Point Reyes Lighthouse

Saturday, January 24, 2015

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This metric century route heads out from Nicasio to the beautiful wide open coastal prairies and grasslands around Pt Reyes National Seashore to the windiest place on the Pacific Coast; the Pt Reyes Lighthouse at the western-most point of the Pt Reyes Headlands.

Begin the ride from Nicasio Square in Nicasio.

Nicasio Valley Rd stretches 3.2 miles along the Nicasio Reservoir through the open pastoral lands and valley meadows to Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd continues along the NW side of the reservoir with gorgeous views of Black Mountain. Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd drops down through the shaded canyon to Platform Bridge Rd.

The flat to rolling terrain on Platform Bridge Rd goes along a quiet back road to Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

The climb up Olema Hill to the top of the Bolinas Ridge is 0.8 mile with an average grade of 7.4%.

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 leads 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.

Continue on Sir Francis Drake Blvd to Inverness; the road hugs the shoreline along Tomales Bay through the small residential and business community around Pt Reyes National Seashore.

Enjoy the views of Tomales Bay!

The climb up Inverness Hill to the summit on Inverness Ridge is 0.9 mile with an average grade of 8.7% and steep pitches maxing out at 11%!

At the bottom of the descent at the Y intersection, continue left to stay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. The flat terrain on this road goes along a creek that flows out to Schooner Bay at Drakes Estereo.  It winds along the bay pass Historic G Ranch.

The short pitch up from the ranch takes you out to the open grasslands and coastal scrubs to Bull Point Trailhead.

The road continues with a series of climbs and descents towards Historic E Ranch. Grazing dairy cows dot the landscape throughout the open pastoral lands.

Enjoy the gorgeous view of Drakes Estero!

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The rolling climbs on Sir Francis Drake Blvd leads to the junction at Drakes Beach Rd.

Enjoy the gorgeous coastal views!

Sir Francis Drake Blvd winds around and drops down to Historic C Ranch; watch out for the cattle guards!

It continues on rolling terrain through the coastal meadows and pastoral prairies dotted with grazing cattle.

The road descends quickly towards the stock pond followed by a bumpy stretch over the cattle guards to the Historic B Ranch.

The road continues pass the ranch to a steep mile long climb with gradient ranges of 9-11%; the coastal views from the top are spectacular!

The road goes along the top of the ridge followed by another climb; it begins at the junction with Chimney Rock at Historic A Ranch; it’s half an mile with gradient ranges of 9-11%.

Sir Francis Drake Blvd rolls on top of the ridge to the parking lot with fabulous views of the Pacific Coast! Go through the closed gate for the climb up to the Lighthouse. The ridge top vistas are stunning!

Lunch stop at the observation deck; enjoy the views!

Whale sightings-two juveniles about 100 yards from the lighthouse-WOW!

Reverse ride out of the lighthouse back onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd to Historic A Ranch.

The road pitches up for a short climb followed by a fast descent to Historic B Ranch.

At the cattle guard crossing, Sir Francis Drake Blvd kicks up for a climb back up to the ridge before dropping down to Historic C Ranch. The road winds up along the ridge for another climb up to the junction at Drakes Beach Rd. Sir Francis Drake Blvd continues on rolling terrain back to Historic E Ranch with phenomenal views of Drake Estero and Tomales Point!

The road gently rolls along the coastal meadows and grasslands to Historic G Ranch. It continues along Schooner Bay and returns through the wetlands for the gentle climb back into Inverness.

The short climb on Sir Francis Drake Blvd is followed by a very fast descent with a couple of tight turns-use caution! The road continues on a gentle rolling descent back through Inverness.

At the Y intersection, 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 climbs 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, 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 green hills.

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

This is a spectacular ride out through the scenic Pt Reyes National Seashore to the Lighthouse-it’s a whole different world! Enjoy one of the most beautiful rides in Marin County on the long endless road which seems to go on forever to the middle of no-where-WOW!

Garmin Stats:
62.42 Miles with 4012′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 547′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Rolling-hilly with a couple of steep climbs

Weather: Sunny with clear blue skies.  Temps ranged from the mid 40’s to the mid 60’s. NW winds with 93% humidity.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

pt reyes lighthouse

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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