San Joaquin: Central Valley-Bachelor Valley-Gopher Ridge-Salt Spring Valley

Thursday, September 22, 2016

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This beautiful remote ride travels through three counties from San Joaquin to Stanislaus and Calaveras. It rolls through the rich expansive agricultural lands around the Central Valley before heading NE through the open grasslands across Bachelor Valley. The route turns eastward for a climb up Gopher Ridge to Salt Springs Valley Reservoir followed by a scenic run through Salt Springs Valley.

Begin this ride from the parking lot off Duncan Rd, across the street from Rinaldi’s Market in Linden.

Head south on Duncan Rd, the flat terrain goes through the expansive orchards and agricultural farmlands.

Turn right on E Milton Rd and head east through the gorgeous open valley.

Continue to meander through the valley on Escalon Bellota Rd towards Farmington.

Hwy 4 E cuts through the center of Farmington as it continues eastward across the valley.

The turn on E Sonora Rd leads you through much of the same landscape of scattered ranches, farmhouses, and valley orchards.

Head south on Henry Rd, it continues through the farmlands along the SE edge of the Central Valley.

Continue east across the valley on Dodds Rd, it takes you into Stanislaus county towards Woodward Reservoir to the T junction at 26 Mile Rd.

Turn north on 26 Mile Rd, the rolling terrain takes you through the valley with expansive views of the hillside orchards.

The road name changes to E Sonora Rd as it crosses over Littlejohns Creek through the farming town of Eugene.

The road turns north as it name changes to Milton Rd, the rolling terrain cuts through the orchards before crossing the gorgeous Bachelor Valley.

Milton Rd runs through a scattered ranching community and vast grasslands dotted with grazing cattle.

The rough road crosses into Calaveras county as it continues north towards the town of Milton.

Turn right onto Rock Creek Rd, it crosses over Rock Creek as it heads east through the ranches and rolling grasslands.

The road narrows as it snakes up from Long Gulch along Rock Creek to Rock Creek Ranch with 5-8% grades.

Rock Creek Rd kicks up with steep grades of 10-14% grades it continues upwards through the rocky outcroppings to Gopher Ridge.

The road levels out along the ridge, stop at Salt Springs Valley Reservoir Campground.

Enjoy the splendid views!

Stay on Rock Creek Rd, it continues eastwards along the south edge of the reservoir with wonderful views of Bear Mountains!

At the road split, go straight uphill onto Felix Rd, it continues east through the remote ranches and rustic old barns around the town of Felix.

At the next road split, continue straight onto Salt Spring Valley Rd, it meanders along through the beautiful open grasslands around Salt Springs Valley before coming to a junction at Hunt Rd.

Turn left onto Hunt Rd, it travels westward through the valley vineyards around Salt Springs Valley.

The road continues west across the upper valley grasslands and ranches with distant views of  the reservoir.

Hunt Rd climbs out of Salt Springs Valley back up to Gopher Ridge with 6-8% grades.

The road continues on gentle terrain before dropping down from the ridge towards Milton.

Enjoy the glorious valley views!

Turn right onto Milton Rd, it heads north as it continues on a slight downhill across the grasslands into South Gulch.

The rolling terrain leads you along the west edge of Jenny Lind.

Turn left to stay on Milton Rd, it heads west through the acreage valley homes to Hwy 26. Continue west on Hwy 26 to Shelton Rd.

Shelton Rd heads south back into San Joaquin county for a jaunt through the valley orchards and farmlands. Continue meandering through the scenic valley on Waverly and Flood Rd.

Return to Linden on Hwy 26.

This tri-county ride takes you through the gorgeous open valleys and grasslands east of the Bay Area to Salt Springs Reservoir. It’s a wonderful way to explore the rich agricultural farmlands around the Central Valley and beyond!

Garmin Stats:
83.01 Miles with 2940′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1228′
Max grade: 14%
Terrain: Flat-rolling with a few low hills

Weather: Sunny and warm! Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the mid 70’s with NW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile


Follow this route for today’s ride:



  1. Its an amazing thing how you have enough energy to do that much bicycle riding and photography.

    I love you.


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