Saturday, November 15, 2014
This route heads out from Lafayette for a scenic jaunt out to the rural back country along Collier Canyon and Doolan Canyon to Livermore Valley. The return goes up Dougherty Hills through the subdivisions around Windemere and Gale Ranch followed by a flat run through Sycamore Valley back to Danville, Walnut Creek and Lafayette.
We take Olympic Blvd and head east on Tice Valley Blvd towards the senior community of Rossmoor.
Tice Valley continues for a short steep climb up to Crest Ave. The rolling terrain on Crest takes us through the Walnut Heights residential neighborhood; the road name changes to Hillcrest Ave followed by fast drop down onto Danville Blvd.
The jog along Hartz Ave and Front St take us east through the residential neighborhoods out along Sycamore Valley Rd and Camino Tassajara.
The flat miles goes pass the golden hills of Sycamore Valley Open Space and the displays of trees, plants and flowers at the Tassajara Nursery.
We exit Danville on Camino Tassajara; this road leads out of town and heads south towards the country with wide open pastoral ranch lands and rolling hills through the unincorporated town of Tassajara.
Highland Rd travels east on gentle rolling terrain through “horse country” with boarding ranches and training facilities. The beautiful golden hills are dotted with grazing cattle and scattered barns.
The climb up Collier Canyon Rd is 0.6 mile with an average grade of 4.8%; you’re near the top when you see the old water tower and windmill.
Collier Canyon Rd continues on flat-rolling terrain for the next 4.8 scenic country miles to the south end at Portola Ave; the road crosses into Alameda County towards Livermore Valley with minimal to no traffic.
These golden ranch lands are populated with a few working cattle ranches and a large horse boarding facility.
Old weathered wooden barns are commonplace along this lovely stretch of road.
N Canyons Pkwy runs west through the business and industrial park area above I-580 in Livermore.
The turn onto Doolan Rd takes us for a 5.8 miles out and back roll through Doolan Canyon. This road strolls pass a large equestrian center and through a remote ranching community tucked away in the canyon.
The road continues into the quiet canyon and comes to a dead end at a gated fire trail.
We reverse our way back out of Doolan Canyon to N Canyons Pkwy.
Airway Blvd takes us over I-580 to our lunch stop at Cattlemens Food Center on Kitty Hawk Rd.
We head west along through Livermore Valley on Jack London Blvd; this road goes pass the Municipal Airport and the golf course to the Livermore Premium Outlets.
El Charro Rd takes us back over I-580 along the outskirts of Dublin on Fallon Rd; Fallon winds up through the gated residential communities around Dublin Ranch Golf Course. Fallon Rd name changes to Tassajara Rd and Camino Tassajara as it crosses the county line into Contra Costa.
Windemere Pkwy goes up Dougherty Hills and snakes around the Windemere subdivisions to the Gale Ranch neighborhoods along Bollinger Canyon and Dougherty Rd.
We drop down Crow Canyon Rd to Camino Tassajara for a return run out along Sycamore Valley to Danville Blvd.
The jog around Laurel Dr to Hartz Way takes us back onto Danville Blvd into Walnut Creek. We return to the Lafayette/Moraga Regional Trail Staging Area from Castle Hill and Lancaster to Lilac and Newell.
This local semi-rural ride heads out from the city to the beautiful quiet country back roads through Collier Canyon and Doolan Canyon. There’s still time to get out and enjoy some of the fall colors on the roll through the burbs!
60.78 Miles with 2113′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 647′
Max grade: 8%
Terrain: Flat-rolling with a few low hills
Weather: Partly sunny and cool with cloudy skies. Temps ranged from the mid 50’s to the mid 60’s. SW Winds with 77% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: