Wednesday, April 20, 2016
This beautiful remote out & back ride goes up the hills and down through the quiet valleys and canyons around the Diablo Mountain Range on Mines Rd from Livermore Valley to the CA-130 Junction at Del Puerto Canyon. It also includes a scenic out & back segment through San Antonio Valley in search of wildflowers.
Begin from the wide pullout area on Mines Rd off Del Valle Rd.
Mines Rd continues on flat-rolling terrain for the next 1.3 miles along the valley through the Live Oak Stock Ranch to the bridge crossing over Arroyo Mocho creek.
The road slowly stair steps its way up to Crane Ridge for the next 1.7 miles with an average grade of 7.3% and steeper pitches of 9-12%. Every curvature of the road provides a different view of the chaparral covered hills, ridges and deep canyons around Cedar Mountain.-it’s quite beautiful!
Mines Rd winds along the open ridge on rolling terrain through a scattering of ranches.
At road marker 11, the road levels out as it continues winding around the mountain on a narrow single lane.
At road marker 14, cross over Arroyo Mocho and continue through a small ranching community.
Mines Rd narrows to a single lane road as it snakes through the canyon along the dry creek to the postboxes at Callahan Gulch.
The road continues through the flat scenic valley along the creek bed of Arroyo Mocho and snakes up around the huge rock outcroppings before dropping down to Smith Gulch at the 20 mile road mark.
Wildflowers carpet the valley meadows.
The short pitch up from Smith Gulch takes you across the Alameda County line into Santa Clara County. The road continues on false flat terrain for the next couple of miles to Turner Gulch and Pulse Canyon.
At South Pocket, the road tilts up for the next 0.4 mile to Ruthy gap at the summit of Burnt Hills with an average grade of 6.2%.
The road sweeps down into Horsethief Canyon-enjoy the views!
The rolling terrain through the canyon leads to the second ascent up Burnt Hills.
At the red wagon wheel gate, the road kicks up for the next half mile with an average grade of 6% to the Burnt Hills summit at the cattle pen/switchback.
Mines Rd quickly descends for the next 2.9 miles with a small hump up and over towards the fire station.
Continue straight past Del Puerto Canyon Rd junction; the road name changes to San Antonio Valley Rd/CA-130 W. Roll through the scenic valley for the next 4.9 miles to the wide gated turn around point at Upper San Antonio Valley Rd.
The flat-rolling terrain cuts through the expansive valley floor.
Enjoy the carpet of wildflowers!
The road rounds the valley through the pastoral land.
The climb over San Antonio Creek drops you into Upper San Antonio Valley.
Enjoy the open fields of wildflowers!
Continue through the oak studded valley meadows and grasslands.
Magnificent colorful wildflowers abound!
Gorgeous purple owl’s clovers and violet lupines blanket the low hills!
Enjoy the impressive show of wildflowers across the valley meadows!
The road continues along the beautiful valley through a stand of oaks.
Enjoy the splendid deep cover of violet Delphiniums across the valley!
Stop at the gated Upper San Antonio Rd-the turn around point.
Enjoy the show of purple owl’s clover!
Turn around and return through the gorgeous San Antonio Valley.
Admire the spectacular displays of wildflowers for a second time!
Stop at the Junction Bar & Grill-the place has been re-vamped inside and out.
Reverse the way back to Livermore on Mines Rd; the short pitch up to the cattle guard drops into the canyon.
The climb up to the summit at Burnt Hills from the south end is two miles with an average grade of 5% followed by a descent back into Horsethief Canyon.
The second climb up Burnt Hills to Ruthy gap is one mile long with an average grade of 6.1%.
Mines Rd drops back down through the valley, gulches and canyons to the Arroyo Mocho crossings for the next 16.3 miles.
The rolling descent along Crane Ridge has several short humps as it rounds the mountainside.
Mines Rd swiftly drops down into the valley back through Live Oak Stock Ranch to the parking area.
Mines Rd may be one of the longest back roads in the East Bay; it’s one of the few roads in the Bay Area where you feel like you’re in the “middle of nowhere”. Come out and enjoy the peaceful scenic valleys and canyons with minimal to no traffic-you’ll love it! Now’s the time to see the gorgeous displays of wildflowers along San Antonio Valley!
58.6 Miles with 4120′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 2840′
Max grade: 12%
Terrain: Hilly with steep climbs
Weather: Sunny and warm. Temps ranged from the high 60’s to the mid 80’s with brisk NW > SW winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: