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Glendora Mountain Rd, Glendora Ridge Rd & Mt Baldy Rd (to the Ski Lifts!)


Just like the last post, this is another ride that I did over a month ago. And, also just like the last post, I wanted to get this up before I forgot all of the details! This ride was done on May 1st with my mom and was my second time riding these roads..but the first time making it all the way up to the ski lifts!

We parked on Grand Avenue just north of Sierra Madre Avenue in a nice residential neighborhood. Heading east along Sierra Madre, we got some mostly flat warmup for a couple of miles before heading north on Glendora Mountain Road. Note that this left turn looks like every other left turn in the area – keep an eye out for it. A mile later (with some minor climbing) and we round the bridge/bend that is the real start to the climb. The next 4 miles give you some solid, consistent climbing. Not steep by any means, but a rather consistent 6% grade that affords some beautiful views. The day was rather overcast, but the view looking back down toward the switchbacks we had just climbed was still great:

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

And one of the many sweeping curves you will encounter along Glendora Mountain Road (of course, there are many tighter curves as well!):

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

A little farther and you get to a nice ridge line with views of the mountains on your left and views of the valley on your right. This photo is actually from my earlier ride up here (the rest of the photos will be a mix of this ride and my previous ride…if it is sunny in the pic, it was from my first ride!):

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

The last stretch before hitting the maintenance shed (which is right before the turnoff onto Glendora Ridge Road):

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

This is the classic ride/time trial – see how fast you can go from the bridge at the bottom to the maintenance shed. Just about 8 miles long. I need to ride this one again and actually time myself for this portion. And the curve at the maintenance shed:

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

At this point, you have already gained just over 2,000 ft in climbing. Less than half a mile later (and with a small descent thrown in) and you hit Glendora Ridge Road (peel off to the right for this one..it is the first paved turnoff you will see). This road is the epitome of scenic. One lane road meandering along a ridge with some 10,000 ft peaks serving as a backdrop:

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

Seriously, this is pretty tough to top:

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

And one more along the same stretch:

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

In case it isn’t obvious, this stretch is one of my all-time favorites. A few miles on and the climbing gets a little more consistent once again (but pretty shallow all things considered):

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

Looking back from a turnout:

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

Also, I should mention that this is a number of miles in on Glendora Ridge Road and I can count on my hands the number of vehicles that have passed. Truly a road that you will have to yourself.

And finally, the high point of Glendora Ridge Road:

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

All the way up to 4527 ft. Not bad at all so far! So, what next? How about 500 ft of descending?

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

Wonderful, fast (although a bit short-lived) descent:

From 2009-03-26 – Palos Verdes Cycling, Glendora Mountain Road Cycling

Ah yes, Mt Baldy Rd. And the town of Mt Baldy Village. This town is quite small, but quaint, and offers a couple of restaurants and lodges. We will get back to that later, however. For now, we continue on up. Shortly north of the village, we take a well deserved break along the river and refuel a bit:

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

Back on the bikes, and some more climbing. Some strong climbing indeed – the grade, the elevation and the previous 20 miles all combine to make this rather tough. Pass by the turnoff for Icehouse Canyon and we pass by an important marker:

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

5000 ft! Sweet! And just 3 more miles..

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

3 more miles of over 9% climbing with lots of 15% sections. This would be tough enough on fresh legs…but, after thousands of feet of climbing already and over 20 miles, you will notice it! And finally, at the ski lift parking lot looking down:

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

Amazingly, the clouds started to clear just as we finished the climb. Perfect timing. And one happy mom (I think she was rather pleased to have finished such an epic ride!):

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

And relishing the fact that she did not have any more 15% climbing to do!

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

Cruise back down to the Village…well, actually, not the most fun descent. With such steep pitches and sharp curves, I had to stop multiple times to let the brakes/wheels cool down a bit. Didn’t really enjoy that. But, we made it back down to Mt Baldy Village and stopped by Mt Baldy Lodge for a truly tasty meal:

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

A juicy burger and salty fries taste so good after hours of hard riding. So, after this much needed stop, we head back to Glendora Ridge Road to head back towards the car. While being mostly downhill, this did mean some minor climbs as well. At least they were rather scenic:

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

And some flowers in bloom as well:

From 2009-05-01 – Glendora Mountain Rd to Mt Baldy Ski Lift Cycling with Mom

Hitting Glendora Mountain Road, the descent is quite fun. A bit more traffic, and some semi-tight curves, but otherwise a great descent! Finally back to the car, we headed over to Sierra Madre and grabbed a beer on the patio of Lucky Baldwin’s. Cool place. And a great wrap up to the ride.

