Stafford Lake-Pt Reyes Station-Bear Valley

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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This ride travels along the back roads of Novato on Indian Valley Rd and Novato Blvd past horse ranches to Stafford Lake. Climb out of the lake area to Hicks Valley and along the Nicasio Reservoir on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for a lunch stop at Pt Reyes Station. The return includes a loop around Bear Valley to Olema Hill and Platform Bridge Rd.

Start from Marinwood Community Center on Miller Creek Rd in San Rafael; head north on Miller Creek Rd to the multi-use path off Marinwood Ave.

The multi-use path runs parallel to US-101 and exits out onto Alameda Del Prado towards Del Prado Shopping Center.

The flat terrain on Ignacio Blvd goes westward pass the newer suburban neighborhoods to the short climb up Sunset Pkwy.

The descent on Sunset Pkwy drops down through the older neighborhood with many single story ranch style homes along Cambridge and Arthur St.

Indian Valley Rd is a quiet 2 mile stretch of road through a semi-rural area with many horse ranches and boarding facilities.

Continue meandering around the different neighborhoods on Wilson Ave and Mill Rd to Vineyard and Sutro Ave.

Head west on Novato Blvd; it’s a nicely paved two lane road with no shoulder area.

The multi-use path off Novato Blvd goes up and over into Stafford Lake; it’s gets you off the main road with beautiful views of the dam and lake.


The multi-use path leads directly to the parking lot at Stafford Lake Park.

Exit the park and continue NW on Novato Blvd for the stair step climbs towards Hicks Valley. The second section is the steepest with gradient ranges of 7-10% grades.

The gorgeous bucolic country scene is a wonderful distraction to the climbs with its rolling green hills, vineyards, ranches and open pastoral lands dotted with grazing cattle.

The descent on Novato Blvd drops down into Hicks Valley towards the Marin Cheese Factory on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.

Stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the short climb up and over to Nicasio Valley.

Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd rolls along the flats with fabulous views of Nicasio Reservoir and the rolling hills around the valley.

The road descends towards the dam through Laurel Canyon to the colored bridge.

Turn right to stay on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd; the rolling terrain weaves its way along Lagunitas Creek out to CA-1.

Take CA-1 S to Pt Reyes Station for a lunch stop at the Bovine Bakery.

The post lunch route does a 3 mile loop out from Sir Francis Drake Blvd to Bear Valley Rd. The terrain is pretty flat with one very short bump up and over towards the Pt Reyes Bear Valley Visitor Center. It’s a quiet road with minimal traffic and views of the Olema marshes.

The right turn onto Hwy 1 leads to the climb up Sir Francis Drake Blvd aka Olema Hill; it’s about a mile long with gradient ranges of 4-7%. Slow down on the descent-it’s very easy to miss the turn at the bottom of the hill onto Platform Bridge Rd!

The rolling terrain on Platform Bridge Rd takes you back onto Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd.

Go straight and continue on Pt Reyes Petaluma Rd for the spillway climb up to the reservoir; it’s 0.5 mile with an average grade of 5%.

The flat miles along the Nicasio Reservoir leads to Nicasio Valley Rd.

The short rise on Nicasio Valley Rd takes you up and over into Nicasio with beautiful idyllic country valley scenes.

Continue on Nicasio Valley Rd to Lucas Valley Rd.

The flat-rolling terrain on Lucas Valley Rd returns through the gorgeous redwood forest into the valley.

The terrain kicks up slightly for the gentle climbs up to Big Rock summit.

The descent from Big Rock on Lucas Valley Rd is fairly technical with several very sharp left hand turns with decreasing radius-use caution! The ride finishes off with a fun flat stretch through the valley back to Miller Creek Rd.

This ride takes you through the redwoods and out along Nicasio Reservoir to Pt Reyes Station. You’ll enjoy the quiet country back roads and the wonderful views of the rolling hills around Marin!

Garmin Stats:
52.33 Miles with 2717′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 590′
Max grade: 10%
Terrain: Flat-rolling with a few low hills

Weather: Sunny and warm with clear blue skies. Temps ranged from the high 60’s to the high 80’s with brisk NW winds

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Stafford Lake Pt Reyes Station

Follow this route for today’s ride: