Bear Creek Cruise

Loop • 21.4 mi • 0 ft

The commuter rail line known as BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) pops through the eastern slope of the Berkeley Hills near Orinda, one of several upscale villages in the East Bay. The town itself is nondescript, but beyond its limits lies one of the more popular loop rides in the Bay Area. The Bear Creek Cruise, also known as the Three Bears Loop, is a casual jaunt through the hills and valleys of part of the East Bay Municipal Water District Watershed, a large tract of undeveloped forest and grassland that includes the Briones and San Pablo reservoirs. The ride attracts both racers and casual tourists alike, all in search of soothing scenery and a satisfying workout. (The route is part of the annual Berkeley Hills Road Race sponsored by the Berkeley Bike Club). Some of the riders you’ll see on this loop climbed up and over the hills from Berkeley or El Cerrito via Wildcat Canyon Road, others came from nearby Pleasant Hill or Lafayette, while still others may have traveled from more distant parts on BART, with bikes in tow. Terrain: Rolling hills, with one extended climb. Quiet country roads and busier thoroughfares interspersed through the ride.
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Activity Type: Road Biking
Nearby City: Orinda
Length: 21.4 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Intermediate
Season: Year-round
Local Maps: DeLorme Northern California Atlas and Gazetteer, maps 104 and 105; Krebs Cycle Products, North San Francisco Bay and Wine Country map
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