Biking in the Southwest brings together world class trails with the golden sunshine and a magnificent work out. Biking our neighboring mountains can be bot thrilling and soulful as you explore the surrounding land. With lots of steep climbs and grueling workouts many of the rides nearby can prove challenging for most everybody. Along with these steep hills come a number of easier routes be they the Wilderness Park or the Thompson Creek Trail.
Please enjoy the following trails and remember to always carry a spare tube and wrench kit. That along with plenty of water will ensure your day is fun and well spent.
Cleveland National Forest Mountain Biking
With up to 50 miles of biking and 4500 vertical feet it's steep climb with optional single track. Good year round.
A Cleveland National Forest map is also very useful. Useful Guidebooks: 101 Hikes in Southern California by Jerry Schad includes pieces of this hike (Trabuco Canyon) with informative descriptions.
From Claremont take I- 10 East to 1-1 5 South. Go past the 91 Freeway and continue for three miles until you reach Weirick road. Exit and turn right, toward the mountains. Follow the road as it curves sharply to parallel the highway after about 0.2 miles there is a small road called Buffalo Speedway, it is marked as private, it is easy to find because it comes just before a large ranch/factory. If you pass a factory and come to a four lane residential road, you have gone too far. Following Buffalo speedway for about two miles drive slowly because of barely visible speed bumps. 100 yards after the road turns to dirt, you can park and begin mountain biking. If you have 4wd you can drive up into the mountains, 5 miles to get to the fist crest at 4500 feet. It takes about 30 minutes on road. Offroading possibility as well. Call ahead to make sure that the dirt road is open for driving.
This ride/drive/hike offers excellent views of the ocean from the far away Santa Ana Mountains at 4500-5000 ft. elevation. The ridge runs north-south and you can follow it for about 20 miles in either direction. From where the dirt begins it is a steep five miles, climbing almost 4000ft, to get to the ridge. Even on the ridge roads the steep ascents and descents along with erosion will keep you fiom traveling quickly by bike or truck. Watching the sunset from any number of vista points is spectacular, but really only possible if you can drive or spend the night. There is no water on the ridge, so backpackers should bring their own, if they choose to do this hike as an overnight. Permits are required for camping.Along the ridge there are several good single track trails which should all reconnect to the same road they left from.
Call to be sure that the dirt mad system is open to motor vehicles (there are fire closures). This system of mountain roads connects to Trabuco Canyon backpacking trip.
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Trail: 35 miles, 3500 ft.. net loss, but still 2000ft of climbing Time: 4-7hours Driving: 20 minutes, car shuttle required Difficulty: steep, strenuous, all on fire roads Season: this is a great escape from the smog: March-November
Sunset Peak topo
From Claremont take Indian Hill North and turn right on Foothill Blvd. Then turn left onto Mills Avenue North and go 3 miles until you reach Baldy Road which is at the parking entrance to the Claremont WildernessPark. Follow Baldy Rd. 20 miles to Cow Canyon Saddle which is Glendora Ridge Road. Turn left and follow the Glendora Ridge Road 0.3 miles to the obviousparking lot with a great view.
On a clear day you can see the radio towers on top of the mountains from campus. This is your destination. Sunset ridge offers some awesome views of the San Gabriels spanning Mt. Baldy, Devil's Backbone, and Mt. Baden-Powel. The trail is not very technical, but it can have some snow patches even in March and April depending on the snow year. Since you begin the ride at 4500A, you are totally above the smog level. Cross the street from the parking area and look forthe obvious dirt trail with a closed gate. You can either climb over the gate with your bike, or you can hike up a side trail. Follow this trail about 2 miles until you come to a large flat area where the trail in front goes down hill and you have the option to switch back and go upwards. Unfortunately, you must go up, following the switch back 5 more miles to where the fire road comes very close to Sunset Peak. There is a level spot at the high point of the trail with views of both LA and the San Gabriel Wilderness. You can leave your bike and hike .2 miles to the summit of Sunset Peak, but it does not really offer that much more. The fire road goes down from here and is mostly rolling for the next 15 miles. You will pass through a couple gates. At one point there is a fire access road that goes up to one of the radio towers, go past this outlet, and continue on the main road. The fire road ends in a gated community in Azusa. Ride downhill on the streets of the community and go out the front gate by either following an exiting car or by going on the sidewalk. From the gated community, follow the road straight until you reach Baseline which is a stoplight. Turn left on Baseline and follow it to Mills Avenue. Turn right on Mills and follow it back to campus. Bribe a friend to take you to get your car.
Take tons of water. This is an extremely dry ride and is hotter than you might guess based on the altitude. If you are an amazing cyclist or a masochist, ride your bike up Baldy road and the ride becomes 55 miles and very steep. Be sure to take a kit to fix a flat tire and tell someone where you are going. The hike out of this location is a particularly bad option because the chaparral is too dense to hike through and the mountains are too steep.
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San Gabriel Foothills Trails
Great mountain biking right in our backyard.
Coate's Cyclery map/Bud's Cycles map
Leave your room and head for the hills.
OTL member Evan Bilstrom's favorite trail is reached by riding up on Baldy Road until you get to the dam (which looks kinda of like a quarry). Take the trail (Every Canyon Trail) from the turnout on the left side of the road. "It's a tough climb, but the downhill is incredible." Don't take the West fork, but continue on the main trail until you get to the water tower at "big junction" (see map). From there go either downhill on Cobal to Mills fence, or head back up a little ways to BP&E. From BP&E many options are available. OTL biker Bijan Modanlou's favorite trail is reached by riding up Mills, over the fence, and up Cobal. When you get to the top of the ridge, head down BP&E to the Marshall Canyon trail (there's a little sign where Marshall Canyon starts). The uphill is tough, but from this point on its all downhill. For the first mile of the trail there are some sudden and sharp switchbacks, so be extremely cautious, and take it slow. This trail is mostly single track, the sights are gorgeous, and you even get to run through some little creeks. It ends up at Emerald Rd. in Laverne. Take Baseline back to school (less traffic than Foothill).
Bring water, a patch kit, a pump, and your helmet. On hotdays avoid hill climbing in mid-afternoon.
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