Pigs, Bears & Wildcat

Saturday, January 26, 2013

View the entire Google Web Album

We’re doing a local ride today that leaves from our house out to Pig Farm, around the Bears and up Wildcat Canyon to Inpsiration Point.

We take Alhambra Valley Rd from Martinez and head west for the short 7-8% climb up the gentler side of Pig Farm Hill. The descent brings us to the turn onto Bear Creek Rd for the 7% climbs on Mama Bear, Papa Bear and the shorter 9-11% climb up Baby Bear. The Bears follows the western edge of Briones Park and goes along the SE side of Briones Reservoir up to Camino Pablo/San Pablo Dam Rd. It’s a quiet back road with minimal traffic, great pavement and outstanding views.

We continue on Wildcat Canyon for the next 2.5 miles, the first mile up has an average grade of 7%, after passing El Toyonal Rd; it eases to grades of 4-5% up to Inspiration Point. There are restrooms at Inspiration Point but no water. There are picnic tables under the grove of eucalyptus trees and a Overlook area with several park benches. You get spectacular views of the landscape surrounding the East Bay Hills, Wildcat Canyon Park, San Pablo Reservoir and even Mount Diablo!


We turn around and descend Wildcat Canyon and continue on San Pablo Dam Rd; this road follows the west side San Pablo Reservoir into El Sobrante. The turn up Castro Ranch Rd takes us through the residential areas of Carriage Hills. The descent drops us down to Alhambra Valley Rd.

We head east on Alhambra Valley Rd for the next 7.6 miles; this area has minimal traffic with gorgeous views of the rolling hillsides, open grasslands and grazing cattle. Unfortunately, this stretch of road is also a very popular dumping ground for trash and other recyclables. Why pay a fee at the local landfill when you can sneak around here in the dark and dump it all for free? It’s a pretty disgusting!

The climb up the west side of Pig Farm Hill begins after passing Bear Creek Rd; the average grade for the next 1.5 miles is at 7%. The last half mile up to the top is steep with gradient ranges of 13-16%! But the reward for the climb is the fast rolling 3.5 mile descent all the way down towards Reliez Valley Rd.

We retrace our way into Martinez on Alhambra Ave to Vine Hill Way back to Morello and Holiday Highlands Park.

I love a ride that gives me quality miles with quality climbing; I even get to ride out from home-What can get better than that!

VDO Stats:
49.1 miles with 4340′ of elevation gain *extra 6 miles gained from having to go back home to switch bikes.
Avg grade: 4%
Max grade: 16%

Weather: GREAT! Sunny and clear with cool temps ranging from the mid to high 50’s

I woke up this morning!

Click here to view the route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:


  1. Nancy, That is a gorgeous picture of Alhambra Valley Rd. The ride you describe above is one of my favorite “standards”. Carole

    carole, Thanks! It’s one of my favorite local rides. Nancy


  2. I am sure you know this: water is available at brazil building restrooms and stop on wildcat maybe half mile further. Way to go on your climbing and riding; so consistent.

    Yes, Thank you! Nancy


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s