Anyway, this is a classic SoCal climb. If you live in the LA area, or visit out here and have access to a bike, this is a must-do ride. The last part to the ski lifts is not essential..but, if you enjoy some punishment, is a must!

The route map:

6400 ft of climbing according to mapmyride. 10,000 or so according to my garmin. So, probably around 8000 in reality…not a bad climb! And, if you are only interested in the climb from the village to the ski lifts, here you go:

Pretty steep! And finally, the pictures from my first ride up (without the village to ski lifts climb) can be viewed here and the pictures from the ride all the way to the ski lifts with my mom can be viewed here.

The Discussion

see what everyone is saying

  • Bob White June 18th, 2009 at 8:44 pm #1

    So, that’s about 60 miles with about 8K ascent. That’s about half of Markleeville. Good training the Death Ride. Think about it. Not this summer, but next summer. Plenty of time to train. Nice ride.

  • Bill Patterson June 21st, 2009 at 7:55 pm #2

    I love that ride! Getting up to Baldy Village is fun. The section above Baldy Village is really tough for me and I seem to attacking it in stages – the first time, I got 2 miles into the climb. The second time, I got 3 miles up. I should gat that last mile next time up :0)

    Love the blog.

  • [...] Ridge Road. If you are unfamiliar with that route, I would highly recommend reading up on it: Glendora Mountain Rd, Glendora Ridge Rd & Mt Baldy Rd (to the Ski Lifts!). It is arguably the most scenic, incredible ride in the area. This post, however, is about the more [...]

  • Steve November 7th, 2010 at 4:21 pm #4

    I just did GMR, GRR and Baldy to the lifts yesterday, it was a good ride. Thanks for this writeup I had some idea of what to expect. For extra bonus credit I went down Baldy Rd. and back up to the village before returning to Glendora.

  • rallison December 2nd, 2010 at 11:11 pm #5

    Hey Steve,

    Sorry for not responding way earlier. Glad you got down to our area and were able to do the whole bikeforums ride. Wish I could have been there. I’m not the least bit surprised you threw in the bonus riding. Well done.

  • Up, and up, and up… | Extreme Momentum November 3rd, 2011 at 12:14 am #6

    [...] Glendora Mountain Rd, Glendora Ridge Rd & Mt Baldy Rd (to the Ski Lifts!) [...]

  • Name (required) June 25th, 2012 at 8:49 pm #7

    Are there plenty of water stops?

  • JGun August 7th, 2012 at 3:41 pm #8

    I have a question. There seems to be two ways up to the the village: Glendora Mt. road or Mt. Baldy road? Which is the more challenging route?
    J.

  • rallison August 7th, 2012 at 7:20 pm #9

    Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) to Glendora Ridge Road (GRR) to Mt Baldy Road to the ski lifts is arguably tougher strictly due to the total distance, as the round trip is about 50 miles (and includes some rollers, adding to the total elevation gain). The round trip, going straight up Mt Baldy Road, is only 25 miles.

    However, GMR and GRR both are pretty moderate with respect to grade. Mt Baldy Road is not. So, if you have a tough time with steep climbs, or are riding a standard double, you might find Mt Baldy Road to be tougher.

  • rallison August 7th, 2012 at 7:35 pm #10

    Not along Glendora Mountain Road or Glendora Ridge Road. Once you hit Mt Baldy Village (at the intersection of Glendora Ridge Road and Mt Baldy Road – 20 miles in), you have multiple options for water. In summer, make sure to pack extra water, as this climb can get quite warm.

    A useful resource is this cycling water stops map: https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msa=0&msid=215699388746030865009.000468b4b8756a1725718

  • tech April 3rd, 2014 at 4:15 pm #11

    Heya! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?

  • Stephanie Howard June 16th, 2014 at 3:26 pm #12

    What is the safest climb with regard to traffic and exposure?

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