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Gravel riding routes near La Canada/Glendale/Altadena

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Gravel riding routes near La Canada/Glendale/Altadena

Old 11-22-20, 01:48 PM
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pbass
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Gravel riding routes near La Canada/Glendale/Altadena

I live the in the area mentioned in the title, and I'm getting a little burned out on my regular routes. My most regular route is up Chevy Chase, to the top of Cherry Canyon, down to the sports complex, etc. Then there's the whole JPL/Brown area, Mt Wilson, Lukens. I road ride from Glendale to these areas and then hit the dirt (aka gravel). Basically rides that all feature some degree of ass-kicking climbing. Well, I'm pretty strong for a 60 year old, but man, sometimes I just want a nice flowy ride with less than 15% grades! I prefer riding dirt as much as possible but with the gravel rig I'm fine with pavement to get there - what rides might I be missing around here? I do drive sometimes to other areas but wondering if I'm missing anything local.

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Old 11-22-20, 03:09 PM
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nearby verdugos, griffith park and entire angeles nf are your playground. you’re tired of all that? the sammos and san berdoos are a relatively short drive away. here are a few other la area rides contained within:

https://gravelbikecalifornia.com/

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Old 11-22-20, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
nearby verdugos, griffith park and entire angeles nf are your playground. you’re tired of all that? the sammos and san berdoos are a relatively short drive away. here are a few other la area rides contained within:

https://gravelbikecalifornia.com/
I guess not so much tired of it, but it's pretty much steep, all the time! Would love some nice long flowy dirt roads that don't always go up I'll check out this link---thanks!
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Old 11-22-20, 04:49 PM
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A lot of the ANF is closed off because of the virus and the fire. I drove up to Red Box/ Mt Wilson turn off 2 days ago, but redbox rincon dirt road and the rest of Angeles Crest Hwy is closed. Mt Wilson Rd is closed. The fire burned all the way up the canyon on the back side of Mt Wilson to Red Box. Saw a lot of activity at the ranger station to ride up to Mt Lukens.

Henningar Flats/Mt Wilson toll road/Eaton Canyon has been closed for months, and it was a nice ride. A guy was shot and killed at Eaton Canyon about 2 weeks ago at 1am in the morning! WTF?

Chaney trail is open, but you will have to drive to the parking lot, trailhead. The paved road is 25% grade. I rode it once... on an eMTB...from South Pasadena all the way to Inspiration Point and back. I think it's the only way to get to the top of Mt Wilson at this point. Quite rocky.

There is a road/trail just off La Tuna Canyon Rd where the 210 fwy meets it..... I drove by there this morning and a whole lot of cars there.Crowded! It's another fireroad that goes to the top overlooking Burbank.. with repeater towers there. I haven't done it for years.. and remember it was not too bad.

Seems like there must be some fireroads above Glendale and Burbank so you don't have to ride all the way to Cherry Canyon.

I gots to say... we have a lot of F'd up fireroads.... not any rolling gravel roads unless you get to the interior of the ANF. Closed off at this point.

That JPL/arroyo trail is really crowded now. I used to ride from South Pasadena up there and ride(walking sometimes when not on eMTB) the road behind Gould Mesa campground up to Angeles Crest Hwy and come back down the hwy thru La Canada back to South Pasadena.. about a 25 mile round trip for me. There was a big homeless camp at Gould Mesa campground for about a year.... I think the sheriff ran them out. You could smell the raw sewage...
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Old 11-22-20, 06:31 PM
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That JPL/Arroyo trail is good fun on a gravel bike. That's another regular for me when I don't want to climb, but it is just so crowded now, unless you go really early, or late. That's the kind of fun, flowy vibe I'm talking about. And yep, I have ridden from Glendale to go up Chaney many times. I can do it, but it's not fun.
Cherry is closest to me--I ride it 2-3 times a week at least. So that one I am actually a little tired of. Plenty of fire roads nearby, but again, most every ride involves a tough climb at the start at least. I go out my front door and start climbing. Then climb some more.
I've been up that La Tuna fire road. It's another long slog. Pretty nice when you get up there. But now super crowded.
Anyhow, I shouldn't complain living here, but, you know, the gravel is always greener somewhere else I guess

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Old 11-22-20, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Mt Wilson Rd is closed.
The road might be officially closed, but cyclists, including myself, are still going up. Normal road conditions. The ACH/2 east of Redbox is most definitely closed since there is active work being done.
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Old 11-23-20, 10:47 AM
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Chandler Motorway to Verdugo Motorway
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Old 11-23-20, 11:12 AM
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I rode Mt Wilson Toll Rd last week. There are ways to access it. Id personally never describe that climb as "flowy and nice." Griffiths Park. is hiking and horse trails.

Maybe give the Backbone trail a whirl. The section from Yerba Buena to Sandstone Peak is loads of fun. In fact most of the trail west of Kanan is a good mix of quick flowing rolling sections but with a few steep MTB sections to negotiate. It all seems easier heading West. People talk about Sycamore Canyon, but it looks popular with hikers.

For a long steady climb that is not too steep have a look at the Mendenhall Truck Trail from Dillon Divide on Little T Cyn Amazing landscape and empty, no-one goes there. Last couple of miles up to Gleason are a steep slog, but there's plenty to ride before you get that far.

Another possible candidate is the Sunset Peak Trail from GRR. Not particularly long, It is a moderate climb with some rolling sections on top - fantastic views - crazy wild flowers in the spring

As mentioned before Redbox Rincon is/was a favorite of mine. I don't know what the fire left of it, but i fear the worst, especially as you approach Devore. After that the endless fallen trees had rendered the trail impassable. I'd certainly stick my nose down there closed or not.

Have fun
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Old 11-23-20, 11:23 AM
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All dirt paths in Griffith Park are closed to cyclists.
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Old 11-23-20, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Bingod View Post
I rode Mt Wilson Toll Rd last week. There are ways to access it. Id personally never describe that climb as "flowy and nice." Griffiths Park. is hiking and horse trails.

Maybe give the Backbone trail a whirl. The section from Yerba Buena to Sandstone Peak is loads of fun. In fact most of the trail west of Kanan is a good mix of quick flowing rolling sections but with a few steep MTB sections to negotiate. It all seems easier heading West. People talk about Sycamore Canyon, but it looks popular with hikers.

For a long steady climb that is not too steep have a look at the Mendenhall Truck Trail from Dillon Divide on Little T Cyn Amazing landscape and empty, no-one goes there. Last couple of miles up to Gleason are a steep slog, but there's plenty to ride before you get that far.

Another possible candidate is the Sunset Peak Trail from GRR. Not particularly long, It is a moderate climb with some rolling sections on top - fantastic views - crazy wild flowers in the spring

As mentioned before Redbox Rincon is/was a favorite of mine. I don't know what the fire left of it, but i fear the worst, especially as you approach Devore. After that the endless fallen trees had rendered the trail impassable. I'd certainly stick my nose down there closed or not.

Have fun
I know another rider that rides Mt Wilson toll road.. says accesses it behind the tennis courts off of NY drive., and another trail that goes behind houses going the other way... forget the name of that trail. Says there is someone parked on the trail telling him he can't ride this... and just waves and rides by.

