5

San Bernardino Mountains – Valley of the Falls – CA-38 (State Route 38) to Forest Falls Hill Climb


  • 4,279 ft elevation gain
  • 14.5 miles in length
  • 5.6% average grade
  • If you start in Mentone, those are the stats. That is definitely a solid climb. You can also cut off a few miles of somewhat boring climbing and start at the intersection of 38 (Mill Creek Rd) and Bryant. If you do this, you will miss almost 900 feet of shallow climbing. With that said, the climbing you will miss is nothing special. So, if you are going for overall climbing, start in Mentone. If you are going for scenic climbing, start at 38/Bryant. Additionally, if you start at 38/Bryant, your average grade will be 6.3% for over 10 miles. Not bad. The rest of this post assumes a starting point at 38/Bryant.

    The initial section of 38 (above Bryant) has a minimal shoulder:

    From 2010-07-11 – San Bernardino Mountains Cycling – 38 to Forest Falls

    Given the relatively steady traffic, this is the only somewhat unpleasant section. Luckily, the shoulders open up pretty quickly for the rest of the ride:

    From 2010-07-11 – San Bernardino Mountains Cycling – 38 to Forest Falls

    The rest of the ride along 38 is a very scenic ride up a valley with few curves:

    From 2010-07-11 – San Bernardino Mountains Cycling – 38 to Forest Falls

    The traffic, while not heavy, is relatively constant and somewhat fast. The wide shoulder for most of 38, however, makes this section surprisingly pleasant.

    From 2010-07-11 – San Bernardino Mountains Cycling – 38 to Forest Falls

    The grade is, for the most part, extremely steady and relatively shallow. While I love steep climbs, it is also nice to be able to shift up a few gears and power on at more than 6 mph at times! And, of course, some pleasant scenery doesn’t hurt.

    From 2010-07-11 – San Bernardino Mountains Cycling – 38 to Forest Falls

    Awesome valley to be riding up!

    From 2010-07-11 – San Bernardino Mountains Cycling – 38 to Forest Falls
    From 2010-07-11 – San Bernardino Mountains Cycling – 38 to Forest Falls

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