Cycling Bear Creek Road West
Ride 4.6 miles gaining 1,426’ at 5.9% average grade.
Climb summary from Dan Razum, Campbell, CA, USA:
The climb starts a few miles from the intersection of Bear Creek Road and Highway 9 in Boulder Creek. The portion of Bear Creek Road between Boulder Creek and the start of the climb is rolling hills with light climbing. The start of the climb isn't immediately obvious, but it is where the road stops undulating and just keeps climbing.
Climb start - 4.5 miles northeast of Boulder Creek
The gradient isn't too bad on the climb. Most of the work is in the first 3 miles and luckily that is also where most of the shade is.
Shade for ⅔’s of the climb.
After 3 miles we arrive at the ridgeline of the mountain and there are a couple of false flat sections. There are also some nice views towards Santa Cruz.
Views south towards Santa Cruz.
The road is narrow, but not as narrow as the section of Bear Creek from Lexington Reservoir. There are some sections with a shoulder, but unfortunately a lot of the road has little to no shoulder.
Between “not much” to 0 shoulder along the route.
However, there are much better sightlines, compared to the Lexington Reservoir side, so a cyclist is much more visible to traffic. There are a couple of tight narrow curves where a cyclist needs to be careful, but generally Bear Creek from Boulder Creek is safer than from Lexington Reservoir.
It's a good idea to have a flashing tailight on your bike, to help increase visibility whilst riding in and out of all the tree shadows on the lower slopes. Overall, the climb feels safe as long as you are alert and paying attention.