Cummings-McEwen Scenic Loop

Sunday, November 10, 2013

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Today I’m heading NW on Franklin Canyon Rd to Cummings Skyway for an out and back bridge crossing along the Carquinez Bridge Trail to the Vista Point area in Vallejo. The route continues through Crockett on Ponoma St to Carquinez Scenic Dr for the steep climb up McEwen Rd.

I take my standard way out of Holiday Highlands Park and jog around on Arnold, Glacier and Center and descend Vine Hill Way to Alhambra Ave.

Franklin Canyon Rd is sandwiched between Hwy 4 to the east and the Franklin Hills to the west; it passes through some horse ranches, residential acreage homes, vineyards and cattle ranches. The gentle terrain heading NW goes on for 4.4 miles to the opposite end at Cummings Skywy with a short steep pitch to the top.

I continue NW on Cummings Skywy; this road crosses over Hwy 4 and gently climbs1.5 miles along the ridge through Crockett Hills before swiftly dropping down from the summit to the other end at San Pablo Ave.

The climb up San Pablo Ave has 7-9% grades, normally I would take this road all the way around into Crockett, but there’s a side road right before the bend; Vista Del Rio Dr. When I’m out riding solo, curiosity always gets me and I make detours. So up the hill I go; Vista Del Rio winds up around through a residential neighborhood that sits along the top of the ridge with sweeping views of the Carquinez Bridge and Carquinez Strait! The steep descent drops me down onto Ponoma St in Crockett.

I decide to cross the Carquinez Bridge and take the Carquinez Bridge Trail over to the Vista Point area in Vallejo. It’s a nice mile long ride with spectacular views of San Pablo Bay and Carquinez Strait! At the Vista Point, take the time to enjoy the views of the bridge, Semple Point, Morris Cove and Mare Island!

I cross back over into Crockett and ride through the downtown area on Pomona St. This road cuts through the center of town pass the Chamber of Commerce, John Swett High School, Crockett Community Center and St Mark’s Episcopal Church. The terrain kicks up a bit for a 5-7% climb up to the top at the Veterans War Memorial.

Pomona St becomes Carquinez Scenic Dr; this quiet back road weaves along the edge of Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline If you can, stop along this road to take in the views surrounding Carquinez Strait-it’s worth the time!

From the Bull Valley Staging area, the road drops down into Big Bull Valley towards Port Costa. If you’re descending too quickly, you’ll miss the art house on the left hand side of the road-watch for the ceramic gargoyles on the fence posts, the rocket man, the bugs on the rooftops and the huge colorful jugs! The road tilts up for a short bit to the Port Costa Reservoir and McEwen Rd.

Shift to your lower gears before making the turn onto McEwen Rd-it’s a nasty steep mile long climb with 12-15% grades! The road eases up to lesser grades of 8-10% as you wind your way under the shade of eucalyptus trees. You’re near the summit when the road opens up to views of the tree-lined ridge.

McEwen Rd descends along the back of the ridgeline to the open valley below.

I descend Franklin Canyon Rd back to Alhambra Ave.

I return on Alhambra Way for the climb up Muir Station Rd to Center Ave. The last few miles goes up Muir Rd to Glacier back to Arnold and Fig Tree Ln.

This short hilly scenic route is a great go-to ride if you’re limited on time and don’t want to ride through a lot of city roads. You’re done in a few hours and still have time to do other things!

Garmin Stats:
30.1 miles with 2363′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 745′
Max grade: 15%
Terrain: Moderately hilly with one steep climb

Weather: Great! Sunny and cool with temps ranging from the low to high 50’s. NW winds

A day on the bike restores the soul.


Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:


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