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CA 39 from Crystal Lake to CA 2

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CA 39 from Crystal Lake to CA 2

Old 03-05-12, 03:14 PM
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CA 39 from Crystal Lake to CA 2

I've been trying to find information about road conditions on Hwy 39 past the 3rd gate at crystal lake but I haven't been able to find any new information since the highway was reopened up to Crystal lake a year ago. I've been up to that gate and seen that the road is still closed beyond there but sites like strava indicate that people have been riding all the way up to Hwy 2 as recently as a few months ago. My main questions are:

1) What are the road conditions like beyond the gate? Is the road rideable both up and down?
2) Was this project (https://www.dot.ca.gov/dist07/resourc...inal_sigv2.pdf) approved and is there active construction during the week above the 3rd gate?
3) Is there law enforcement around that area that will chase me off if I try to ride up there?

This and any information those of you with experience on the upper parts of 39 can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-05-12, 06:55 PM
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Vertical Bob seem to head that way frequently, you might want to PM him.
https://www.socalbikeforums.com/showt...t=5930&page=71
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Old 03-05-12, 07:04 PM
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I've been up there a couple of times this year and I would call the conditions bad, but quite ride-able. Yes, there are rocks on the road, lots of them.

If you are skillful and don't try to ride through them faster than your skill level, you'll be fine.

Okay, worst case, you can cut a sidewall or fall down. Just take it easy, at least the first time up, to evaluate how it feels to you. I'm good with it!

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Old 03-06-12, 09:19 PM
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was up there feb 10th. parked near the store and rode up to the gate closure. from there, it's approx 5 miles to the junction with hwy 2. road condition was fair (obviously more noticeable on the way down-tried to keep speeds below 30mph through that stretch) and the road was being cleared by two caltrans maintenance snowplow/rockplow trucks. rode past them about halfway up and they both waved back. grade is fairly consistent; never steep but never flat. a little bit of snow in some of the northwest facing crevices on the 39 resulting in snowmelt trickling across the road in the last 1.5 miles.

once up to hwy 2, i continued to have the road all to myself. encountered one touring motorcycle, one sedan and one smaller motorhome in the course of about 20 miles.
donned my rainproof wind jacket for the descent and plenty glad i brought it. even though it was one of those nearly 80 degree days in azuza below, i knew it would be 25+ degrees colder near dawson saddle and the upper reaches of the 2. still plenty of snow up there at road's edge.

i know i lucked out that day having had the workers clear the upper stretches of rocks but they still missed a few. just take it easy on the descent. it's all downhill and the scenery is stunning so there's no rush. it's a southern california must-do and you won't regret it. it was so quiet up there, i was able to play music on my phone in my jersey pocket for the whole 30+mile ride w/o needing headphones. can't do that on enough rides in so cal. thought i would see at least one other cyclist but no dice.

Last edited by diphthong; 03-06-12 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 03-06-12, 10:36 PM
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We were there last Saturday. Got almost to AC when the road was covered with a couple of inches of snow. Could have walked through but it was cold and windy and we weren't going past AC anyway so we went down. There have been years where we hit 8 feet of snow there.
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Old 03-07-12, 12:37 PM
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I have seen Rallison's pictures then I think, those are cool looking.
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Old 03-07-12, 06:28 PM
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I was up there this past saturday, too, but missed Bob. There are rocks scattered all over, but it's quite rideable, and even the likelihood of sidewall cuts is pretty low.

There were two patches of snow-- one shallow and rideable, and one large slide that was walkable if you didn't mind getting your feet wet. I had wool socks. We rode all the way up to Dawson Saddle on saturday, and have been riding up there pretty regularly (going to Newcomb's and back, or going all the way around and down the 2). There's snow on the side of the 2 up to Dawson, but the road is clear.

edit: and I think all the construction equipment is gone. Caltrans is trying to abandon Hwy 39 because it's too expensive to maintain. It's nice with it open and clear to Crystal Lake-- there's very little traffic above the West Fork picnic area, and it's nice having the snack bar open up there.
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