Hidden in the East Bay hills is one of my favorite driving roads. Palomares Road runs between Castro Valley and Fremont, running parallel between highways 880 and 680. It’s a beautiful two-lane road that features a gorgeous view of lush, green hills as well as some redwood trees. Palomares offers a blend of quick sweepers and super tight hairpins that will catch the uninitiated off guard, so be careful.
Palomares Road is popular among drivers, motorcyclists, and bicyclists so it may get crowded at times. There’s nothing worse than getting stuck behind a slower car that won’t use turnouts to let you by. They should probably read my How to Drive on a Two-Lane Backroad article. My advice is to wake up early and leave traction control on, as the road can get frosted overnight during the colder months.
Although its sweeping turns and elevation changes make it temping to drive flat out, you should not push your car on this road. First of all, it’s a residential road with a lot of driveways, which cars enter or exit unexpectedly. There are also wild animals like turkeys, chickens, and deer that like to hang out in the middle of blind corners. You should also watch out for rocks and mud in the road after a strong rain.
I’m lucky to live so close to such a beautiful road. There’s nothing like rolling down the windows, turning off the stereo, and just feeling connected to my Subaru BRZ. In the autumn, you can watch the trees change color, and smell the earth after a rain. It’s a truly remarkable road.