Saturday, August 22, 2015
Today’s ride goes out to the beautiful less traveled northern end of Pt Reyes National Seashore. Travel through the town of Inverness on Sir Francis Drake Blvd to Pierce Point Rd. This remote stretch of road heads out through vast open pastoral lands to Pierce Point Ranch and the Tule Elk Preserve at Tomales Point.
This ride begins at Nicasio Square in Nicasio.
Turn right on Nicasio Valley Rd; it stretches 3.3 miles along the SE edge of Nicasio Reservoir to Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.
Turn left and head west on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the scenic flat miles around Nicasio Reservoir. Enjoy the wonderful views of the surrounding rolling hills.
At the STOP sign, go straight onto Platform Bridge Rd; the flat rolling terrain goes along a quiet back road to Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Cross the Old Platform Bridge at the Cross Marin Trail for the climb up Olema Hill; it’s 0.8 mile with an average grade of 7.4% up to the summit at Bolinas Ridge.
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.
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%!
The short descent drops down to the Y junction-turn right onto Pierce Point Rd; this road continues up Inverness Ridge through the coastal pines for 0.9 mile with an average grade of 4%.
Enjoy the views of the coastal grasslands, chaparral and dense woodlands. The road levels out for a short bit along the ridge towards Tomales Bay State Park.
Pierce Point Rd turns westwards as it continues on a rolling descent through the Point Reyes Peninsula’s gorgeous open pastoral lands dotted with grazing cattle and Historic dairy ranches.
Historic H Ranch to Abbotts Lagoon:
Abbotts Lagoon to Historic I Ranch:
Historic I Ranch to Kehoe Beach Trailhead:
From Kehoe Beach Trailhead, there is a short 0.4 mile with an average grade of 5.8% followed by a descent towards Historic J Ranch.
After passing through J Ranch, the road kicks up at the cattle/creek crossing to the top of the ridge; it’s 1.1 mile with an average grade of 7.7% and steep pitches of 10-13%!
Enjoy the magnificent views of Tomales Bay and Pt Reyes Peninsula-WOW!
Pierce Point Rd continues along the top of the ridge on rolling terrain towards Tomales Point.
Enjoy the ridge top views of Tomales Bay!
The road continues around the ridge towards the ocean.
Look for the herd of Tule Elk along the ridge.
Enjoy the stunning views of Tomales Point, Tomales Bay and the nineteenth-century Pierce Point Ranch complex!
Another herd of Tule Elk:
The road drops down from the ridge to Pierce Point Ranch.
Pierce Point Ranch-Historic buildings:
Lower parking lot area-pit toilets.
The climb out from the ranch to the ridge top is one mile with an average grade of 6.6%.
Another chance to view Tule Elk:
Retrace route back through Pt Reyes National Seashore area to the top of the ridge at Tomales Bay State Park-it’s just as beautiful on the return!
Descend from ridgeline back through the ranch:
Rolling terrain from Abbotts Lagoon to Inverness Ridge:
Back along Inverness Ridge to Sir Francis Drake Blvd:
Reverse your way back along Sir Francis Drake Blvd; the short climb is followed by a very fast descent with a couple of tight turns-use caution! Sir Francis Drake Blvd continues on a gentle rolling descent back through Inverness.
At the Y intersection, turn left to stay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd and take CA-1 N into Pt Reyes Station.
The short climb up CA-1 N leads you 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 out at the top at Nicasio Dam. The road goes around the reservoir with great views of the blue waters and golden hills.
The flat terrain on Nicasio Valley Rd continues around the reservoir into Nicasio.
This is a spectacular ride around Pt Reyes National Seashore from Nicasio to Tomales Point. You’ll enjoy cycling along the remote road through the Historic Ranches and open dairy lands to Pierce Point Ranch and the Tule Elk Preserve. Allow yourself time to explore the area and soak in all the natural beauty that surrounds you! You’ll love the unspoiled quiet calm of the coastal grasslands and meadows; it’s a sharp contrast to the urban setting and noise we encounter on a daily basis!
54.33 Miles with 3750′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 589′
Max grade: 13%
Terrain: Hilly with a few steep climbs
Weather: Overcast morning skies > coastal fog > brilliant afternoon sun. Temps ranged from the high 50’s to the low 80’s with SW winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: