brushy peak

Livermore Valley: Brushy Peak-N Flynn-Collier Canyon

Sunday, December 14, 2014

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This ride heads east from Sycamore Valley into Livermore Valley for a jaunt out to Brushy Peak Regional Preserve. It continues up Altamont Pass Rd to Carroll Rd for the I-580 crossover onto N Flynn Rd. Drop down into the open valley onto Patterson Pass Rd and return west on Portola Ave followed by a roll along Collier Canyon back to Highland Rd and Sycamore Valley.

We exit Osage Station Park onto Brookside Dr.

We head east through the residential neighborhoods out along Sycamore Valley on Sycamore Valley Rd and Camino Tassajara; these roads goes through the suburbs of Danville to the shopping centers and outer neighborhoods around Blackhawk. The flat miles goes pass the golden hills of Sycamore Valley Open Space and the displays of trees, plants and flowers at the Tassajara Nursery. 

Camino Tassajara continues out of town and heads south towards the country with wide open pastoral ranch lands and rolling hills through the unincorporated town of Tassajara. Old Orchards, open pastoral fields, horse facilities and cattle ranches dot the surrounding landscape below the contoured hills.

Highland Rd travels east on gentle rolling terrain through “horse country” with boarding ranches and training facilities. The beautiful green hills are dotted with grazing cattle, ranches and scattered barns .

At the junction at Collier Canyon, we stay on Highland for the short climb up and over into the valley. Grazing cattle and horses dot this beautiful idyllic country landscape.

Picturesque weathered old barns and old ranches add to the beauty of the land.

Highland Rd drops down from the Contra Costa County line into Alameda County at Manning Rd. The flat terrain on Manning and N Livermore take us out through the beautiful expansive Livermore Valley.

We meander around the flat valley floor on May School to Dagnino and Raymond Rd. The open valley offers splendid views of the soft contoured hills and old ranches in its natural uncluttered landscape.

We stay along the outskirts of Livermore on Dalton to N Vasco and cut through a residential neighborhood along Garaventa Ranch Rd and Altamont Creek Dr to Laughlin Rd.

North Laughlin Rd leads us out of the suburbs onto a single lane road towards Brushy Peak Regional Preserve. The flat terrain cuts through the gorgeous valley hills to a working ranch next to the seasonal Frick Lake.

The narrow road winds further inland through a small ranching community.

Laughlin Rd ends at the Laughlin Ranch Staging Area at Brushy Peak Regional Preserve.

The farm buildings at Laughlin Ranch is not accessible to the public. The staging area has a water spigot and a pit toilet located next to the parking lot.

Take the time to enjoy the stunning views of Brushy Peak and its surrounding hills, valleys and peaks!

We reverse our way out of the valley on Laughlin Rd to Altamont Pass Rd.

We head east on Altamont Pass Rd pass the popular Club Moto Motorcross tracks along I-580; the gentle terrain goes under the train trestle and follows the old RR tracks up to Carroll Rd.

The climb up Carroll Rd is 0.8 mile with an average grade of 8.8% and steep pitches of 10-12%! The road levels out as you near the I-580 overpass to N Flynn Rd.

N Flynn Rd winds up through the hills at the far east end of Livermore; it climbs up around the Altamont windmills with gradient ranges of 4-6% for 1.4 miles.

The road name changes to S Flynn Rd as it rounds the bend towards the summit.

The road drops down into Livermore Valley from the hilltop ranch onto Patterson Pass Rd.

Patterson Pass Rd continues down across the valley from the back country into town.

At Greenville Rd, Patterson Pass Rd continues west along the north side of Lawrence Livermore Nat’l Laboratory and Livermore’s Industrial Park area into the residential neighborhoods to N Mines Rd. We stop for lunch at Safeway at the shopping plaza off First St.

We continue west on First St to Portola Ave; Portola leads us through the residential neighborhoods around north Livermore and crosses over I-580 to Las Positas College and the newer developments along the upper ridge. Portola Ave sits above I-580 with gorgeous views of Livermore Valley!

Collier Canyon Rd continues on flat gentle rolling terrain for the next 5.5 scenic country miles to the north end at Highland Rd; the road crosses into Contra Costa County towards Sycamore Valley with minimal to no traffic. Collier Canyon Rd cuts through Livermore Valley from the south end at Portola Ave in Alameda County to the north end at Highland Rd in Contra Costa County.

These open ranch lands are populated with a few working cattle ranches and a large horse boarding facility.

Old weathered wooden barns are commonplace along this lovely stretch of road.

At the intersection with Carneal Rd, Collier Canyon climbs gently for about a mile with grades of 2-4.5% up to the old water tower and windmill. The fast descent drops us onto Highland Rd.

At Highland Rd, we reverse our way back out to Camino Tassajara pass the equine boarding and training facilities to the suburban neighborhoods around Blackhawk.

The flat valley run along Sycamore Valley takes us back to Osage Station Park on Brookside Dr.

This is a wonderful ride through Sycamore Valley to the quiet less-traveled country back roads around Livermore Valley. The out and back to Brushy Peak is simply gorgeous-it’s a must do!

Garmin Stats:
57.41 Miles with 2359′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 1016′
Max grade: 12%
Terrain: Flat-rolling with a few low hills

Weather: Cloudy skies with partial sunshine and low fog. Cool temps ranging from the low 40’s to the low 50’s. Brisk NE winds with 76% humidity.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Livermore Valley

Follow this route for today’s ride: