Tunnel Road to Grizzly Peak Boulevard - Cycling

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About

Summary

Climb Tunnel Rd. to its intersection with Grizzly Peak Blvd., tracing the ridgeline of the Oakland and Berkeley hills. The climbing is well worth the effort—catch panoramic views over the Bay to the west, and scenic overlooks of rolling hills to the east.

Written by

Charlotte Dohrn

Distance

17.0 miles

Beginning and ending at Rockridge BART, the full loop is about 17 miles if you descend at Euclid Ave. If you need to cut your ride short, there are several opportunities to descend earlier.

Destination Distance From Downtown

12.9 miles

Difficulty

3 of 5 diamonds

Tunnel Road climbs steadily at a 5% grade, making this ride manageable, but still a good workout.

Time To Complete

3 hours

Seasonality

All Seasons

The steep and winding descents can be treacherous when wet.

Dog Friendly

No

Fees Permits

No

Review

Intro

A Bay Area classic, Tunnel R.d to Grizzly Peak Blvd. rewards cyclists who are willing to make the climb with standout views and quiet roads. From the ridgeline, overlook Oakland, Berkeley, and the calm waters of the Bay. Tunnel Rd. winds its way up through a residential neighborhood, leaving State Route 24 below, and eventually reaching Skyline Boulevard. Skyline Boulevard intersects Grizzly Peak Boulevard, which traces the ridgeline above Oakland and Berkeley for the next seven miles. With minimal traffic, relatively smooth asphalt, views, and beautiful trees, Grizzly Peak Boulevard is a cyclist’s dream.

What Makes It Great

The scenic and winding curves along Tunnel Rd. and Grizzly Peak Blvd. make this East Bay classic one you will want to repeat, despite the climbing. From Rockridge Bart, follow the signed bike route on Chabot Road and Roble Road through a quiet neighborhood. When you intersect Tunnel Road, the traffic picks up—be careful making the turn to cross over State Route 24. The initial climb will test your legs as you follow switchbacks up the canyon to its crest, climbing 1,000 feet in about four miles at a steady five percent grade along Tunnel Rd. and Skyline Blvd. As you ascend, the noise of the traffic fades away and the views over Oakland and the South Bay open up.

When you reach the intersection with Grizzly Peak Blvd., take a sharp left, doubling back to the north above Tunnel Rd. The next seven miles of rolling asphalt and alternating views to the east and west make the climb well worth the effort. The road winds along the ridge beneath several regional parks. Oak trees overhang the road, and frequent lookouts will tempt you to hit the brakes to take in the views.

Descend at Euclid Ave. for the full 17-mile loop, or cut your ride short by dropping off the ridge via Claremont Ave. or Centennial Dr. No matter which road you take, your return trip will carry you through the scenic campus of UC Berkeley. Semi-urban, yet backed by the natural beauty of the East Bay hills, the ride along Grizzly Peak Blvd. via Tunnel Rd. makes a great after-work ride or weekend adventure.

Who is Going to Love It

Most cyclists, from dedicated road bikers to more casual weekend riders, will enjoy this loop. Though the climbing is significant, the grade is relatively manageable for anyone in good shape with a reasonable number of gears. Urbanites take note, this ride would be tough on a fixie. 

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

This loop can be accessed throughout the Berkeley and Oakland hills. There is parking at the viewpoints along Grizzly Peak Blvd., at nearby Bart stations, and on neighborhood streets without restrictions. 

Location

Grizzly Peak Boulevard - Cycling Loop

Grizzly Peak Blvd
Oakland, CA, 94611
37.847598, -122.200621

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