Tuesday, November 18, 2014
This autumn wine country tour goes up and down Napa Valley from the south end in Napa to the north end in Calistoga. The ride goes along the gorgeous valley estate wineries and vineyards along Hwy 29 and Silverado Trail with a slight detour along the quiet back roads on Glass Mountain, Sanitarium and Crystal Springs Rd. The route heads further north on CA-128 for a scenic roll through Franz Valley and concludes with a fabulous 19 miles stretch along the valley on Silverado Trail.
We exit Trancas Crossing Park to Trancas St.
Big Ranch Rd takes us out along the NE edge of town towards the vineyards around Napa Valley. We cut across the valley on Oak Knoll Ave to Solano Ave.
Solano Ave runs parallel to Hwy 29 towards Yountville with scenic views of the Sonoma Mountains and the valley vineyards.
Washington St takes us through Yountville; this is a quaint valley tourist town with outdoor sculptures, inns, upscale restaurants and cafes with trendy boutiques and shops.
We head north out of town on Yount Rd and Yount Mill Rd; these quiet lanes winds under the woodlands around the vineyards and ranches along the foothill of Yountville Hills.
We continue north on Hwy 29 for the next 3.1 miles; this busy road runs through the estate wineries and vineyards along the heart of Napa Valley.
CA-128 cuts across the valley through Rutherford and winds around the vineyards along Conn Creek to Silverado Trail.
We stay north on Silverado Trail for the next scenic 6 miles through the valley wineries and vineyards.
The route detours from Silverado Trail onto a few quiet back roads for a 3.1 mile bypass; Glass Mountain and Sanitarium to Crystal Springs. Crystal Springs Rd exits back onto Silverado Trail.
We continue north on Silverado Trail for another 4.2 miles; the scenery along the valley doesn’t change much from the estate wineries and vineyards to the scattering of rural homes and ranches sandwiched between the rugged Palisades and forested Sonoma mountains on each side.
The left turn onto Dunaweal Ln takes us across the valley to the Napa Valley Vine Trail to Washington St and Lincoln Ave into Calistoga.
We stop for lunch at the Palisades Deli Cafe on Lincoln Ave.
We head NW out of Calistoga along the quiet residential neighborhoods on Stevenson, Grant and Myrtledale Rd to Tubbs and Bennett Ln.
Bennett Ln is a gorgeous 2 mile stretch of road that winds around the valley floor along the foothills of Mount St Helena with no traffic.
We exit Bennett Ln onto CA-128 W for a gradual climb across the county line into Sonoma County.
CA-128 W drops down into Knights Valley; a remote region with open meadows, a few vineyards and ranches.
Spencer Ln cuts across the valley through a scattering of vineyards and ranch homes to Franz Valley Rd.
Franz Valley Rd rounds the valley and heads south into Franz Valley; the road gently winds up through the woodlands on gentle rolling terrain with gradient ranges of 3-5% to a small residential community with hillside vineyards around the lower mountain at Devils Kitchen.
We head east on Franz Valley School Rd; this road goes through the open valley meadows and country homes into the woods. The road gently climbs up for 0.7 mile with gradient ranges of 3-6% followed by a short descent.
Franz Valley School Rd kicks up again for a steep half mile climb with gradient ranges of 10-11% and steep pitches of 15-17% grades. Once over the summit, the road drops down for a smooth sweeping 1.9 mile downhill to Petrified Forest Rd; this busy road descends for half a mile onto CA-128 E towards Calistoga.
We head SE out of Calistoga on CA-128E/Hwy29 for 7.2 flat scenic miles; this road goes along the west side of Napa Valley with wonderful views of the colorful vines.
Lodi Ln cuts across the valley back to Silverado Trail.
We head south on Silverado Trail for the next 19.1 flat rolling miles along the east side of the picturesque Napa Valley to the end at Trancas Rd. The autumn hues are absolutely stunning-enjoy the views of the colorful valley floor!
Trancas Rd leads us onto Old Soscol Way back to Trancas Crossing Park.
This autumn ride along Napa Valley is a must-do-get out there before the colors fade and the vines are bare and gone! But then again, any season in the Bay Area is a great time to enjoy the magnificent Napa wine Country.
77.0 Miles with 2375′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 934′
Max grade: 17%
Terrain: Flat-rolling with a few low hills
Weather: Partly cloudy and cool. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the low 60’s. NE > SW winds with 43% humidity
Follow this route for today’s ride: