The Three Bears

Route Description

The Three Bears is a standard East Bay route. The Berkeley Hills Road Race takes place on this loop. The Three Bears refers to the section on Bear Creek Road which has three climbs called Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear. From Alhambra Valley Road, Mama Bear is first, Baby Bear is in the middle, and Papa Bear is last (at least that’s my interpretation).

Time: 2-2.5 hours
Distance: 35.21 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Climbing: 4482 feet


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Mile 00.00 – Spruce and Virginia. Start climbing up Spruce.
Mile 02.05 – At five-way intersection, continue straight onto Wildcat Canyon. The road winds gently up to Inspiration Point.
Mile 05.49 – Inspiration Point. The Wildcat Canyon descent starts here. This is a fun technical descent, but watch out for the 15 mph left turns.
Mile 07.96 – Turn left on San Pablo Dam Rd. Thus we enter the Three Bears loop. This is a fast road which tends downward. However, there is a lot a traffic so stick to the shoulder.
Mile 13.33 – Turn right on Castro Ranch Rd. There are a couple of short steep rises.
Mile 15.56 – Turn right on Alhambra Valley Rd. This is a pleasant rolling road with almost no traffic.
Mile 18.29 – Turn right on Bear Creek Rd. and get ready to tackle the Bears.
Mile 20.35 – That was Mama Bear.
Mile 20.96 – That was Baby Bear.
Mile 23.61 – That was Papa Bear. After a short bump, tuck in for a super fast descent.
Mile 26.75 – Go straight onto Wildcat Canyon for the climb back to Berkeley. This intersection is where we exit the Three Bears loop.
Mile 32.63 – At the 5-way intersection, head left on Grizzly Peak to descend via Euclid.
Mile 35.21 – Sprice and Virginia. End of ride.