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Cycling Atlas Peak
Ride 8.3 miles gaining 2,130’ at 4.5% average grade.
This is a rural bike climb that winds its way through vineyards in the Vaca Mountains, located in the California Coast Range just northeast of the famed wine country town of Napa. The Atlas Peak ride is through the unincorporated community of Atlas, which was founded as a resort area in the late 19th century but is now well known as a high quality American Viticultural Area, or AVA. Atlas Peak AVA was established in 1992 and contains 11,000 acres of land (see Atlas Peak AVA for more information).
One and done, out-and-back.
Along this climb we have have a brief view of San Pablo Bay and Mt. Tamalpais, and at the upper stages we’ll pass grazing cattle, wildflowers in the spring, field stone, a high-end pet cemetery (well, that’s Napa Valley for you 🐶😉), and, of course, vineyards!
Mt. Tam (middle right) and San Pablo Bay (middle left).
A scenic pet cemetery.
Atlas Peak AVA.
Several vineyards along the climb. Harvest commonly takes place during October in this area.
While only a mild to moderate rated climb, Atlas Peak is the most difficult road bike climb near Napa, making it a favorite for cyclists in the area. The roadway surface was a bit rough in many sections along the route as of October 2019, but municipal funds have been designated to improve the road.
Repaving in October, 2019.
The October 2017 Atlas Peak Fire destroyed many homes and wineries on the mountain, but two years later there was not much visible sign of the devastation other than some barren hillside and home construction within sight of the roadway.
The climb is an out-and-back that is very pleasant with some challenge along one of the longer bike climbing segments in the Napa Valley.
That’s a wrap!!