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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
Relevant Guidebooks & Maps
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.
Edited by (in order): OTL Staff
Last updated: 05/25/2009