Lucas Valley-Heart’s Desire Beach-Pt Reyes Station

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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This route heads west on Lucas Valley Rd for the climb up Big Rock summit followed by a descent into Nicasio. The jaunt along the Nicasio Reservoir on Nicasio Valley Rd & Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd leads to Platform Bridge Rd for the climb up Olema Hill on Sir Francis Drake Blvd to Bear Valley Rd. The ride continues NW along Tomales Bay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd into Inverness for the climb up Inverness Hill to Pierce Point Rd. It drops down to Heart’s Desire Beach for lunch and returns via Pt Reyes Station for a stop at the Bovine Bakery before going back to Nicasio and Lucas Valley. 

Lucas Valley begins on flat to tolling terrain for the first 3.5 miles along the valley floor.

At mile point 3.6, the road tilts up for the climb up to the Big Rock summit; it’s one mile long with an average grade of 7.2%.

Lucas Valley drops down into the valley through the towering redwoods to the ranches and grasslands of West Marin.

We stop at Nicasio Square to meet up with other club members.

Nicasio Valley Rd runs 3.3 miles along the reservoir through the open grasslands and valley meadows. The group is briefly held up for a Prius commercial shoot along the Nicasio Valley Rd.

We continue along the flatlands to Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.

The flat terrain on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd runs along the Nicasio Reservoir with gorgeous views of Black Mountain and its surrounding golden hills.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd drops down through the shaded canyon onto Platform Bridge Rd. The flat to rolling terrain on this quiet back road leads us onto the Old Platform Bridge to Old Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

Old Sir Francis Drake Blvd is a short section of old road that leads out to Sir Francis Drake Blvd. The climb up Olema Hill to the top of the Bolinas Ridge is 0.6 mile with an average grade of 8.9%.

The road quickly descends through the Golden Gate Nat’l Recreation Area onto CA-1 N to Olema with fantastic views of the dense forests and open ridge top!

A short jog on CA-1 N takes us to Bear Valley Rd; this back road runs along the east edge of Pt Reyes National Seashore with views of the low marshlands and wooded greens.

We continue on Sir Francis Drake Blvd to Inverness-this whole area is still part of Pt Reyes National Seashore. The road hugs the shoreline along Tomales Bay through the tight residential and business community.

The climb up Inverness Hill to the summit on Inverness Ridge is 0.7 mile with an average grade of 8.7% and steep pitches maxing out at 11%!

The short descent takes us onto Pierce Point Rd; this road continues up Inverness Ridge through the coastal pines for 0.9 mile with an average grade of 4%.

Enjoy the views of the coastal grasslands, chaparral and dense woodlands!


The road levels out for a short bit before dropping down into Tomales Bay State Park to Heart’s Desire Beach.

We stop for lunch at Heart’s Desire Beach; there’s water & restrooms and plenty of picnic tables.


The climb out of Heart’s Desire begins with a steep half mile section up to the ranger station with grades of 8-11%.

The road continues climbing for the next 0.8 mile with an average grade of 4%.

We head east on Pierce Point Rd; the rolling climbs along the ridge drops us back on Sir Francis Drake Blvd.


We reverse our way back along Sir Francis Drake Blvd; the short climb is followed by a very fast descent with a couple of tight turns-use caution! Sir Francis Drake Blvd continues on a gentle rolling descent back through Inverness.

At the Y intersection, we stay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd and take CA-1 N into Pt Reyes Station for a snack stop at the Bovine Bakery.

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

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd winds along the north edge of Golden Gate Nat’l Recreation Area and the south base of Black Mountain; it gently follows the curvatures of Lagunitas Creek. The terrain is mostly flat with one short pitch up to Black Mountain Ranch.

At the colored bridge, we continue NE on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd to the Spillway climb; it’s 0.5 mile with an average grade of 5%.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd flattens at the top at Nicasio Dam. The road goes around the reservoir with great views of the blue waters and golden hills.

The flat terrain on Nicasio Valley Rd continues around the reservoir into Nicasio.

We reverse our way on Lucas Valley Rd to Big Rock; the rolling terrain leads us to the mile long climb up to the summit with an average grade of 3.7%.

The descent from Big Rock on Lucas Valley Rd requires much caution; there are several very sharp left hand turns with decreasing radius! The run down Lucas Valley Rd finishes off with a fun flat stretch back to Miller Creek Rd.

This is a fantastic ride around West Marin with plenty of hills and thrills. The jaunt out to Heart’s Desire Beach through Inverness is quite beautiful; the whole town is part of the Pt Reyes National Seashore! Get out and explore it!

Garmin Stats:
60.28 miles with 3425′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 547′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain Moderately hilly

Weather: Sunny, warm and breezy. Temps ranged from 64F to a afternoon high of 89F. NW winds with 52% humidity

Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile


Follow this route for today’s ride:

One Comment

  1. HI Nance, Grace told me she did the Wednesday ride out to Hearts Desire last week, so I was browsing through the pictures. It looked like quite a large group and beautiful weather. I had a nice ride today myself with my new little riding group. It’s lovely here, but nothing beats the Bay Area. Hope all is well with you and Mike and the boys. If ever you guys are up this way, you are always welcome for a place to stay. We don’t charge too much, just a smile in the morning. ( : Stay in touch.

    Nancy, I like to see a smile in the morning-thanks for the invite. I’ll keep in touch and will contact you when I can plan a trip to OR. Hope all is going well for you guys too! nancy


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