Napa: Dry Creek-Mt Veeder-Carneros

Saturday, January 20, 2018

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This hilly counter-clockwise loop heads north up Dry Creek Rd to the end of the road at the Napa/Sonoma County Line followed by a climb up the north side of Mt Veeder. The route includes a roll through the wineries and vineyards around the Carneros wine region.

Begin this ride from the corner of Golden Gate Dr & Stanly Ln in Napa. Head east on Golden Gate Dr and turn left onto Foster Rd. The road tilts up for a short steep climb along the southwest edge of Napa followed by a descent through a residential neighborhood to Old Sonoma Rd.

Turn west on Old Sonoma Rd, the road exits the outskirt of town with a short steep 9-11% climb up to the hilltop vineyards. The road drops down past the wineries and vineyards around Congress Valley.

Go straight onto Congress Valley Rd and turn north onto Thompson Ave. The road stretches 1.4 miles with a gentle climb up to the hilltop vineyards followed by a drop down to the T junction at Browns Valley Rd.

Turn left onto Browns Valley and meander through the residential neighborhoods from Westview Dr and Redwood Rd to Dry Creek Rd.

Dry Creek Rd runs NW along the residential outskirts of Napa out through the beautiful vineyards along the valley floor for the first 2.5 miles.

The lower section of Dry Creek Rd continues with a couple of rolling climbs through a scattering of country homes nestled in the woods. As you near the top, watch for the T-Rex and other dinosaurs roaming the woodlands.

Dry Creek Rd drops down into the canyon on rolling terrain along Dry Creek. It continues past a small ranching community set alongside the dense forest greens.

At the Oakville Grade junction, Dry Creek continues west for the next 1.1 flat miles to the narrow one-lane bridge crossing over Dry Creek.

The road dramatically kicks up after the creek crossing; it winds up through the gorgeous shaded woodlands for 1.6 miles.

It’s a steep steady climb with an average grade of 10.3% and steep pitches of 13-16%!

Dry Creek Rd ends at the Napa/Sonoma County Line at mile marker 11.78.

Turn around on Dry Creek Rd, the corkscrew descent is fairly technical with many twisty tight turns-use caution! Turn right onto Mt Veeder Rd for another steady climb, it’s four miles with an 800 feet elevation gain. The first mile after the creek crossing is the steepest section with an average grade of 7.7% and steep pitches of 11-13%!

The road leads under a canopy of trees to a short false flat section before tilting back up for the next 0.8 miles with an average grade of 7.2%.

At the false summit, Mt Veeder Rd continues for the next 2.1 miles on gentle rolling terrain through the woodlands and hillside vineyards up to the summit at Wing Canyon Vineyard.

Enjoy the mountaintop views!

The descent on Mt Veeder Rd down to Pickle Canyon is fast with sweet little turns.

Near the bottom of the hill, at the red barn house the road changes to Redwood. It continues descending along Redwood Creek on very smooth pavement through the vineyards around Redwood Canyon.

Continue south through the residential neighborhoods on Browns Valley Rd. Stay south on Buhman Rd, it climbs out of town under the shaded woodland with views of the valley vineyards.

Turn right at the stop sign to stay on Buhman Rd, it rolls through the gorgeous hillside vineyards around the Carneros wine region.

At the next junction, turn right onto Henry Rd, it climbs up the lower hill followed by a drop to the T junction at Dealy Rd.

Turn left on Dealy, it cuts across the beautiful valley vineyards to Old Sonoma Rd.

Cross Carneros Creek on the Old Sonoma Bridge circa 1896 to the T junction at Hwy 12.

Head east on Hwy 12 for the return to Stanly Ln.

This is a fabulous hilly ride through the quiet country back roads around Napa with minimal traffic and grand views! Watch and yield to the numerous tree-cutting trucks and constructions vehicles on the road, they’re out doing their best for the post-Napa fire cleanup!

Garmin Stats:
39 Miles with 3392′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1531′
Max grade: 16%
Terrain: Very hilly with steep climbs

Weather: Sunny and cool. Temps ranged from the low 40’s to the high 50’s with NW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride: