%.

You’ll also see more of Oakland’s equestrian heritage as you pass the paddocks and stables of the Chabot Equestrian Center. It’s amazing to find that these stables still exist within the confines of a growing community of homes that seems to get larger and larger.

The possibilities are endless to adding more miles and climbing to this out & back on Skyline Blvd. So, get on out there and explore!

VDO Stats:
20.8 miles with ~ +/-2328′ of elevation gain
Average grade: 5%
Max grade: 11%

Weather: COLD-Foggy overcast skies with cool temps in the mid 50’s.

When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes
monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road, without thought on anything but the ride you are
taking. ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Click here to view the route map & profile

One Comment

  1. Nancy, Thanks for the really great pics and thoughtful, informative commentary! I learn more about our local places each time I read your Chronicles. jim

    Jim, Thanks-we not only have to get out and ride but also take the time to look at what’s around us. Nancy


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