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Los Angeles (LA) to Yosemite California

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Los Angeles (LA) to Yosemite California

Old 06-05-08, 02:02 PM
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yellowroadie
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Los Angeles (LA) to Yosemite California

I'm wondering if anyone has done this, or has advice on a good route?

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-407349.html contains good advice on Fresno to Yos.

Mostly I'm wondering about the first few days: LA to Bakersfield or there-abouts. From there it should be pretty sweet to skirt in and out of Sequoia and Kings. Good thing I like hill climbs .

My thoughts on the best way to Barkersfield were up the coast to Ventura, then through las padres national forest on CA 33. then there are a variety of roads to Bakersfield and through to Live Oak campground.

It's part of a trip from LA to NY. (But I'm not taking the PCH because I've already done that.)

I'd really appreciate any advice or stories.

Thanks!
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Old 06-05-08, 02:44 PM
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Hwy 33 goes up pretty high - Pine Mountain Summit is 5160 feet. Plus you're going a long way west to avoid the Grapevine.

Have you considered taking one of the canyon roads out of the Santa Clarita Valley? Problem then is getting past the Grapevine... I don't know any good alternatives. I would think you could go via Tehachapi.
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Old 06-05-08, 03:55 PM
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Hwy 33 from Ventura to Ojai has a nice separate bike trail. Weekdays are better than weekends once back on Hwy 33 heading to Pine Mountain Summit. The road has mostly been repaved up to the summit in the last two years but a lack of shoulders remains so be highly visible. Much of the climbing is gradual but mostly continuous with some steep pitches but that is what granny gears are for.

On your route beyond Bakersfield consider the Bodfish-Caliente Road East of the Hwy 178 Canyon- much quieter alternative which rejoins 178 near Lake Isabella.

California Dream Cycling by Bodfish[Chuck Elliot] gives some alternatives in the Sierra Foothills that may be useful to you. ISBN 0-9616709-1-6
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Old 06-05-08, 05:05 PM
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Can't help with your main question, but would reiterate the advice in the linked post that 140 is by far the safest way into the west side of the valley.

(BTW, the valy in valygrl is Yosemite Valley.)
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Old 06-06-08, 12:56 AM
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Not everyone's cup of tea...but I took the most direct route out of L.A. by taking parallel roads that sideskirt the 405 and 5 freeways up to Castaic. North of Castaic, it is legal to bike the 5 freeway up and over the Grapevine. Once in the Central Valley, you'll take lesser traveled roads leading to the Sierra foothills and then start your climb up to Yosemite.

Most people would cringe at taking the freeway, but this was one of the most memorable stretches of my trip. How many chances do you get to ride a bike on the Grapevine? Pretty cool when you're going as fast as the semi trucks on the downhill!

The Central Valley portion is sometimes boring, hot and humid, but you do gain a whole new perspective riding through California's heartland.

In your first week of cycling out of L.A., you'll experience:

the contrast of megapolis, summiting Tejon Pass on the freeway, dropping down the Grapevine, Central Valley ruralness, and the Yosemite CLIMB. Can't beat that for variety!

Last edited by ronzorini; 06-06-08 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 06-06-08, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ronzorini View Post
Not everyone's cup of tea...but I took the most direct route out of L.A. by taking parallel roads that sideskirt the 405 and 5 freeways up to Castaic. North of Castaic, it is legal to bike the 5 freeway up and over the Grapevine.
No #$%^?! I didn't think there were any good alternate routes in that area... I guess Caltrans knows that too. I'll have to remember that. I think I'd be scared witless pedaling up the Grapevine from the valley side.
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Old 06-09-08, 04:43 PM
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Thanks for all the ideas and advice. I'm already in Ventura now, so I think I will take the 33. hmmm, 5,000 ft is pretty high! Will have to get an early start.
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Old 06-10-08, 03:18 PM
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Best of luck to you, that's going to be a hot ride! Can you do it at night?
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Old 06-10-08, 05:36 PM
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>Problem then is getting past the Grapevine... I don't know any good alternatives. I would think you could go via Tehachapi.<

There IS an alternative, and it's not the freeway, mentioned above (and I have a difficult time believing that is legal - I've never seen a bike rider and don't imagine I ever will on the I-5).

The Old Ridge Route roughly parallels the I-5. Follow it out of Castaic. The road may or may not be open when you make your trip, as repairs are taking place on it currently.

http://www.ridgeroute.com/index.html

Even under repair, it might be usable by someone on a bike and it would be a terrific adventure. You'd drop down to Highway 138, then could navigate around the eastern and northern flanks of Mt. Pinos to hook up with Highway 33.

You could also take any of several routes leading out of Pasadena that lead through the San Gabriel Mts., and then again hook onto Highway 138.

What a great adventure! What kind of bike are you using, what gear do you take, have you got a website or a youtube vid of yourself?
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Old 06-10-08, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by icyclist View Post
>The Old Ridge Route roughly parallels the I-5. Follow it out of Castaic. The road may or may not be open when you make your trip, as repairs are taking place on it currently.
I'd thought of that, but you run out of options when you get to Fort Tejon. The old Ridge Route no longer exists at that point - it's been cut off by the modern freeway.
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Old 05-08-12, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by yellowroadie View Post
Thanks for all the ideas and advice. I'm already in Ventura now, so I think I will take the 33. hmmm, 5,000 ft is pretty high! Will have to get an early start.
Hi I realize this was awhile ago..but could you tell me how the road (through los padres) is for biking once you pass Ojai? is it paved or is it dirt/rocks? would you suggest that still or take a different route? (I am looking to bike from LA (redondo beach) to Yosemite this august)
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Old 05-08-12, 05:52 PM
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If you are starting in Ventura, 33 is the "easiest" route over into the Central Valley. If you are in LA, you can take Sierra Highway out towards Lancaster and hook up with the ACA Sierra Cascades route. It passes through some interesting and out of the way areas on its way over to the CV, then skirts it through the foothills. Might be a bit more climbing than you want to do, and almost as hot as crossing the valley
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Old 05-08-12, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by jmusic View Post
Hi I realize this was awhile ago..but could you tell me how the road (through los padres) is for biking once you pass Ojai? is it paved or is it dirt/rocks? would you suggest that still or take a different route? (I am looking to bike from LA (redondo beach) to Yosemite this august)
33 is paved all the way. It's an interesting ride, with great views and camping opportunities.

It does, however, include a long uphill ride to the summit. And it can be (often is) hot during August. Would suggest starting very early, even before dawn. There are some beautiful views from turnouts/rest stops on the way to the summit.

Wheeler Gorge has a good campground along the ríver, and there is camping near the summit (though the campground has an unpaved road that cuts in from near the summit).

You are rewarded with magnificent views, and a great downhill run on the other side of the summit.

The traffic is for the most part pretty light, unless you do it at a bad time.

It's the sort of ride that rewards going light (and severely punishes those who take extra-heavy loads).
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