Calaveras-Felter-Sierra Vista

Saturday, September 3, 2016

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This out & back ride heads south from Sunol for the gentle flat-rolling climbs along Calaveras Reservoir on Calaveras Rd. It continues east on Felter and Sierra Rds to the summit at Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.

Exit Sunol on Main St to Niles Canyon Rd and head south on Paloma Way to Calaveras Rd.

The first four rolling miles on Calaveras Rd takes you along Sunol Valley through several nurseries, a tree farm, an aggregate company and a water treatment plant.

The gentle beautiful climb up Calaveras begins after crossing the bridge over Welch Creek.

The first 3.3 miles up to the false summit goes through the Sunol Regional Wilderness.

The rolling descent drops down towards the reservoir followed by a short climb to the high point of Calaveras Rd at 1124′ into Santa Clara County.

Enjoy the views of Calaveras Reservoir!

The road continues to snake in, out and around the woodlands with views of the reservoir.

The ups and down take you to the next summit at 1087′ with gorgeous vistas of Calaveras Valley.

The steep descent drops down to the junction at Felter Rd.

The rolling climbs along Felter Rd have some very steep sections with grades of 9-15%; it runs 4.1 miles through the Los Buellis Hills with grazing cattle and a few ranch homes and estates hidden up along the hillsides.

This less traveled road has great views of Calaveras Valley and the surrounding mountains before coming to a Y junction at Sierra Rd.

Sierra Rd begins on a two lane road which becomes a narrow single lane for the 2 miles up to the summit.

It’s a gorgeous stretch of road with minimal to no traffic that winds along the back side of the ridge with magnificent views of the hills and canyons around the Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.

Enjoy the views!

Stop at Sierra Vista Open Space Preserve.

Enjoy the panoramic views!



Turn around and reverse your way back along Sierra Rd to Felter Rd.

Felter Rd swiftly drops back onto Calaveras Rd for the right turn up “the wall”, shift to your lower gears before making the turn. It’s an immediate quarter-mile climb with steep grades of 13-15%!

Calaveras continues on a series of rolling twisty turns that weave in and out of the woodlands around the reservoir.

Climb back up to the false summit for the sweeping 3 miles descent towards Welch Creek Rd.

Calaveras Rd continues on flat-rolling terrain to Paloma Way and Niles Canyon to Sunol.

This hilly route takes you on the quiet country back roads from Sunol Valley to Calaveras Valley with magnificent views of Calaveras Reservoir. The climbs up Felter and Sierra Rds is well worth the effort, the summit views at Sierra Vista are absolutely spectacular!

Garmin Stats:
42.31 Miles with 3553′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1995′
Max grade: 15%
Terrain: Hilly with steep climbs

Weather: Sunny & warm. Temps ranged from the low 60’s to the high 70’s with breezy SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile


Follow this route for today’s ride: