Sutter Basin-Sutter Buttes Century

Friday, July 14, 2017

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This flat century heads north along the Sacramento River from Knights Landing out through the beautiful expansive agricultural farmlands around the Sacramento Valley and Sutter Basin for a ride around the Sutter Buttes. The return south meanders back through the valley along Reclamation Rd.

Begin this ride from Knights Landing and head north on Hwy 113 to Cranmore Rd.

Turn left on Granmore, the road continues north along the east side of the Sacramento River for the next 21.5 flat miles through the rich agricultural farmlands and ranches around the Sutter Basin. The Sutter Basin is a natural overflow area incorporated into the flood control project as a bypass. Water enters the Basin through overbank flow along the east bank of the upper Sacramento River, and through two fixed weirs, Moulton Weir and Colusa Weir. The Sutter Basin empties into the Sutter Bypass, a wide flood channel that carries excess Sacramento River flood water parallel to the River down to the confluence of the Feather and Sacramento Rivers. *1

Enjoy the colorful explosion of blooming sunflowers along the Sacramento Valley!

Cranmore Rd continues through the valley nut orchards and farmlands along the river.

The road winds along the river with expansive views of the fertile Sacramento Valley fields. Cranmore name changes to Garmire Rd as it continues north over the West Side Canal.

Turn left onto Meridian Rd, it meanders along the river past country farmhouses and valley farmlands.

Enjoy the views of the Sutter Buttes!

Go left to stay on Meridian Rd, it continues along the river with wonderful views of the Sutter Buttes!

Take a jog through the town of Meridian on D St and 3rd St for a stop at the Meridian Market.

Exit town and continue north on Meridian Rd, the road travels through the gorgeous expansive valley orchards with expanding views of the Sutter Buttes.

The road name changes to Pass Rd as it turns eastward towards West Butte along an old abandoned elevated roadway.

Turn left onto W Buttes Rd and begin the clockwise loop around the valley foothills of the Sutter Buttes. The volcanic spires of the Sutter Buttes tower 2,000 feet above the farms and fields of California’s Great Valley, just 50 miles north-northwest of Sacramento and 11 miles northwest of Yuba City. The only volcano within the valley, the Buttes consist of a central core of volcanic domes surrounded by a large apron of fragmental volcanic debris. Eruptions at the Sutter Buttes occurred in early Pleistocene time, 1.6 to 1.4 million years ago. The Sutter Buttes are not part of the Cascade Range of volcanoes to the north but instead are related to the volcanoes in the Coast Ranges to the west in the vicinity of Clear Lake, Napa Valley, and Sonoma Valley. The Sutter Buttes are referred to as the world’s smallest mountain range. *2

W Buttes Rd travels through the vast grassland, valley orchards, and back country ranches.

Enjoy the views of the West Buttes!

The road comes to a T junction at N Buttes Rd.

Turn right onto N Buttes Rd, the road turns east as it continues through the expansive orchards and farmlands.

The road jogs slightly to the right onto Powell St.

At the forced left turn, the road name changes to Pennington Rd as it continues east across the valley towards the city of Live Oak.

Enjoy the views of the North Buttes!

Pennington Rd continues past the community ranches and homes to Live Oak.

Cross the RR tracks to Hwy 99 for a stop at the Tower Market.

Jog back across the RR tracks on Elm and Broadway to Larkin Rd and head south through the valley and across the canals.

Turn right onto Clark Rd, it heads west across the valley orchards and ranches.

The road turns southward as it name changes to E Butte Rd. The road rolls along the pastoral meadows with views of the Sutter Buttes.

Turn left to continue south on E Butte Rd, it travels through the ranches, orchards, and farmlands at the outskirts of Sutter.

Make a jog on Butte House Rd to N Humphrey Rd.

Turn right onto S Butte Rd, it takes you across the canal into the town of Sutter for a stop at the Sutter Market.

Head north on Acacia Ave, it leads you out of town past the residential homes, schools, and churches.

The road name changes to Pass Rd as it turns westward towards the Sutter Buttes.

Pass Rd closes the loop around foothills of the Buttes as it goes through the scattered ranching community.

Enjoy the views of the South Buttes!

Pass Rd tilts up for a gentle climb as it winds around the hills to the summit at 363 feet.

Enjoy the close-up views of the Buttes and Old Craggy!

The road drops down towards West Butte.

Turn left onto W Butte Rd, it heads southeast along the valley orchards and pastoral fields to the junction at Hwy 20.

Head west on Hwy 20 for the next 1.1 miles.

Turn left onto S Tarke Rd, it travels through the gorgeous valley of green rice fields, small gold flowers, and yellow blooming sunflowers!

The road name changes to McGarth Rd and Progress Rd as it rounds the valley floor with extensive views of the beautiful Sutter Buttes and the rich agricultural fields!

The road name changes once again as it crosses over the Tisdale By-Pass to Reclamation Rd.

Reclamation Rd takes you back through the Sutter Basin for the next 13.1 miles towards the town of Robbins. Enjoy the glorious valley farmlands!

Reclamation Rd comes to a T junction at Hwy 113, turn right for the slight jog into Robbins to Del Monte Ave and back onto Reclamation Rd.

Stay on Reclamation for the next 4.7 miles as it continues along the waterway. The smooth pavement becomes a bumpy rough ride as it nears the Ensley Rd junction.

Turn right on Ensley Rd, it heads west across the valley towards Hwy 113.

Jog along Knights Rd and cross the Sacramento River on Hwy 113 for the return to Knights Landing.

You’ll enjoy this fabulous ride through the gorgeous Sacramento Valley and the Sutter Basin followed by the remote adventure loop around the beautiful Sutter Buttes! The explosion of blossoming yellow sunflowers and the expansive valley orchards are simply magnificent this time of the year. This ride is best done in the early Spring when the hills are green and the temps are cooler!



Garmin Stats:
120 Miles with 875′ of elevation gain
Max Elevation: 363′
Max grade: 6%
Terrain: Flat with one low hill climb

Weather: Sunny and HOT! Temps ranged from the mid 60’s to the high 90’s with SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride: