Inverness-Heart’s Desire Beach

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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This route heads west on Lucas Valley Rd out to Nicasio and Olema. It continues along Bear Valley Rd out to Inverness through Pt Reyes National Seashore. Climb up to Inverness Ridge to Tomales Bay State Park for a lunch stop at Heart’s Desire Beach. The return includes a snack stop at the Bovine Bakery at Pt Reyes Station.

Lucas Valley begins on flat rolling terrain for the first few 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 towering redwoods to the ranches and grasslands of West Marin.

Turn right on Nicasio Valley Rd to Nicasio.

Stop at Nicasio Square.

Nicasio Valley Rd runs 3.3 miles along the reservoir through the open grasslands and valley meadows to Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.

The flat terrain on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd runs along the Nicasio Reservoir with gorgeous views of Black Mountain and its surrounding hills.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd drops down through the shaded canyon onto Platform Bridge Rd.

The flat to rolling terrain on Platform Bridge Rd leads to the Old Platform Bridge to Old Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

Old Sir Francis Drake Blvd is a short section of road that leads out to Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

The climb up Olema Hill to the top of the Bolinas Ridge is 0.6 mile with an average grade of 8.9%.

The road quickly descends through the Golden Gate Nat’l Recreation Area onto CA-1 N to Olema with fantastic views of the dense forests and open ridge top!

A short jog on CA-1 N takes you 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.

Enjoy the gorgeous views of Tomales Bay!

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The road continues on rolling terrain to Camino Del Mar.

The climb up Inverness Hill to the summit on Inverness Ridge is 0.7 mile with an average grade of 8.7% and steep pitches maxing out at 11%!

The short descent leads you onto Pierce Point Rd; it 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 before dropping down into Tomales Bay State Park to Heart’s Desire Beach.

Lunch stop at Heart’s Desire Beach.

The climb out of Heart’s Desire begins with a steep half mile section up to the ranger station with grades of 8-11%.

The road continues climbing for the next 0.8 mile with an average grade of 4%.

Head east on Pierce Point Rd; the rolling climbs along the ridge drops back down onto 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, stay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd and take CA-1 N into Pt Reyes Station.

Stop at the Bovine Bakery-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, turn left to stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd. The road leads up to the Spillway climb; it’s 0.5 mile with an average grade of 5%.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd flattens at the top at Nicasio Dam and 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.

Retrace your steps on Lucas Valley Rd back up to Big Rock; the rolling terrain leads us to the mile long climb up to the summit with an average grade of 3.7%.

The descent from Big Rock on Lucas Valley Rd requires much caution; there are several very sharp left-hand turns with decreasing radius! The run down Lucas Valley Rd finishes off with a fun flat stretch back to Miller Creek Rd.

This is a fantastic ride around West Marin with plenty of hills and thrills. The jaunt out to Heart’s Desire Beach through Inverness is quite beautiful; the whole town is part of the Pt Reyes National Seashore! Get out and explore it!

Garmin Stats:
60.60 Miles with 3287′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 604′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Flat-rolling with a few low hills

Weather: Sunny and warm. Temps ranged from the mid 60’s to the high 80’s with SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Hearts Desire

Follow this route for today’s ride:

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Hearts Desire II

Follow this shorter route with the ride start from Nicasio:

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