East County: Delta de Anza-Marsh Creek-Camino Diablo-Los Vaqueros-Deer Valley-Empire Mine

Friday, January 15, 2016

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This ride rolls around East Contra Costa County through the cities of Antioch and Oakley to Brentwood from the Delta de Anza Regional Trail to the Marsh Creek Trail. Meander through the gated community around Vineyard Pkwy before heading south on Marsh Creek Rd and Camino Diablo for the out & back ride to Los Vaqueros Reservoir. Return north along Deer Valley and Empire Mine Rd followed by a jaunt through Contra Loma Park.

Begin this ride from Antioch Community Park.

Exit on Community Park and turn right onto the Delta de Anza Regional Trail (before reaching the traffic light); the trail goes along the Contra Costa Canal on James Donlon Blvd.

Cross James Donlon Blvd to stay on Delta de Anza Regional Trail; the trail continues eastward across Antioch along the Contra Costa Canal to Lone Tree Way and Deer Valley Rd.

The trail exits left onto Deer Valley Rd-stay on the sidewalk to the traffic light, cross Deer Valley onto Wildflower Dr to reconnect and stay on the trail to Hillcrest Ave.

Cross Hillcrest followed by an immediate right to stay on Delta de Anza Regional Trail; the trail continues along the canal with a short steep climb up to Ridgeline Dr.

Cross Ridgeline to stay on the trail; it sweeps down from the scenic ridge followed by a flat through the Hwy 4 underpass to Neroly Rd.

Cross the RR tracks and Neroly Rd to stay on Delta de Anza Regional Trail; it continues along the canal through the town of Oakley to Empire Ave.

Watch traffic as you cross Empire Ave; the flat trail cuts behind the residential homes to the next intersection at O’Hare Ave.

Cross O’Hare Ave to stay on Delta de Anza Regional Trail; it rolls through the open fields and vineyards before exiting out onto W Cypress Rd.

Continue through Oakley on W Cypress Rd to Main St; cross Main and make an immediate right onto Marsh Creek Regional Trail.

Marsh Creek Trail runs south along Marsh Creek from Oakley into Brentwood.

The trail travels along the creek through the open farm lands and orchards to Sunset Rd and Brentwood Blvd.

Cross Brentwood Blvd onto the sidewalk to stay on the Marsh Creek Trail.

The trail continues south through Brentwood to the tunnels crossings at Sand Creek Rd to O’Hare Ave.

The trail stays along the creek through the open fields, subdivisions and the back side of The Farm at Willow Wood School.

Marsh Creek Trail runs through the residential neighborhood towards Balfour Rd to Creekside Park.

The trail continues along the SE edge of Brentwood before exiting onto Creek Rd.

Creek Rd stays along Marsh Creek to Concord Ave.

Turn right and head west on Concord Ave to Fairview Ave.

The road name changes to Vineyards Pkwy as it turns south for the jaunt through the gated community “Trilogy at the Vineyards”. The road drops down to a T junction at Marsh Creek Rd.

Continue south on Marsh Creek Rd; the road rolls past the John Marsh Historic Stone House at Marsh Creek Ranch and the Marsh-Kellogg Creek Dam.

Turn left onto Camino Diablo;  the road gently travels up and over the low hills to Walnut Rd.

Turn right onto Walnut Rd; it runs SW for 3.5 gorgeous rolling miles to the end of the road at Los Vaqueros dam. *Los Vaqueros is a nearly 20,000 acre protected watershed that offers outstanding fishing, challenging hikes and an opportunity to learn about the fascinating history of the area. CCWD’s Los Vaqueros Reservoir was expanded in 2012, and can now store up to 160,000 acre-feet of high quality water for the District’s customers. It is now the largest reservoir in the Bay Area.  Walnut Rd to Walnut Staging Area.

Walnut Staging Area to Kellogg Creek Recreation Area.

Kellogg Creek Recreation Area to Los Vaqueros Dam.

Los Vaqueros Watershed Interpretive Center outdoor picnic area.

Reverse the route back out on Walnut Rd and return west on Camino Diablo back to the junction at Marsh Creek Rd.

Go straight onto Marsh Creek Rd; the road continues westward along Marsh Creek on rolling terrain past the equestrian facilities, valley orchards, olive groves and ranches to Deer Valley Rd.

Turn right and head north on Deer Valley Rd; the road cuts across Briones Valley for a short 3-4% climb up to the ranch house.

Deer Valley Rd drops down before rolling up to another short climb followed by another descent through the gorgeous valley. The road tilts up for short 7-10% hill climb to its high point at the ranch house.

The road sweeps down onto flat terrain through the beautiful expansive Deer Valley.

Enjoy the stunning valley views!

Deer Valley Rd crosses over Deer Creek as it continues along the west edge of Brentwood towards Antioch.

Turn left onto Empire Mine Rd-this quiet back country road is closed to thru-traffic. The beautiful 3.4 miles travels from its south end at Deer Valley Rd through Horse Valley and Lone Tree Valley to its north end at Mesa Ridge Rd in Antioch.

The flat terrain goes through the grasslands around the gorgeous valley floor with fabulous views the surrounding rolling hills.

Empire Mine Rd cuts across Horse Valley towards the abandoned slaughterhouse in West Hartley.

The road gently winds its way around and through the rolling hills.

DSCN4103

Empire Mine Rd drops down through the pastoral lands around Lone Tree Valley.

The road snakes up around the hills with stellar views!

Empire Mine Rd opens up to views of the densely populated valley, the wind turbines across the river, the Antioch Bridge and the rolling hills around Contra Loma Park and Black Diamond Mines Preserve.

DSCN4143

Empire Mine comes to a T at Mesa Ridge Rd, turn left and head down the hill through the residential neighborhoods to Golf Course Rd and Frederickson Ln.

Frederickson Ln leads into Contra Loma Regional Park; turn right at the end of the parking lot onto Contra Loma Blvd. The road cuts across the park with views of the vast pastoral land and rolling hills.

As you past the pay booth-go right onto East Side Rd; the gravel road continues through the park towards the dam with views of the Contra Loma Reservoir.

Drop down from the dam area to Antioch Community Park; make your way around the sports field back to the parking lot.

This ride allows you to explore the regional trail system along the Contra Costa Canal and Marsh Creek in East Contra Costa County. It’s an alternate way to meander around the cities from Antioch and Oakley to Brentwood. You’ll enjoy the quiet beautiful stretches on Camino Diablo and Walnut Blvd to Los Vaqueros Reservoir and the gorgeous ride through the valleys on Deer Valley Rd and the traffic-free Empire Mine Rd!

Print Delta de Anza Regional Trail & Marsh Creek Trail Map

*http://www.ccwater.com/152/The-Los-Vaqueros-Story

Garmin Stats:
43.33 Miles with 1726′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 375′
Max grade: 13%
Terrain: Flat-rolling with a few low hills

Weather: Sunny with partly cloudy skies. Temps ranged from the high 40’s to the mid 50’s with NE winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Delta de Anza Marsh Creek Los Vaqueros

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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2 Comments

  1. Wow….. Green grass and blue sky. In January, looks’ serene and enjoyable. We’ll put this one in the “To-do” file. Seeya, From Michael and Maydene !

    Like

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