Redbox...I've done many times...a biache to climb back out of it. The fire burned up to redbox parking area, but not too bad, and it looks like it didn't really burn bad down in the canyon where the road follows. What did look bad was on the north side of the canyon up over the hwy... burnt badly.
West Fork campground one of my favorites. Gone down there many times on foot from Short Cut trail. I think that area is also burnt badly.
Traffic cones blocking Mt Wilson road, so I guess bikers can go on through. Water trucks coming up ACH about every 15 minutes, continuing along ACH after redbox to destination unknown.
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Old 11-23-20, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tycho Brahe View Post
All dirt paths in Griffith Park are closed to cyclists.
Which is a bummer. Would be some decent "gravel" riding there.
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Old 11-23-20, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
I know another rider that rides Mt Wilson toll road.. says accesses it behind the tennis courts off of NY drive., and another trail that goes behind houses going the other way... forget the name of that trail. Says there is someone parked on the trail telling him he can't ride this... and just waves and rides by.
I got on the Toll Road from Tanoble off E Alta Loma Dr. Its a dusty single track with lots of switchbacks and steep slopes down to the bridge. l walked the first 25yds. Tricky but manageable but nothing Id want to climb back up. You can also access it from Glenallen Lane: its less single track but you need to ride through a private drive. I returned via the main Canyon Trail and exited at the Nature Center, no one cared.


Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Redbox...I've done many times...a biache to climb back out of it. The fire burned up to redbox parking area, but not too bad, and it looks like it didn't really burn bad down in the canyon where the road follows. What did look bad was on the north side of the canyon up over the hwy... burnt badly.
Too Bad That would put the kibosh on Shortcut Canyon then. I'm assuming Monrovia Peak is toast as well. Though both of these rides would not have fallen into the flowy and nice category. The river crossing through the trees on Shortcut was exceptionally beautiful.
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Old 11-23-20, 04:27 PM
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Good stuff here folks--thanks.
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Old 11-23-20, 10:29 PM
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if you want a quickie getaway, hit carrizo plain national monument west of taft, ca at the 33/166 junction. climb elkhorn grade and glide down a spell and then roll west to your desire.
hang a left at an appropriate junction and another left onto soda lake rd and back to the 33. last two weeks of march/first two weeks of april best for the greenery and flowers.
zero support except in taft so plan accordingly. once up/down elkhorn grade, it's all flowy bleep.

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Old 11-24-20, 09:54 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
if you want a quickie getaway, hit carrizo plain national monument west of taft, ca at the 33/166 junction. climb elkhorn grade and glide down a spell and then roll west to your desire.
hang a left at an appropriate junction and another left onto soda lake rd and back to the 33. last two weeks of march/first two weeks of april best for the greenery and flowers.
zero support except in taft so plan accordingly. once up/down elkhorn grade, it's all flowy bleep.
I've been out there, but not on a bike. What I think pbass is asking for is a more flowing trail close to where he lives so not to take the bike in the car.
I'm the same, I would rather ride from home..... get some dirt and ride back. I don't like transporting bike and leaving parked car. That's why I mentioned a couple rides I do from door to door.
Chaney Trail... (Steep)
Henningar Flats (still steep)
JPL/ Arroyo (not too steep)
Then we got off track and started up with finding trails/fireroads that you have to drive to them.

Last edited by trailangel; 11-24-20 at 11:10 AM.
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Old 11-24-20, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
I've been out there, but not on a bike. What I think pbass is asking for is a more flowing trail close to where he lives so not to take the bike in the car.
I'm the same, I would rather ride from home..... get some dirt and ride back. I don't like transporting bike and leaving parked car. That's why I mentioned a couple rides I do from door to door.
Chaney Trail... (Steep)
Henningar Flats (still steep)
JPL/ Arroyo (not too steep)
Then we got off track and started up with finding trails/fireroads that you have to drive to them.
Yes, door to door is always preferred but I think I need to be realistic considering where I live. If only they'd carved some more trails/fire roads around the sides of some of these mountains, instead of always over the top! JK. But I know it's great riding here--it's a destination. I shouldn't complain.
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Old 11-24-20, 11:18 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
I've been out there, but not on a bike. What I think pbass is asking for is a more flowing trail close to where he lives so not to take the bike in the car.
I'm the same, I would rather ride from home..... get some dirt and ride back. I don't like transporting bike and leaving parked car. That's why I mentioned a couple rides I do from door to door.

Chaney Trail... (Steep)
Henningar Flats (still steep)
JPL/ Arroyo (not too steep)
Then we got off track and started up with finding trails/fireroads that you have to drive to them.
fair enuff.
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