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Looking for long hills in SoCal(15 posts)

Looking for long hills in SoCalbig fred
May 5, 2003 4:07 PM
Yep, just as the headline stated, I am looking for long hills to climb in Socal on my road bike without being run over by cars (i.e. a wide enough shoulder and longer than a mile or four).

I live in OC but am looking to do this as a weekend killer on a reg basis. Any suggestions?
Big Tujunga, Mulholland Hwy (Latigo Cyn., Las Flores)...serbski
May 5, 2003 4:52 PM
All of these, esp. "Big T", are plenty long and have some steep sections. Mulholland is nice in that it runs the length of the Santa Monica Mountains and, between Topanga Cyn. and Leo Corillo Beach, there are a number of different climbs that one can take to access it from PCH. Not the biggest shoulder for riding on Mulholland but, generally speaking, there is enough bicycle/motorcycle traffic on the weekends that *most* drivers are not surprised by your presence and are less likely to run you down. Big Tujunga has its fair share of high speed motorcycle guys with deathwishes (I'm serious as I've never *not* seen a guy go down on the AC Hwy on a weekend in some sort of nasty motorbike crash) but that is mostly on the Angeles Forest or Angeles Crest Highways which connect to Big T and they can be avoided. I'm sure that somebody on this board has more to add about these routes but I'd get a Thomas Guide (or AAA map stashed in your jersey) and go for some of them. The Mulholland rides seem to be faves of every type of rider from local pros to couples on tandems and everything in-between and it's so beautiful (it is in Malibu after all!) that you really should make the drive up here and check it all out. Good Luck and Good Riding.
get the Tom Harrison map....PeterRider
May 6, 2003 4:47 PM
of the Angeles Forest if you go this way. 9$ from REI or any similar place.

I recommend indeed Big T, little Tujunga is nice and hard as well, there is also Mt Wilson, Mt Gleason, Mt Disappointment, Mt Waterman. All of them with little/no traffic... I have some described in details on pages linked from

PeterRider...Excellent ride reports/photos! I have a question..serbski
May 6, 2003 5:36 PM
about the "river path" that heads to the ocean (in Glendora I believe?). Where does one access that path and do you know how far it goes "uninterrupted"? The ride to Mt.Baldy looks absolutely great. Keep the great pix comin'!
river path... have to checkPeterRider
May 6, 2003 10:08 PM
Last time I've taken it to the beach, we took it from Huntington drive in Arcadia. Then it was all uninterrupted until the beach, except for one street crossing. That was 37 miles one-way, extra extra flat. I don't like it a lot, it's a bit gloomy with almost no water left in the river... but if you want to go flat and fast, this is perfect. I'll have a look on the Thomas guide, I have no idea about the section we were on on the way back from Baldy.

Ah, by the way, there is an organized bike ride on this path in 2 weeks. Website is on I did it last year, it was my first long ride. Well organized and very crowded.

The Baldy ride, in the contrary, I highly recommend. Don't know how is Glendora mtn road when it is open, but when it is closed to traffic it is great. Then the switchbacks to go to the skilifts are a killer. I probably averaged between 3 and 4.5mph on those 4 miles !!

Thanks Mucho for the info... (nm)serbski
May 7, 2003 8:25 AM
How long is Newport Coast Road?fracisco
May 5, 2003 6:41 PM
It's in Orange County, it's 4 lanes, I think it has a bike lane on both sides, but I don't know how long it is. You could always ride over and back, and that would be at least 4 miles.
head inlandDMoore
May 5, 2003 7:24 PM
Drive to Redlands, less than an hour from Orange County up Highway 55/91/215. Park near U of Redlands. Ride up Highway 38/Lugonia Ave. It's 40 miles to Onyx Summit with about 7K' of climbing along the way. It's almost all climbing, except a 5 miles or so section of rollers and 1 steep 1 mile downhill on the way up. Coming back, it's almost all downhill. There's a good shoulder almost the entire way. There's one narrow stretch (from Forest Falls to Angelus Oaks) but traffic there is pretty light.

A shorter ride is to go up Highway 38 to Bryant, cut across to Oak Glen Rd and ride up to Oak Glen. That's probably 4K' or more climbing, quite a bit shorter.

From San Bernardino, go up OLD Highway 18 (Waterman Canyon) to the top, then keep on going to Crestline. No traffic at all until the last few miles when you emerge from Waterman Canyon onto Highway 18, with a shoulder on the highway. Probably 5K'+ in 20 miles or so.
GMR to Baldy and Crystal Lakelanterne rouge
May 5, 2003 9:16 PM
If you head up the 57 into Glendora you can ride Glendora Mountain Road up to the maintenance shack (8.5 miles of climbing with 2100 feet of elevation gain.) or across to Baldy Village (22 miles in all, majority of it climbing). You can also head out to Azusa Canyon Road and climb up through East Fork back to GMR (Glendora Mountain Road) or if you really feel good keep going to Crystal Lake straight up through Azusa canyon (28 miles of gradual climbing, as a friend of mine likes to say "it's only ONE climb!"). Or you can head up the front side of Mt Baldy to the ski lifts, over "hogsback", which is deceptively steep as there are no points of reference. When you descend this section you will be going around 50-55 mph without turning a pedal! That should get you started and then you can head east to Hwy 38 as suggested in the post above.
Second GMRCHRoadie
May 6, 2003 8:04 AM
And it's closed to traffic right now, so you don't have to worry about traffic. I think Glendora Ridge Road (which forks from GMR at the top and is the road you'll take over to Baldy Village) is one of the prettiest around.

Or, if you're not doing anything this Saturday, sign up for Breathless Agony. It does the whole Hwy 38 thing up to Onyx as well as the climb up to Oak Glenn (the steep way), plus a bonus climb over Jackrabbit Pass.
Gibraltar Roadmohair_chair
May 6, 2003 6:31 AM
If you don't mind a drive, go up to Santa Barbara and do Gibraltar Road. It's one of my favorite climbs of all time. It's about 11 miles long, and climbs roughly 4,000 feet, almost from sea level! The pavement is terrible, so there are few cars and those that do drive up are going slow. Do this ride every weekend and you'll be ready for the Tour de France. On a clear day, the view is beyond spectacular, and at the top you can see forever. Make a loop of it by crossing the ridge, then come down Painted Cave and San Marcos.

Check out this site:

There are more roads you might find interesting on the same site:
second Gibraltar - try it from the Old San Marcos side!BergMann
May 6, 2003 9:28 AM
The climb up to Camino Cielo from the Old San Marcos Road (starting in Goleta) is amazing! It's been a few years, but in my recollection it's a shorter, steeper climb (to the same elevation atop the Santa Ynez range).

The UCSB team used to use Gibraltar for hill interval workouts, but there's nothing like Old San Marcos for pure, unadulterated, out-of-the-saddle agony (39-23+ _highly_ recommended)!
re: Looking for long hills in SoCalcjwill
May 6, 2003 8:25 AM
Big Fred,

I have Never ridden this route before but i have driven it several time. visiting relatives, Loooooooong Hill in the poway area, Scripps Poway road I would like to ride the road myself but i am not at that level yet.



Well I can only really comment on San Diego but ...Rich_Racer
May 6, 2003 10:25 AM
. . there are quite a few hills. I did a nice ride out to Route 67 and up that this sunday - that goes over a few long hills. Going up Mt. Palomar would tax anyone. And there are some good hilly rides around Lake Hodges and that area.
THANKS!big fred
May 6, 2003 11:17 AM
Now that is what I am talking about! Thanks to everyone for the input. I will be busting them out in the coming Sundays!