Castle Rock-Old Borges Ranch-Clayton-Clyde

Monday, December 8, 2014

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This ride goes along the Contra Costa Canal Trail into Walnut Creek and heads south on Castle Rock Rd to Castle Rock Park. It continues with a climb up Shell Ridge at Walnut Creek Open Space to Old Borges Ranch. The route goes east up Lime Ridge on Ygnacio Valley Rd and Crystyl Ranch Dr before dropping down into Clayton. It meanders through the Oakhurst Country Club neighborhoods for the out and back climb on Eagle Peak Ave to Keller Ridge and Kelok Way. The return includes a jaunt along Port Chicago Hwy into the small town of Clyde.

We take our standard way out of Martinez on Arnold, Glacier and Center to Vine Hill, Morello and Taylor Blvd.

The Contra Costa Canal Trail from Pleasant Hill leads onto the Iron Horse Trail and exits into Heather Farm Park in Walnut Creek.

N San Carlos Dr cuts through the park, crosses Ygnacio Valley Rd and continues through the residential neighborhood to Las Lomas Way.

We head east on Walnut Ave to the traffic circle at Oak Grove Rd. Holiday decorations are popping up in the neighborhoods; there’s even a set up with the classic “Christmas Story” leg lamp!

Castle Rock Rd goes south through the Northgate neighborhood and High School into Pine Canyon.

This quiet road exits the residential area and continues through the scenic canyon along Pine Creek into Diablo Foothills Regional Park. This canyon area is also home to Castle Rock Arabians; a huge horse ranch and equestrian facility with a covered arena and open track.

The road comes to the Castle Rock Park parking area near the closed gate at the end of Castle Rock Rd.

Castle Rock Park sits besides Diablo Foothills and is bordered by Walnut Creek Open Space and Mt Diablo State Park; this open space area is simply beautiful!

We reverse our way back on Castle Rock Rd for about a mile and turn left onto Borges Ranch Rd.

The unmarked road climbs up Shell Ridge to the Borges Ranch Area; it goes up through the cattle guard and begins to ascend with steep 9-11% grades.

The road levels for a short bit and kicks up with steep grades of 11-14% to the top of the ridge.

Borges Ranch Rd continues along the ridge with gorgeous views of the rolling hills around Walnut Creek Open Space.

The road drops down pass the Old Borges Ranch Picnic Grounds and rolls up across the wide cattle guard to Old Borges Ranch.

The paved road goes beyond the parking area and loops around Old Borges Ranch to the beautiful wooden ranch house located at the north end of the property. There’s quite a lot to see here; vintage ranch and farming equipment:

Ranger station, blacksmith shop, old barn and wagon-shed:

Hay barn area and corrals:

Farm animals, chicken coop and feed area:

Old Borges Ranch ranch house:

We drop down Shell Ridge back onto Castle Rock Rd and head north on Oak Grove Rd into Ygnacio Valley.

Ygnacio Valley Rd exits Walnut Creek on flat terrain and climbs up across Lime Ridge into Concord with fantastic valley views; it’s 0.8 mile with an average grade of 6.2%.

The road drops down from the ridge to the east end of Concord.

Crystyl Ranch Rd is a wide boulevard that goes up along the east side of Lime Ridge to the southern edge of the ridge; the road enters the residential neighborhoods around the private Crystyl Ranch Community in Concord. It’s a half mile ascent from the fire station to the ridge top.

The climb offers phenomenal views of Clayton Valley and Mt Diablo!


Crystyl Ranch Rd continues around the neighborhoods to Shadybrook Dr towards the Crystyl Ranch Clubhouse. Rolling Wood Way drops us down onto Pine Hollow Rd.

We head east on Pine Hollow Rd into the town of Clayton and take Mt Zion Rd and Clayton Rd to Old Downtown Clayton on Main St.

The Grove is located across the street from the Clayton Club Saloon and other shops and businesses in the area.

Clayton Historical Museum on Main St:

Center St cuts across Clayton Rd and name changes to Oakhurst Dr as it goes along the golf course and neighborhoods around Oakhurst Country Club.

We head north on Eagle Peak Ave; this short 2/10th of a mile climb up Seeno Hill has steep grades of 14-15%! The road levels out at the private gated driveway to the hilltop estate home.

Keller Ridge Dr rolls through the dense Country Club neighborhoods and climbs up towards the ridge with steep grades of 9-11%.

The turn on Kelok Way leads to the cul-de-sac homes at the Black Diamond Trail opening.


Enjoy the stunning views of the Diablo Foothills and Clayton Valley!


We reverse our way down from the ridge and continue around Seeno Hill on Eagle Peak Ave to Oakhurst Dr.

Oakhurst Rd drops down towards Kirker Pass Rd and name changes to Concord Blvd into east Concord. The turn on Farm Bureau Rd takes us across the Willow Pass neighborhood along the community park and Pixieland Amusement Park on E Olivera Rd.

We head north on Port Chicago Hwy; this road gently climbs up to the North Concord Martinez BART and drops down under Hwy 4 along the Diablo Creek Golf Course to the U.S. Army Military Ocean Terminal Concord.

Port Chicago Hwy crosses over the RR tracks into the small town of Clyde; designed by Bernard Maybeck and George Applegarth as a company town for the Pacific Coast Shipbuilding Company back in 1917. The Clyde Community Path runs parallel to Norman Ave from Clyde Park at the south end to the north end at Marie Porter Park.

This short jaunt through Clyde returns along the residential homes on Norman Ave back to Port Chicago Hwy.

We head south and take Bates Ave to Nelson and Laura Alice way; these roads goes around the industrial and business parks around north Concord.

Arnold Industrial Pl is a frontage road along Hwy 4; the road name changes to Marsh Dr as it goes along the west side of Buchanan Field Airport and pass a large trailer park community to Center Ave.

Center Ave goes under I-680 from Concord into Pacheco; the road climbs up through the Pacheco neighborhoods into Martinez.

From Center Ave, we take Sequoia to Glacier and return on Arnold Dr to Fig Tree Ln.

This short local urban ride is a wonderful way to see and explore some of the parks, open spaces and small towns around Contra Costa County; it’s a combination of the old with the new! The ridge top vistas are spectacular-I think you’ll like it too!

Garmin Stats:
46.68 Miles with 2759′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 820′
Max grade: 15%
Terrain: Moderately hilly with a few steep climbs

Weather: Cloudy skies with cool temps ranging from the low 50’s to the high 50’s. SE winds with 88% humidity.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Castle Rock Old Borges Ranch

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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