Wilder-Gateway Valley-Donald Dr-Mulholland Ridge-Iron Horse Trail

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

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This urban ride around central Contra Costa county explores the new Wilder subdivision in Orinda before heading up Donald Dr to the top of Mulholland Ridge. The return includes an out & back on Lucas Dr towards Rossmoor and a flat run along Walnut Creek on the Iron Horse Trail.

Exit Holiday Highlands Park and make your way up on Arnold Dr to Glacier and Center Ave to Vine Hill Way. Morello Ave leads you out of Martinez into Pleasant Hill towards Taylor Blvd.

Head south on Taylor Blvd; this busy main thoroughfare is a very utilitarian way to get from Pleasant Hill down into Lafayette with great pavement and wide shoulder areas. At Grayson Rd, Taylor Blvd gradually ascends with gentle grades of 3-5% before dropping down to the stop light at Withers Ave.

Taylor levels out for the next half mile plus towards the Pleasant Hill Rd interchange and kicks up to 7-10% grades for the 0.7 mile climb up to the traffic light at Rancho View Dr.

The road name changes to Pleasant Hill Rd on the descent into Lafayette to Olympic Blvd. Watch for traffic after you head towards the Hwy 24 interchange to Mt Diablo Blvd-use caution!

Turn left on Olympic Blvd and head south on Tice Valley Rd.

Stop at Tice Valley Park to meet up with friends.

Retrace steps on Tice Valley Blvd back to Olympic Blvd. Meander through a residential neighborhood on Freeman, Juanita and Kinney Dr to El Curtola Blvd. The roads tilt up for a steep 9-10% climb up to the 24 freeway overpass.

Drop downhill on Camino Diablo to Stanley Blvd.

Cross Pleasant Hill Rd onto Deer Hill Rd, it’s a steep 0.2 mile climb up to the top of the ridge with gradient ranges of 14-16%!

Deer Hill Rd runs parallel to Hwy 24 and drops down on rolling terrain towards the Lafayette BART station and the Cross Memorial to Happy Valley Rd.

Continue west on Mt Diablo Blvd, the road climbs up along the Lafayette Reservoir parkland to Acalanes Rd.

Turn right on Hidden Valley Rd, it goes through a residential neighborhood before running parallel to Hwy 24 into Orinda. Continue on the St Stephens Trail to Bryant Way and Moraga Way.

Head south on Moraga Way to Brookside Rd, a side street adjacent to McDonnell Nursery. Brookside leads up to the closed gate at the unsigned Boeger Ranch Rd.

Boeger Ranch Rd takes you up to the new Wilder subdivision (on-going construction) in Orinda.

Once part of a ranch owned by airline mogul Ed Daly, tucked in the Gateway Valley between the Orinda crossroads and the Oakland Hills and set on 1,600 acres of land, with homes boasting 2,500 to 6,000 square feet of living space, Wilder is its own oasis.*1

The subdivision encompasses over 1,500 acres of land, with home sites clustered within 200 acres in order to preserve the natural, rolling hills of open space and trails that surround the home sites on three sides. *2

Meander around the Wilder development on Rabble Rd to Bigleaf Rd.

Bigleaf Rd rolls along the ridge line estate homes with views of the surrounding rolling hills.

Ride along Wilder Rd for a loop around the sports fields at Wilder Park.

Continue around subdivision on Paintbrush Ln back to Wilder Rd.

Climb uphill on Wilder Rd to the far east end of the development.

The pavement comes to an end at the top of the narrow bridge. Continue on the packed gravel/dirt road, it drops down to the closed gate at Edgewood Rd.

Lost Valley Rd and Valley View Dr continues downhill to Moraga Way.

Turn right on Moraga way followed by an immediate left onto Hall Dr. The road tilts up for a half mile climb to Donald Dr with 7-9% grades.

Turn right onto Donald Dr, the road continues uphill with super steep 17-20% grades!

The gradient eases up a bit after you pass the park gate towards the top of Mulholland Ridge.

Mulholland Ridge is a 250-acre open space area along Donald Drive on the boundary of Orinda and Moraga. The ridge is relatively high, offering breathtaking views on a clear day of the Moraga valley and the Diablo Range. It is a lovely, quiet trail that runs along the ridge of the Mulholland Ridge Open Space Preserve. *3

Enjoy the spectacular views!

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Donald Dr rolls along the top of the ridge with grand views of Mt Diablo!

The road drops downhill on rough pavement followed by a smooth roll to Moraga Rd.

Cross Moraga Rd to Devin Dr and climb up through the neighborhood to Draeger Dr, Derby Ln and Donald Dr.

Drop downhill on Donald to Fernwood Dr and Stafford Rd.

Continue north on the Lafayette/Moraga Regional Trail, it runs parallel to St Mary’s Rd along Las Trampas Creek.

Exit the trail onto Glenside Dr to Burton Dr. Meander around the Lafayette neighborhood to Lucas Dr.

Lucas Dr climbs up to the end of the road with steep 11-13% grades. (the original plan called for riding through the back road to connect with Stanley Dollar Dr in Rossmoor-the road is currently closed for construction)

Drop downhill to Michael Ln and Reliez Station to Olympic Blvd. Head east on Olympic and Newell Ave to the Iron Horse Trail.

Return north on the Iron Horse Trail from Walnut Creek towards the Pleasant Hill BART station.

The trail continues through Pleasant Hill to Monument Blvd.

Cross Monument and make a left onto the sidewalk to stay on the Iron Horse Trail. The trail crosses under Hwy 242 as it meanders along Walnut Creek towards Concord Ave.

The trail loops under Concord Ave and continues north along the creek before coming to an end at Marsh Dr.

Marsh Dr goes around the west side of Buchanan Field Airport into Pacheco. The road name changes to Center Ave as it turns west under I-680.

Head up Center Ave and return to Holiday Highlands Park on Glacier, Arnold, and Fig Tree Ln.

Hit the city streets and explore the new Wilder subdivision at Gateway Valley, it’s quite impressive! The steep climb up to Mulholland Ridge on Donald Dr is worth the effort, you’re rewarded with spectacular views of Moraga Valley and the Diablo Range! *”We tried to do the Rossmoor to Wilder loop, but discovered that we could not get back into Rossmoor via Stanley Dollar Rd.  The utility road that was up there have been bulldozed.  Hopefully they will replace it, but for now, it is a mud pit.” Linda F.

*1http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue0926/Into-the-Wilder-ness.html
*2http://cityoforinda.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC=%7BBA4B1245-ECBA-4F56-9D22-FDFFA0A32A98%7D&DE=%7BF45D0C08-BB5E-4C9E-8F5C-0B04E0D056A0%7D
*3 http://moragaparks.org/TrailsBooklet.pdf

Weather: Partly cloudy with some sunshine. Temps ranged from the low 50’s to the low 70’s with SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

wilder-mulholland-ridge

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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