Saturday, April 26, 2016
This wonderful route heads west through Central Marin for a scenic remote ride up to Mt Vision and Pt Reyes Hill along Inverness Ridge at Pt Reyes National Seashore. The return includes a beautiful roll through the redwoods at SP Taylor State Park.
Lucas Valley begins on flat to tolling terrain for the first 3.5 miles along the valley floor.
The road tilts up for the climb up to the Big Rock summit; it’s one mile long with an average grade of 7.2%.
Lucas Valley drops down into the valley through the gorgeous redwoods to the ranches and grasslands of West Marin.
Head north on Nicasio Valley Rd to Nicasio Square.
Nicasio Valley Rd 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 with views of the surrounding rolling hills.
At the colored bridge, turn right to stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the next 3.2 miles; the rolling terrain follows the curvatures of Lagunitas Creek to the Hwy 1 junction into Pt Reyes Station.
Turn left and head south on Hwy 1 through Point Reyes Station. Cross the green Pt Reyes Station Bridge and turn right onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
At Bear Valley Rd junction-turn right to stay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. The road hugs the shoreline along Tomales Bay through the small residential and business community of Inverness Park at Pt Reyes National Seashore.
Sir Francis Drake Blvd continues on gentle rolling terrain to Inverness.
Enjoy the gorgeous views of Tomales Bay!
The road continues rolling through Inverness, past Chicken Ranch Beach to Camino Del Mar.
The climb up from Inverness to the top at Inverness Ridge is 0.9 mile with an average grade of 8.7% and steep pitches maxing out at 11%!
The road drops down to a Y intersection, continue left to stay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. The flat terrain on this road goes along a creek that flows out to Schooner Bay at Drakes Estero.
Turn left onto Mt Vision Rd; it crosses over the creek onto a narrow single lane road.
The climb up Mt Vision to Inverness Ridge begins with a series of winding switchbacks on a narrow single lane road to the park residence turnoff. It’s 1.2 miles with gradients ranges of 9-11%.
Enjoy the gorgeous vistas!
The short descent is immediately followed with another climb up to the next turnout area; it’s 0.7 mile with grades of 7-9% and steep pitches of 13-15%!
The road drops down for a short bit before returning to a gradual climb through the magnificent cypress forest up to the ridge at 1200 feet with grades of 5-7%.
The road levels out a bit as it winds along the open ridge through the beautiful coastal scrubs.
Enjoy the spectacular views of Drakes Bay and Drakes Estero at Pt Reyes peninsula!
Roll along the ridge with minimal to no traffic. Dramatic vistas await at every turn with spectacular views of pastoral hills and remote bays to the west!
At mile 30.9-turn left into the wide gravel area with the aluminum gate. Peek over the gate or walk out along the trail and you will see what most people will never see-a panoramic view of Tomales Bay in its entirety! From the north at Tomales Point to the south end at Inverness-WOW! On a clear day, it’s worth the slight detour!
The car accessible road ends at a large dirt trailhead parking area.
Continue through the gate on Mt Vision Rd for the next 0.5 gentle mile up to Pt Reyes Hill at 1347 feet. The pavement ends at the transmission tower to the Inverness Ridge Trail.
Enjoy the views!
Descend Mt Vision Rd back to Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Return on Sir Francis Drake Blvd to Inverness.
At the Bear Valley junction; go straight onto Bear Valley Rd. The terrain is pretty flat with one very short bump up and over towards the Pt Reyes Bear Valley Visitor Center. It’s a quiet road with minimal traffic and views of the Olema marshes.
The right turn onto Hwy 1 leads to the climb up Sir Francis Drake Blvd aka Olema Hill; it’s about a mile long with gradient ranges of 4-7%.
The fast drop from Olema Hill takes you past Platform Bridge Rd, go straight to stay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
The smooth rolling pavement leads you through the beautiful redwood forests at SP Taylor State Park.
The road exits the park area out through the neighboring small towns from Lagunitas and Oak Knolls to San Geronimo.
Turn left at Nicasio Valley Rd; it pitches up for a short climb under the golf bridge before leveling out to the trailhead at Roys Redwoods Preserve.
The road kicks up to a half mile climb with an average grade of 7% to the gap at Barnabe Mountain Fire Rd.
Nicasio Valley Rd descends through the beautiful redwoods and woodland out towards the open valley ranches to Lucas Valley Rd.
The flat-rolling terrain on Lucas Valley Rd returns through the gorgeous redwood forest into the valley.
The terrain kicks up slightly for the gentle climbs up to Big Rock summit.
The descent from Big Rock on Lucas Valley Rd is fairly technical with several very sharp left hand turns with decreasing radius-use caution! The ride finishes off with a fun flat stretch through the valley back to Miller Creek Rd.
This ride takes you through the beautiful redwoods around Central Marin out to the gorgeous coastal pine forests at Pt Reyes National Seashore. You’ll enjoy the rolling hills, the peaceful calm on the climb up the less-traveled Mt Vision Rd to Pt Reyes Hill and the impressive vistas along Inverness Ridge!
69.2 Miles with 4816′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1350′
Max grade: 16%
Terrain: Hilly with steep climbs
Weather: Sunny and warm. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the mid 60’s with brisk NW winds.
Follow this route for today’s ride: