Snaking through several shades of green

Patterson Pass Road

If you are travelling between the cities of Tracy and Livermore in California, chances are you will take I-580 to your destination. 580 takes you through the hills of the Diablo Range and shows you many of the windmills that dot the landscape.  Say you want more: like roads that go up one hill and down another and with lots of twists and turns; and there are rolling hills as far as your eyes can see. Then, you should pick Patterson Pass over the interstate highway the next time you are in the area.

We drove through scenic Patterson Pass a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed the leisurely drive on this less-travelled mountain road through Diablo’s hills. Unlike the highway this is a small single-lane road that hugs the curves of the hills that make up the range east of the Silicon Valley. Just when you think you are almost at the top of one hill the road snakes through the next hill and takes you to the other side and shows you more of the mountain chain.

Our drive started at the end of Mountain House Parkway and the half hour drive showed us yet another part of this mountain range in Northern California.Patterson Pass led us through a side of the Altamont Pass Wind Farm Substation and meandered around many hills pointing out scores of tranquil slopes, dozens of wind turbines and large stretches of uninhabited California. Some 20 minutes into the drive, we found ourselves at a beautiful vista point that serves us with views of the valley, more windmills and a part of Patterson Pass Road itself working its way up the hills.

NOW, is a great time for a drive through Patterson Pass thanks to the winter showers that have turned all those dry hills into green dollops of land. Go on a cloudy day –like we did — and you’ll be treated to a greater spread of shades of green because of the shadows the clouds cast on those rolling hills.

Patterson Pass Road
Patterson Pass Road
Patterson Pass Road
Patterson Pass Road
Patterson Pass Road
Patterson Pass Road
Patterson Pass Road
Patterson Pass Road

Patterson Pass Road

Patterson Pass Road
Patterson Pass Road

Drive safe. 

There may not be a whole lot of cars you’ll pass on the Patterson Pass but the road is narrow and sometimes steep. And for the most part there is no yellow line to keep vehicles coming from the other side, from getting too close to you. Drive with caution. And please be aware of bikers who are here to enjoy the ride and take in the beauty of the Diablo Range.

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  1. I love all he shades of green and the rolling hills. Nice.

    • This place looked totally different in the summer months. The rolling hills were a lovely sight but it was quite dry and yellow. The green does add a whole lot of charm to it.

  2. A dreamy true Bollywood type location.. and I once worked out of Livermore for few weeks so this took me back many years … 🙂

    • Nice to know that, DesiTraveler. 🙂
      Have you seen these parts in Summer, it really looks different. The winter showers seem to have waved its magic wand over these hills.

  3. I love road trips and such long winding roads are a sight I always enjoy immensely…

    • There's nothing like road trips, really. 🙂

      This was a short drive, for a change. 😀
      I usually find myself doing long drives when I'm in the mood for a scenic drive, and I seem to be in that mood almost always.

      I hope you are doing well, Jaish. 🙂

  4. An interesting series of photos. I was surprised it was California as a number of those shots are reminiscent of the green, rolling UK landscapes.

    • California has been hit by drought for around 4 years now. This winter however, the state seems to have gotten some much-need rains and maybe that dry spell will be broken this time.
      Thanks to El Nino, these hills are nice and green now.

      Thank you for stopping by. 🙂

  5. wow amazing. Awesome photos.

  6. Wow! Beautiful scenes! Love them!

  7. Fantastic road to drive through.

  8. I can imagine the thrill of ride through these beautiful roads.

    • I WAS so thrilled to finally go that way.
      My hubby had taken that route once and then it seemed to be closed for some months after that. So it took me a while to take this route, after I had heard of it.
      I believe that was good. It just got greener by then. 😉

  9. Thank you for sharing this dreamscape. I don't believe in bucket lists but I am sure I have a tryst with California somewhere down the line.

  10. Would love to ride there!! 😀

  11. Lovely. Wish I could drive through this fairyworld

  12. Mesmerizing landscapes! The shades of green are icing on the rolling hills. <3

  13. Wow a beautiful road to drive.

  14. the last pic really takes the cake Dee… lovely drive 🙂 hope we can do it someday… hugs!

    Cheers, Archana –

    • Actually, it does, that one quite sums up the drive.
      I'm glad you noticed that one, Archana.

      You should, if it's in the winter. I hear in Spring, you see wild flowers, so maybe Spring, too. 🙂

      Come by, soon. Let's catch up!

  15. The title is apt! So many shades of green. Not sure if I will be able to drive when I have such a wonderful landscape around me 🙂
    Brilliant pictures!

  16. Awesome pictures, specially the winding roads and windmills!

  17. Lovely captures, Divya, as always! Loved the windmills:)

  18. Oh Oh Oh!

    Such lovely greens and the rolling hills with winding roads! Who would not want to take a roadtrip? I think I would just stop the car and admire the beauty. 🙂

  19. Absolutely stunning landscape!! Must have been one crazy experience to drive around these mountains.

  20. Amaaazing view! Brilliant photography, Divya 🙂

  21. I so want to go there. One hell of a drive! Awesome picture, Dee 🙂

  22. Wow what amazing road and beautiful picture……

  23. Such a gorgeous landscape. Lovely frames, Nambiare!

  24. beautifulllllllllll that looks just like Scotland here .. 🙂


    • It does? 😉
      So it may not be wrong to call it a mini – Scotland, I guess. But then again, I think we can say that only around this time of the year.

      Thank you, Bikram. 🙂

  25. Windmills on the rolling hills look so picturesque. You have beautifully captured wonderful landscape D.

  26. Fascinating landscape. Can see how much you enjoyed the drive. 🙂

  27. Looks nice! I wonder why the hills are devoid of a single tree!

    • Good question, Param.
      These hills are actually very, very dry during the rest of the year. It’s the winter rains that make it look nice and green and lovely around this time of the year. 🙂

  28. So serene and surreal. Exquisite landscape and am sure it would be one beautiful ride on a rainy/cloudy day. 🙂 Am jealous of you. Keep travelling.

  29. you have captured the best of greens Dee 🙂 loved them all 🙂

  30. I think I saw those windmills while driving through California, don’t remember the highway I took though. Anyway, I felt the experience there to be much better than I got in the entire East Coast!

    • Yeah, you cross this mountain range when you drive from the Bay area to Yosemite. I’m pretty sure you saw the windmills when you were on I-580.

      These pictures are from a mountain pass that doesn’t see a whole lot of traffic except on those days when there’s too much office-going/returning traffic on 580 and the other highways in the area.

  31. It does look like a beautiful drive through those rolling hills.

  32. Pingback: Diablo Range: The hills are alive again | Tipsy from the TRIP

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