Vaca Valley-Dunnigan Hills Century

Friday, October 17, 2014

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This century explores the fertile agricultural farm lands from Solano County to Yolo County. The ride heads north through Vaca Valley from Vacaville to Winters and continues along the flatlands to Esparato and Capay. The route goes through Hungry Hollow region to the gentle rolling terrain around Dunnigan Hills to Zamora. The return south goes along the outskirt of Woodland and Davis to Dixon Ridge. The ride ends with a leisurely jaunt along the Alameda Creek Bike Trail from Vacaville to Pena Adobe Park.

We exit Pena Adobe Park onto Rivera Rd and Cherry Glen Rd.

The flat rolling terrain on Pleasants Valley Rd goes through the gorgeous Vaca Valley farm lands orchards and pastoral meadows.

Pleasants Valley continues north with beautiful views of the Vaca Mountains to the west and the rolling green English Hills to the east. Horse ranches and cattle dot the open pastures around this ranching community.

Putah Creek Rd continues along Pleasants Valley with wonderful views of Lake Solano. It winds around the flatlands surrounding the expansive orchards from Solano County to Yolo County.

We make a brief stop at the Rotary Park in Winters.

Railroad Ave leads us out of Winters onto Road 89. Travel through Yolo County is based on a numbered county roads system. Each road number is generally one mile apart and road numbers with a letter is generally less than a mile apart.

Road 89 heads north through the rural agricultural region of Yolo County; the rich expansive farmlands holds acres of nut orchards and grain fields-most of the land has been plowed for the season and left unsown.

We make our way north along the grid system on Road 27 to Road 88 and Road 26. The flat terrain goes through the scenic country with scattered ranches, farmhouses and weathered barns with views of the Mayacamas Mountains in the background.

Road 87 leads to the walnut orchards along Road 25 to the horse and cattle ranches along Road 86A and Road 23.

We continue through the valley orchards and farmlands along the edge of Esparto on Road 85B to CA-16 W.

CA-16 W takes us into the town of Capay for a stop at the Road Trip Market. On Speed Bump Wednesdays you can get a burger or fries for $1-that’s a deal!

We exit Capay on Road 85; the 5.1 flat miles goes north through Capay Valley with scenic views of the plowed farmlands, orchards, and pumpkin and butternut squash fields around Hungry Hollow.

The turn onto Road 14 leads us east through Hungry Hollow towards Dunnigan Hills. The road cuts across the valley through the orchards, vineyards and scattered ranches.

The gentle terrain goes along the soft rolling hills to the remote Quail Point Hunting Club and Wild Adventure Paintball Park off I-505.

Road 14 crosses over I-505 and continues along Dunnigan Hills through a small ranching community around Zamora.

The I-5 crossing on Road 14 to Road 99 W brings us to our lunch stop at the Zamora Mini Mart.

We reverse our way back across I-5 on Road 14 and head south on Road 92B through the beautiful gentle soft rolling Dunnigan Hills. This back country is home to a few scattered residential ranch homes and a sheep ranch. The pastoral landscape is dotted with horses, sheep and donkeys.

The road gently winds up to the hilltop vineyards and wine facilities at Crew Wine Company to Road 15B.

Road 90B heads south and cuts through the valley vineyards and olive groves to Road 90A. The frontage road Road 90A runs parallel to I-505 to the Hungry Hollow region in Yolo County.

The turn onto Road 19 to Road 92C takes us across the valley through the agricultural landscape and farming community around Cache Creek watershed along Goodnow Slough.

Road 20 runs east through the olive groves and horse ranches along Goodnow Slough.

Road 20 leads us to our next water/pit stop at Cache Creek Nature Preserve

We make our way through the valley farmlands on Road 94B to Road 22.

Road 95 continues south along the flat lands and open fields to Road 27. We actually missed a turn onto Road 24/Gibson Rd due to a mapping error but will eventually get back on route later.

The turn on Road 27 takes us towards Woodland.

We continue south on Road 99 through Davis and take the bike path on Russell Blvd to Road 98.

Road 98 is a busy road that leads out to the I-80 interchange at Pedrick Rd. We make a brief stop at the Dixon Chevron.

We continue west along the farmlands on Sievers Rd to the nut orchards around Dixon Ridge on Schroeder Rd.

Dixon Ave runs west through the open valley to the horse ranches and orchards along the canal on Nunes Rd to Oday Rd.

We cross over I-80 on Midway Rd and continue south on Lewis Rd with not much of a scenery change.

Hawkins Rd cuts across the UP RR tracks to the tiny town of Elmira, east of Vacaville.

We head west on Elmira Rd into Vacaville; the road is currently closed to through traffic-looks like another tract subdivision is coming soon!

Marshall Rd takes us through the residential neighborhoods to Nut Tree Rd.

We take the Alamo Creek Bike Trail through Vacaville; this path cuts across the city and follows the curvatures of the creek to the west end at Marshall Rd. This is not a bike friendly trail; too much effort is required to navigate the gated entrance and exits along the sidewalks from the busy city streets. It’s worth riding at least once-a better option would be to stay on Marshall Rd to Alamo Dr and Butcher Rd.

The trail exits onto Marshall Rd at the west side of town. We meander through the neighborhood and take Butcher Rd across Alamo Creek. The multi-use trail at the end of Butcher Rd leads us back to Pena Adobe Park. 

The open valleys and rolling hills around Solano and Yolo Counties sits within the heartland of the richest and fertile agricultural farming region in California. Come and explore the natural wealth and immense beauty surrounding the Central Valley farmlands!

109.40 Miles with 1558′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 314′
Max grade: 5%
Terrain: Mostly flat-rolling

Weather: Partly cloudy skies with some sunshine. Temps ranged from the high 50’s to the high 70’s. SW Winds with 55% humidity

Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile

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Follow this route for today’s ride: