Oh Morning Glory at Monticello Dam

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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This ride rolls through the beautiful Vaca Valley before heading west along Putah Creek on CA-128 to Monticello Dam and Cardiac Hill towards Moskowite Corner. The return includes a beautiful run through the shaded woodland on CA-121 to the gorgeous vineyards along Wooden Valley and Gordon Valley.

Begin this ride from Pena Adobe Park in Vacaville. Cross over I-80 on Cherry Glen Rd to Pleasants Valley Rd.

Pleasants Valley Rd is a gorgeous stretch of flat road that begins along Vaca Valley through the rich farmlands and orchards with fantastic views of the Vaca Mountains.

The rolling climbs take you through the valley with horse and cattle ranches, farms and nurseries.

Pleasants Valley continues north towards Cantelow Rd.

The gentle rolling terrain continues through some horse ranches with paddocks to the pastoral lands with grazing cattle.

The road roughly follows Pleasants Creek through the scenic valley before crossing over Putah Creek towards the T-junction at CA-128.

Continue on CA-128 W; the rolling terrain follows the curvatures of Putah Creek along the edge of Yolo County for 4.7 gentle miles towards Canyon Creek Resort with great views of the mountain ridges.

The road enters into Napa County as it crosses over Putah Creek for the climb up to Monticello Dam; it’s 0.7 mile with gradient ranges of 6-8%.

Stop at Monticello Dam and take in the view of The Glory Hole. The spillway swallows water at a rate of 48,800 cubic feet per second, emptying about 700 feet away through an enormous concrete pipe. The outside diameter is 72 feet, slowly narrowing to 28 feet at the exit.*1

CA-128 continues on rolling terrain through Markley Canyon with splendid views of Lake Berryessa and its surrounding mountains!

The road drops down to Markley Cove Resort.

Continue on CA-128 W to the climb up Cardiac Hill. The road kicks up for about 1.5 miles through Marley Canyon with grades of  7-10%. The road winds its way up to the gap and tops off around the bend when you see the trailer house with the American flag.

CA-128 drops down towards Wragg Canyon and continues on rolling terrain through the woodlands and hills around the Vaca Mountains. The road opens up to the valley floor towards Moskowite Corner.

Head south on CA-121, the rolling terrain takes you 3.2 miles through the woodlands along Capell Creek with gentle grades up to the hilltop community off Circle Oaks Dr.

The road continues up to the summit at the cattle ranch near Waters Rd; it’s 0.6 mile with an average grade of 6%.

The twisty descent on CA-121 drops down to the junction at Wooden Valley Rd with gorgeous views of the vineyards around Wooden Valley!

Turn left at the junction and continue south on Wooden Valley Rd through the gorgeous vineyards along the valley floor.

Wooden Valley steadily winds along the valley through the ranch lands and vineyards with beautiful hillside views.

Turn left onto Wooden Valley Cross Rd, the rolling terrain descends through the shaded woodland to the Gordon Valley Rd junction.

Continue south on Gordon Valley Rd, the road crosses back into Solano County towards Mankas Corner.

Enjoy the colorful valley farmlands!

Mankas Corner Rd turns eastwards through the valley into Fairfield.

Meander through the Fairfield residential neighborhoods on Waterman Blvd and Hilborn Rd.

Lyon Rd leads you out of town and drops down along I-80 for a climb back over into Vacaville.

Cross I-80 on Cherry Glen Rd and stroll through Lagoon Valley Park for the return to Pena Adobe.

*1 http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/monticello-dam

Now’s the time to take a ride up to Monticello Dam, it’s at full capacity at 440 feet elevation and The Morning Glory Spillway is spilling over for the first time in 10 years!  You’ll enjoy the remote country back roads along the beautiful canyons and the rolling stretches through the gorgeous valley vineyards!

Garmin Stats:
56.23 Miles with 3068′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1098′
Max grade: 10%
Terrain: Rolling with a few low hills

Weather: Partly sunny. Temps ranged from the mid 40s to high 50’s with breezy SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile


Follow this route for today’s ride:



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