Lake Hennessey-Lake Berryessa-Pope Valley

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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This ride heads east to Lake Hennessey on Sage Canyon Rd/CA-128 E to Lake Berryessa on Berryessa Knoxville Rd. It continues up and over Pope Canyon into Pope Valley for a fun rolling stretch on Chiles Pope Valley Rd and a grand descent along Chiles Creek back to Lake Hennessey.

Begin this ride from Sage Canyon Rd/Silverado Trail in St Helena. The rolling 3 miles from Sage Canyon Rd/CA-128  E to the Lake Hennessey boat launch area is on nice smooth pavement with wonderful lake views.

The group meet up at Lake Hennessey:


Continue on Sage Canyon Rd to Chiles Pope Valley Rd junction.

Turn right and head east on Sage Canyon Rd/CA-128; the rolling terrain for the first 2.4 miles goes along Sage Creek to the gates at Kuleto Estate Winery.

The road climbs out of the canyon with gradient ranges of 5-8% for one mile.

The road levels out and continues pass the Nichelini Family Winery towards Lower Chiles Valley Rd.

CA-128 E continues through the vineyards along Elder Valley followed by a fast sweeping descent to Berryessa Knoxville Rd near Turtle Rock.

Berryessa Knoxville Rd drops down through the canyon along Cappell Creek to the western shores of Lake Berryessa.

The one short climb from Capell Cove up to the ridge has fabulous views of the lake and the surrounding mountains.

Take a moment to enjoy the beauty of Lake Berryessa and sculpted ridges of the mountains.

Check out the Osprey’s nests along Lake Berryessa!

Continue on Berryessa Knoxville Rd for the next couple of miles to the Spanish Flat Country Store.

Stay on Berryessa Knoxville Rd up to the Visitors Center.

Enter through the exit gate at the south end of Oak Shores main entrance to the Acorn Beach picnic area.

Enjoy the lake side views!


The next 6+ miles of rolling climbs on Berryessa Knoxville Rd leads across the bridge to Pope Canyon Rd.

Enjoy the Lake Berryessa views!

Pope Canyon Rd begins with a steep 8-11% climb followed by a short descent and another climb with grades of 6-8%.

The remaining 6+ miles of rolling terrain through the desert like landscape surrounding Cedar Roughs leads us out to the expansive Pope Valley.

The remaining flat gentle rolling miles through the canyon follows Pope Creek out to Pope Valley.

The valley floor opens up to expansive fields with pastoral grasslands and vineyards.

Cut through the valley vineyards on Pope Valley Cross Rd to Chiles Pope Valley Rd.

The right turn on Chiles Pope Valley Rd leads into Pope Valley for a stop at the Pope Valley Market.

Pope Valley Market:

Return on Chiles Pope Valley Rd for the short half mile climb out to Chiles Valley.

The next 3.7 miles of flat rolling terrain takes you pass the many vineyards,ranches, olive groves and open grasslands.

The one little hump pass the last vineyard is followed by a fun sweeping descent along Chiles Creek through Sage Canyon.

Chiles Pope Valley Rd leads back onto CA-128 W.

Take CA-128/Sage Canyon Rd to return along Lake Hennessey to Silverado Trail.

This is a fabulous ride loop around the picturesque vineyards and scenic lakes in Napa County. You’ll enjoy the long quiet stretches along the country back roads from Sage Canyon to Pope Canyon. Remember to look for the Osprey nests atop the electrical towers along the shores of Lake Berryessa-you might catch the raptors in action!

Garmin Stats:
50.60 Miles with 3084′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1011′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Moderately hilly with a steep climb

Weather: Sunny and hot with clear blue skies. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the mid 80’s with SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Lake Berryessa

Follow this route for today’s ride:


  1. Great video of the ospreys! It is fantastic how you keep the bird in the frame!!

    Marlene, Thanks! I greatly enjoyed watching them in action! Nancy


  2. Another beautiful ride to look forward to !. Thank you Nancy !! From Michael and Maydene Bye-Bye !

    You’re welcome! Glad to know you guys enjoy the ride post. Nancy


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