Norris Canyon

Saturday, May 9, 2015

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This urban route goes south through San Ramon Valley on Danville Blvd and San Ramon Valley Blvd to Crow Canyon Rd. It continues east for a gorgeous climb through Norris Canyon on Norris Canyon Rd. Return north on San Ramon Valley Blvd and meander along the Iron Horse and Contra Costa Canal Trails back into Martinez.

Go up Arnold Dr and cross over Hwy 4 on Glacier Dr to Center Ave and Vine Hill Way. Morello Ave goes through the residential neighborhoods from Martinez to Pleasant Hill.

Head south on Taylor Blvd; this busy main thoroughfare is a very utilitarian way to get from Pleasant Hill down into Lafayette with great pavement and wide shoulder areas. At Grayson Rd, Taylor Blvd gradually ascends with gentle grades of 3-5% up towards Dinosaur Hill Park before dropping down to the stop light at Withers Ave.

Taylor levels out for the next half mile plus towards the Pleasant Hill Rd interchange and kicks up to 7-10% grades for the 0.7 mile climb up to the traffic light at Rancho View Dr.

Descend Pleasant Hill Rd to Olympic Blvd and head east into Walnut Creek.

Turn right on Tice Valley Blvd for the climb up towards the senior community at Rossmoor and to the residential neighborhood around Walnut Heights.

The short rolling climbs on Crest Ave leads to a descent on Hillgrade Ave to Danville Blvd.

Danville Blvd runs south along the flat San Ramon Valley from Walnut Creek to the business and commercial districts in Alamo and Danville.

Continue south on San Ramon Valley Rd through the busy shopping plazas and commercial businesses in Danville to San Ramon.

Norris Canyon Rd and Bollinger Canyon goes along the west edge of the suburban homes around Bollinger Canyon Creek in San Ramon.

The left turn onto Crow Canyon Rd leads to a half mile climb up to the Contra Costa/Alameda county line. The road descends along Crow Creek into Castro Valley.

Turn left onto Norris Canyon Rd; the road begins with a gentle ascent for the first mile along Norris Creek.

At mile marker 1.18, the road kicks up to a steady climb for the next 0.8 mile with an average grade of 8% along with steeper pitches of 10-11%!

You’re near the summit when you see the hilltop ranch at the Alameda/Contra Costa county line.

The road descends swiftly through the canyon along San Catanio Creek and rolls back through the residential neighborhoods to San Ramon Valley Blvd.

Return north on San Ramon Valley Rd and take Danville Blvd into Walnut Creek.

Continue north on S Broadway and take the Iron Horse Trail to the Contra Costa Canal Trail.

The Contra Costa Canal Trail meanders through Walnut Creek to Pleasant Hill and Martinez.

Take Center Ave and return to Holiday Highlands Park on Glacier, Arnold and Fig Tree Ln.

This local urban ride takes you along the busy city streets around Contra Costa County for the quiet beautiful climb up west Norris Canyon Rd. Enjoy the flat roll through San Ramon Valley and the repaved trail on the Contra Costa Canal Trail from Pleasant Hill to Martinez! City riding is not bad at all.

Garmin Stats:
52 Miles with 2608′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 963′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Moderately hilly with a couple of steep climbs

Weather: Sunny and warm with clear blue skies. Temps ranged from the high 50’s to the mid 70’s with brisk SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Norris Canyon

Follow this route for today’s ride:


One Comment

  1. Nancy, This ride appears unique, Maybe a little “Urban Ride” is good for the soul, once in a while. Thank you again, From Michael and Maydene !

    Thanks guys! Sometimes we can’t get out for the “country back roads” ride but hitting the local city streets is the next best thing! Nancy


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