11

Santa Monica Mountains Leg Burner – Tuna Canyon, Fernwood & Corral Canyon


It’s been too long since I hit the Santa Monica Mountains, so it was about time for me to get back out there. Tuna Canyon was high on my list from reading about it on bikeforums and from having driven down it, so that was on the must-do list. The community of Fernwood is up there as well and, having driven through Fernwood, I knew a super steep climb there that I wanted to do as well (Grand View, specifically). This road is even tough in a car – I saw an SUV almost eat it coming down around a corner and almost going off the side. Finally, to round out the climbing, I found some threads on bikeforums mentioning Corral Canyon as a really tough climb in the area. With this in mind, I figured I could get in a 40-50 mile ride with 4-5k of climbing.

Starting out, you can either park near Tuna Canyon (lots of roadside parking) as I did, or you can park at Malibu Bluffs Park (at the intersection of Malibu Canyon Rd and PCH). I would actually recommend parking at Malibu Bluffs Park as this will give you some relatively flat warm-up before starting to really climb. The rest of this assumes Malibu Bluffs as the starting point (by the way, there are water fountains at the park for those needing water). From here, you head east along PCH for just under 7 miles until hitting Tuna Canyon. Note that it will be easy to miss the turn. Tuna Canyon is one-way downhill, so there are few markings for the road from PCH.

Important Note: As mentioned in the comments section, there is concern about descending cyclists running into ascending cyclists around the blind curves (as you might not be able to hear them). If you do decide you must climb Tuna, please keep this in mind and stay as far right as possible on the curves. And, if you descend Tuna (or any other road, for that matter), don’t assume a blind curve is free from obstacles.

Anyway, moving on. The intersection:

From 2010-06-06 – Santa Monica Mountains Cycling – Tuna Canyon, Fernwood, Saddle Peak, Corral Canyon

The start of Tuna Canyon:

From 2010-06-06 – Santa Monica Mountains Cycling – Tuna Canyon, Fernwood, Saddle Peak, Corral Canyon

Do note that this is technically one-way downhill, so I cannot really recommend that you ride up this. However, if you do decide to ride Tuna, keep a couple of things in mind. First, downhill traffic (very light, thankfully) will not be expecting to see you. Ride as far right as you can and try not to zig-zag. Second, traffic is light – and audible. You will be able to hear any approaching cars or motorcycles. If coming to a blind corner, exercise caution if you hear a vehicle. This might involve pausing for a few seconds until the vehicle has passed. Basically, use some common sense and put yourself in the shoes of a driver not expecting uphill traffic. With that said, traffic is extremely light (expect anywhere from a couple of vehicles to a dozen on your ride).

Anyway, the first part is very skinny, rather sheltered and easy:

From 2010-06-06 – Santa Monica Mountains Cycling – Tuna Canyon, Fernwood, Saddle Peak, Corral Canyon
From 2010-06-06 – Santa Monica Mountains Cycling – Tuna Canyon, Fernwood, Saddle Peak, Corral Canyon

This quickly changes and the climbing really ramps up:

From 2010-06-06 – Santa Monica Mountains Cycling – Tuna Canyon, Fernwood, Saddle Peak, Corral Canyon
From 2010-06-06 – Santa Monica Mountains Cycling – Tuna Canyon, Fernwood, Saddle Peak, Corral Canyon

Read the Full Ride Report

2

Santa Monica Mountains – Deer Creek, Yerba Buena, Decker (& Decker Edison), Encinal (aka lots of steep climbing)


Finally made it out to the Santa Monica mountains for some climbing. Amazing area; I need to to some more climbing out there! Started by heading up PCH, then up Deer Creek. Really steep all in all, but pretty short so more than doable. Amazing views too – you immediately start climbing hard, so within a few tenths of a mile, you get great views of the Pacific.

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)
From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)
From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

After the two miles of hard climbing, it eases up and you even get some small descents (and a cute one lane road too).

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

Descended down Yerba Buena…was slightly concerned about that after reading reports about the road surface sucking…was not actually that bad. Take the lane, watch your line and all is good. I actually quite enjoyed it. Was able to maintain 25-30 mph on this descent, so I can’t complain!

After getting back to PCH, headed down to Decker for some more punishment. After heading up a mile or so, I took a detour onto Decker Edison to the end of that road (about 0.7 miles long). Why? Because it was even steeper. Makes it more fun :) The first few feet are quite steep:

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)
From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

And, there is a longer steep section after a couple tenths of a mile that will hurt a bit! But, the views are definitely worth it:

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

And, of course, Decker itself has some nice views:

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

Finally, hitting Encinal Canyon, I headed on down. Encinal was a nice, sweeping descent:

From 2009-05-27 – Malibu Cycling (Deer Creek, Decker, etc)

Anyway, great ride with some steep climbing (Deer Creek is 12%ish, with Decker being not too far behind), but short enough that it won’t kill you. 30 miles total riding for the day. I need to get out there some more..wish Long Beach to Deer Creek wasn’t an hour plus drive!

All the pictures from the ride are here.

Want to punish yourself with this ride? Here you go (click View Full for a nice, big version of the map):

Random Posts Recent Comments

  • cyclist Says:

    sorry for not clarifying...the two gates I was referring to in my message are 1) at about 1/2 from t...

  • cyclist Says:

    there are new white and black signs posted on the orange gates at tbe road closures which read, "ped...

  • fibromyalgia bracelet Says:

    I do accept as true with all the concepts you have presented in your post. They are very convincin...

  • domain Says:

    Hi there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it's really informative. I'...

  • goji pro formula Says:

    It's actually a great and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this u...

  • goji pro ivete sangalo Says:

    Hey I am so thrilled I found your web site, I really found you by mistake, while I was looking on ...

  • www.binaryoptionskit.com Says:

    I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again...

  • best testosterone booster Says:

    This post iss in fact a fastidious onee it assists new internet viewers, who are wishing in favor ...

  • mojoproau.Zendesk.com Says:

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I'll g...

  • Carmen Allison Says:

    It is still an awesome climb!...

Tag Cloud

2nd Street 33 Angeles National Forest Belmont Shore Buellton CA-84 Camino Cielo Cleveland National Forest Costa Rica Decker Deer Creek Double Metric Encinal Figueroa Mountain Glendora Glendora Mountain Road Glendora Ridge Road Happy Canyon Jalama Beach La Honda Loma Mar Long Beach Los Olivos Maple Spring Road Mt Baldy Lodge Mt Baldy Road Mt Baldy Ski Lifts Ojai Ojai Valley Century Old San Marcos Pass Organized Rides Painted Cave Pescadero Playa Flamingo San Bernardino National Forest San Gregorio Santa Barbara Santa Monica Mountains Santa Paula Santa Ynez Valley Santiago Canyon shared lanes Silverado Canyon Ventura Yerba Buena