Gale Ranch-Collier Canyon

Saturday, February 15, 2014

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Today’s ride goes through the city streets of Contra Costa County and up along the subdivisions at Gale Ranch before heading out for a loop around “the country” on Highland, Manning, Carneal and Collier Canyon.

We make our way through the streets of Martinez on Arnold, Glacier, Vine Hill and Morello Ave.

The Canal Trail off Taylor Blvd takes us south through Pleasant Hill and onto the Iron Horse Trail in Walnut Creek.

The flats on Danville Blvd go through the towns of Walnut Creek, Alamo and Danville. We weave our way along Front St, Laurel Dr and Sycamore Valley Rd through the suburban neighborhoods of San Ramon.

The turn on Crow Canyon Rd takes us SE to the urban subdivisions at Gale Ranch on Dougherty Rd to our stop at Peet’s.

We continue on Bollinger Canyon Rd with its wide shoulders and smooth pavement to Windemere Pkwy; another residential neighborhood around Gale Ranch.

We descend Windemere Pkwy and head north on Camino Tassajara Rd; this 2 mile section of road has a decent amount of traffic with no shoulder area. The surrounding pastoral area is home to multiple horse ranches, cattle farms and olive groves.

Camino Tassajara leads us out to “the country” on Highland Rd; this quiet two lane back road goes through many horse ranches, farms and equestrian boarding and training facilities.

The open rolling hillsides are dotted with grazing cattle and old barns. It’s nice to see the meadows and pastoral fields turning green from the recent rains!

We continue east on Highland Rd; the short climbs takes us up and over towards the rolling green hills around Livermore Valley. This bucolic scenery is absolutely gorgeous with swaths of open space and gentle undulating fields and meadows.

The descent on Highland takes us pass the old farm, ranches and weather beaten wooden barns to Manning Rd.

Manning Rd continues west around the Livermore Valley with more stupendous views of grazing cattle and bright red barns dotting the unspoiled pastoral lands.

The gentle terrain on Carneal Rd brings us to the intersection at Collier Canyon Rd.

We head NW on Collier Canyon for the short climb up to the old water tower and windmill. I always look forward to seeing the two old weathered wooden barns at the open ranch near the top.

The descent on Collier Canyon takes us back onto Highland Rd and we reverse our way out to Camino Tassajara.

Camino Tassajara continues through the rural back country with orchards, cattle ranches and equestrian centers to the east edge of Tassajara Hills.

We stay on Camino Tassajara through the residential neighborhoods around Diablo Valley and Blackhawk to Sycamore Valley Rd and Laurel Dr.

We ride down Danville Blvd to S Broadway and hop onto the Iron Horse Trail in Walnut Creek and take the Canal Trail back to Taylor Blvd.

We take Morello Ave from Pleasant Hill to Martinez and make our way back to Holiday Highlands Park on Vine Hill, Muir Rd and Arnold Dr.

Going out to “the country” around Highland, Manning, Carneal and Collier Canyon is one of my favorite loops! The hills are green and alive-get out there and check it out-Livermore Valley is quite beautiful!

Garmin Stats:
67.15 Miles with 2351′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 781′
Max grade: 7%
Terrain: Some hills

Weather: Overcast cloudy skies with temps ranging from the low 50’s to the low 60’s. Breezy NW winds with 87% humidity

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The most important thing is to enjoy your life.
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Follow this route for today’s ride:

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2 Comments

  1. I saw you two on the Iron Horse Trail on my way home after Eric R’s two bridge ride. I always enjoy the scenery descriptions – take care,

    Tony

    Hi Tony, hope you had a good ride-see you out on the road! Nancy

    Like

  2. Great photos and narrative Nancy. The whole circuit area looks so serene. The cherry blossoms are resplendent!

    Thanks, the Collier Canyon Loop is one of favorite rides! nancy

    Like

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