North Bay: Dillon Beach-Lawsons Landing

Thursday, June 12, 2014

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This is Day 2 of our North Bay Romp; this figure eight route heads west from Petaluma on Spring Hill Rd through Chileno Valley to Valley Ford. It continues south on Valley Ford Franklin School Rd for the climbs up to Dillon Beach Rd before dropping down into Dillon Beach and Lawsons Landing for lunch. The route exits Dillon Beach and returns east via Middle Rd to Whitaker Bluff to Fallon Two Rock Rd. It cuts across the valley on Twin Bridge Rd to Tomales Petaluma Rd and Bodega Ave. Complete the ride with a short climb up to the top of the ridge on Middle 2 Rock Rd before dropping back to Petaluma.

We begin our ride with a brief stop at the Bovine Bakery before exiting out-of-town on Western Ave.

Spring Hill Rd is a quiet rough country back road that runs 7.2 miles along the north edge of Chileno Valley. It begins with a steep 1.1 mile climb up to Rose Ln with an elevation gain of about 300′ and gradient ranges of 9-11%.

The road takes you up and over into the valley with gorgeous expansive views of the wide open spaces and green meadows with soft rolling hillsides and some late-blooming spring flowers.

Spring Hill Rd continues on rolling terrain with a couple more short climbs through the ranching, dairy and farming valley community.

The road peaks out pass the white covered horse training facility and drops down onto the flat valley floor along stands of tall eucalyptus and oaks.

Enjoy the grand valley views and tall waves of spring grasses!

Spring Hill Rd nears the end as we pass the Two Rock School, cemetery and church.

We head west on Valley Ford Rd for the next 10 flat miles; the new pavement is smooth with a wide shoulder area!

This is whole area is dairy country with grazing cows dotting the open pastoral lands and rolling hills.

Valley Ford Rd rolls through the huge ranching and farming community with large open cattle barns and pens.

The road goes up and over a small hump before dropping into the town of Valley Ford.

We head south on Valley Ford Franklin School Rd; this quiet road leads out of Valley Ford to a small tight ranching community located around the meadows and marshes along Estero Americano.

After crossing the Estero, the road comes up to a short climb followed by a short descent to the upper valley.

The second climb on Valley Ford Franklin School Rd up to the summit is 0.5 mile with an average grade of 8.5%.

The road drops down onto the other side of the valley through a grove of eucalyptus trees to a cattle ranch and continues to the bridge crossing over Estero San Antonio.

The road pitches up for a short distance and quickly drops down through the open green meadows into the shade of eucalyptus trees to the next climb.

The last climb on Valley Ford Franklin School Rd up to Dillon Beach Rd is 0.8 mile with an average grade of 9.75% and steep pitches of 11-13% grades! Take a second to enjoy the valley views!

The 1.3 mile drop down Dillon Beach Rd takes us into the coastal community at Dillon Beach.

We head north on Oceana Dr to Kailua Way; this road lead us up through the residential neighborhood to a circular Overlook Area. Stop and enjoy the superb bay views!

We descend Kailua Rd down to Ocean View Ave onto Cliff St for a stop at Dillon Beach. Kick off your shoes and enjoy the soft warm sand and stunning views of Bodega Bay and Tomales Point!

We continue south on Cliff St to Marine View Dr into Lawsons Landing; this is a fishing, boating resort and campground for RV’s trailers and tents.

Marine View Dr takes us through the campgrounds along the coastal dunes and meadows.

Permanent trailers near the wharf area occupy the south end of Lawsons Landing. The bait shop carries everything you need for fishing, crabbing and clamming plus some standard snacks and drinks.

We sit for a short spell to enjoy the blue waters around Tomales Point and  Bodega Bay.

We exit Lawsons Landing to Beach Ave for a stop at the General Store and the Beach Café located at the Resort Area. There’s an outdoor seating area with views of Dillon Beach-enjoy!

The climb out of Dillon Beach on Dillon Beach Rd is one mile long with an average grade of 8%; the first 2/10th of a mile is steep with 14-16% grades!

The road levels out a bit as you near the top at Elephant Rock-stop and take in the fabulous meadow and bay views around Tomales Point!

Dillon Beach Rd continues along the top of the ridge for the next 1.5 towards Middle Rd.

We descend Middle Rd to the wide open meadows and ranchlands around San Antonio Estero. The Estero crossing takes us out to through the valley ranches with grazing cattle and sheep.

We continue onto Whitaker Bluff Rd along the valley through the small community of Fallon.

We cross CA-1 onto Fallon Two Rock Rd; the flat terrain continues through dairy country with wide pastures and ranch lands.

Twin Bridge Rd cuts across the valley to the bridge crossing over Stemple Creek to Tomales Petaluma Rd.

Tomales Petaluma Rd is one nice stretch of pavement; the smooth road takes us up and over towards Chileno Valley.

The smooth pavement takes us east through the flat valley onto Tomales Rd to Two Rock. The flats on Bodega Ave lead us to Middle 2 Rock Rd.

Middle 2 Rock Rd is a nice quiet little detour off Bodega Rd; this road goes up to the top of the ridge for 1.6 miles with an average grade of 3.5% and steeper pitches of 7-9%.

At the top-take a moment to enjoy the fantastic valley views!

Middle 2 Rock Rd drops down onto Bodega Ave to Petaluma. The short weave around town on Howard, 6th St and D St lead us back to Walnut Park.

This is a beautiful country ride around the valleys and hills of Sonoma and Marin counties out to the coastal bay at Dillon Beach and Lawsons Landing. There are a few steep climbs but it’s well worth the effort for the high return in scenic value! This is country riding at its best!

Garmin Stats:
54.11 Miles with 4285′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 522′
Max grade: 16%
Terrain: Hilly with a few steep climbs

Weather: Patchy morning skies, sunny, warm and breezy in the afternoon. Temps ranged from 55F to an afternoon high of 80F. SW AM winds > NW PM winds with 72% humidity

Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile

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Follow this route for today’s ride:

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