Gordon Valley-Wooden Valley-Moskowite Corner-Monticello Dam-Pleasants Valley

Saturday, October 17, 2015

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This route takes you on a clockwise loop around the Vaca Mountains through the beautiful vineyards around Gordon Valley and Wooden Valley.  Continue on CA-121  for a scenic roll up and over to Moscowite Corner before climbing up to Monticello Dam on CA-128 E. Return south along Pleasants Valley Rd to Pena Adobe.

Start at Pena Adobe Park.

Begin with a leisurely jaunt along Lagoon Valley Park on Lagoon Valley Rd.

Cross the freeway overpass on Cherry Glen Rd.

Head south on Lyon Rd; this frontage road runs parallel along the west side of I-80.

Continue along the residential neighborhoods on the NW edge of Fairfield on Hilborn Rd and Waterman Blvd.

The road name changes to Mankas Corner Rd as it leads you out-of-town along the flat open valley with views of the expansive acreage vineyards and olive groves.

At Mankas Corner, head north on Gordon Valley Rd through the rich agricultural farmlands and valley vineyards into Napa County.

The road gently climbs under a canopy of trees and spills out to the other end of the valley with hillside vines and community ranches.

Continue on Wooden Valley Cross Rd; this road cuts through the valley vineyards under a canopy of trees to Wooden Valley Rd.

Wooden Valley Rd winds up through the canyon with gentle 2.5-5% grades. The road follows the curvatures of Wooden Valley Creek pass a scattering of remote ranches.

The road levels out as you round the bend towards Altamura Winery & Vineyards; it continues along the valley floor through the small community of Wooden Valley.

Foxy Fall Century rest stop at Wooden Valley School:

The flat terrain leads you out to the heart of the valley with acres and acres of vineyards set below the foothills of Mt George.

Wooden Valley Rd winds up along the hillside vineyards and comes to a T at the CA-121 junction.

Head north on CA-121 S for the next 5.5 miles; the road begins on gentle rolling terrain for the first 0.7 mile with great views of Wooden Valley.

The road tilts up for one mile with gradient ranges of 7-12% up to the summit at Waters Rd.

CA-121 descends down into the valley followed by a couple of short rolling climbs to the CA-128 Junction.

Lunch stop at Lake Berryessa Market at Moskowite Corner:

The rolling terrain for the first 4.8 miles on CA-128 E takes you through the oak studded hills along Capell Valley before descending into Cherry Valley at Wragg Canyon.

The climb out of Wragg Canyon goes up the backside of Cardiac Hill for 1.8 mile with an average grade of 5.1%. 

The road descends into Markley Canyon at the SE end of Lake Berryessa.

Stay on CA-128 E; the rolling terrain leads up to the summit at Monticello Dam *The Wragg Fire: For 15 days in July and August, the Wragg fire incinerated nearly everything in its wake, consuming the 576 acres that comprise the UC Davis Stebbins Cold Canyon Reserve and torching a total of 8,000 acres near Lake Berryessa. 

Monticello Dam: *This is from the Lake Berryessa newsletter: Lake Level Update: 10/15/15: The elevation of the spillway (Glory Hole) at Monticello Dam is 440 feet msl. The water is now 42.76 feet below the top of the spillway at 397.24 feet – down 4.1 inches since last week. This date last year the lake was at 401.96 feet. 

CA-128 E quickly descends down into Cold Canyon towards Canyon Creek Resort into Yolo County.

The road continues on rolling terrain through damaged charred hillsides from the Wragg Fire.

CA-128 E goes along the north edge of Putah Creek State Wildlife Area and winds down along Putah Creek to Pleasants Valley Rd.

Head south on Pleasants Valley Rd for a quick pit stop at Lake Solano County Park. Check out the resident peacocks!

Pleasants Valley Rd stretches 12.4 miles on rolling terrain through orchards, horse ranches, farms, open meadows and grasslands. The road goes through Pleasants Valley from Yolo County to Solano County out to Vaca Valley in Vacaville.

Pleasants Valley Rd-climb out from Lake Solano to the valley orchards:

Pleasants Valley Rd-from the horse ranches to the open grasslands and meadows:

Pleasants Valley Rd-rolling climbs to Mercier Grapevine Nursey:

Pleasants Valley Rd-rolling terrain through Vaca Valley to Cherry Glen Rd:

Head east on Cherry Glen Rd to Rivera Ave for the return to Pena Adobe Park.

This fabulous ride takes you through the scenic vineyards along the gorgeous valleys and country back roads around three counties from Solano to Napa and Yolo! We ran into many cyclists going around this loop in the opposite direction; it’s part of the Davis Foxy Fall Century event ride.


Garmin Stats:
56.36 Miles with 3136′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1089′
Max grade: 12%
Terrain: Moderately hilly

Weather: Overcast morning skies with light sprinkles with afternoon sun. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the mid 70’s with SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Gordon Valley

Follow this route for today’s ride:


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