Nicasio-Marshall Wall

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

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Today’s ride starts from the agricultural town of Nicasio for a counter-clockwise loop around Marin County; it heads west for the classic climb up “Marshall Wall” to the summit along Bolinas Ridge. The route drops down onto CA-1 S for the fun rollers along Tomales Bay to Pt Reyes Station followed by a flat run around Nicasio Reservoir on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd and Nicasio Valley Rd.

We begin our ride from Nicasio Square on Old Rancheria Rd.

Nicasio Valley Rd runs 3.3 miles along the SE edge of Nicasio Reservoir to Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.

We head NE on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the climb up Rocky Hill; it begins with gentle grades for the first 0.8 mile to the Clover Organic Farm sign. From there, it’s a 0.6 mile ascent to the summit with an average grade of 7%.

The descent drops us down into the valley towards the Marin French Cheese Factory.

The road continues through Hicks Valley with wonderful views of the open meadows and Hicks Mountain.

We head west on Hicks Valley Rd for the short climb up and over Hammock Hill to Marshall Petaluma Rd.

We continue heading west on Marshall Petaluma Rd for the next 6.5 rolling miles. This quiet back road takes us through the valley with scattered ranches and farm houses.

We cross Walker Creek to the red barn at Walker Creek Ranch Retreat and continue on rolling terrain through Verde Canyon to S/2 Ranch.

The ascent up “Marshall Wall” begins at the old white farm-house at S/2 Ranch; the first section of this stair-step climb is 0.6 mile with steep grades of 9-11%.

The climb eases up for a short bit with lesser grades of 5-6%.

The road continues up along Bolinas Ridge for another 0.6 mile to the summit with grades of 7-8%.

Look around and enjoy the spectacular views of Tomales Bay and the surrounding mountain landscape!

The descent on Marshall Petaluma Rd can get very fast; it drops us down to the large wooden barn and cattle ranch.

It continues along the back side for a short climb before dropping to CA-1.

We continue along Tomales Bay on CA-1 S to Marshall

We stop for lunch at The Marshall Store.

We stay on CA-1 S for the next 7.6 rolling miles along Tomales Bay towards Pt Reyes Station.

There is one short climb from Pt Reyes Vineyards to the Tomales Bay Trailhead.

Mesa Rd is a side road that leads us through a residential neighborhood around Pt Reyes Station.

We stop at West Marin Commons for coffee/pastries at the Bovine Bakery. This entire area has recently been transformed with the addition of more picnic tables and new landscaping-WOW!

The short climb up CA-1 N leads us out of Pt Reyes Station towards Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd drops down along Nicasio Creek followed by a short climb up to Black Mountain Ranch. The road continues on gentle rolling flat terrain to the junction at the colored bridge.

We stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the climb up the spillway to the top at Nicasio Reservoir; it’s 0.6 mile with an average grade of 3.9%.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd continues on flat terrain around the reservoir for the next few miles to Nicasio Valley Rd.

The flats on Nicasio Valley Rd takes us back along the SE edge of the reservoir to Nicasio.

This is a gorgeous ride around West Marin with a challenging climb up and over Bolinas Ridge with fabulous ridge top views of Tomales Bay! Come on out and ride it!

Thanks to Beany for leading and thanks to Wyatt for another fun tandem ride!

Garmin Stats:
41 Miles with 2299′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 778′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Some hills with one steep climb

Weather: Sunny and warm with temps ranging from 59F to an afternoon high of 77F. Breezy NW winds with 63% humidity.

Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile


Follow this route for today’s ride:

One Comment

  1. Your photos really capture the feel of the day. THANKS! –Pepi

    it was a gorgeous day for a ride! See you next time. Nancy


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