Tunitas Creek Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

9.4 mi
2,082 ft
3.9 %


Page Contributor(s): Mike Persellin, Minneapolis, MN, USA


Tunitas Creek is the most scenic and epic bike climb in San Mateo County. The climb takes us through a gulch following Tunitas Creek much of the way. We highly recommend this spectacular bike climb.
The average grade of this climb is 3.9% (5% with descent eliminated).  38% of the climb (3.6 miles) is at grade 0-5%, 41% (3.8 miles) is at 5-10%, and 5.4% (0.5 miles) is at 10-15%.  The steepest quarter-mile on the climb is 9.5% and steepest continuous mile 8.6%.  

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  Narrow two-lane with no center stripe and in good condition in 2020.

Traffic:  Minimal.

Parking:  Near the start of the climb - Map; Street View.
There are no provisions on this climb. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
This is a great out-and-back if coming from the east (Woodside, Portola Valley) done in tandem with Kings Mountain Road - 27 miles gaining 3,900' (Map).  You could stay in nearby Woodside, where there are also vacation rental options.



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Cycling Tunitas Creek Road - bike posed on top of a fallen redwood log running across a creek bed, second log leaning across the creek bed, dense redwood forest coverage

Cycling Tunitas Creek

Ride 9.4 miles gaining 2,080’ at 4% average grade.

Climb summary by PJAMM’s John Johnson.

Cycling Tunitas Creek Road - photo collage, old brown barn with tractor in front, bicycle sitting among ferns, cyclist on road surrounded by redwood trees

Tunitas Creek is the most scenic and epic bike climb in San Mateo County.  The climb takes us through a gulch following Tunitas Creek much of the way.  We highly recommend this spectacular bike climb.

Cycling Tunitas Creek Road - photo collage, bike leaning against white fence beneath bird feeder on side of road, car traveling on narrow country lane, cyclist riding on redwood tree-lined road, bike posed in ferns beneath dense redwood forest, ride gradient profile

Views along the climb.

The road is windy, narrow, and one-lane but in good shape.

Cycling Tunitas Creek Road - street sign noting winding road posted along a curve in a one lane road

Cycling Tunitas Creek Road - large redwood tree trunk hanging diagonally over narrow roadside surrounded by dense redwood tree forestation, cyclist climbing up roadside

Ride through redwood forest nearly the entire climb.

The below Climb Report is by Mike Persellin of Minneapolis, MN:

Tunitas Creek Road is hands down the most beautiful climb on the west side of the Santa Cruz Mountains.  From Half Moon Bay, Tunitas Creek Road is 8.2 miles south on Highway. 1.  Santa Cruz is 49 miles to the south.  The base of the climb is two miles from the junction of Highway 1 and Tunitas Creek Road -- not much climbing before that.  The start is on the treeless dunes that run all the way down the coast.  In just a few minutes, the road enters a tunnel of redwoods -- you won’t see much sun until the top, 5.8 miles beyond.  There is little to no habitation, and no traffic.  It is eerily quiet.  The road is above the deep cut of the creek and giant trees fill the entire valley.  The steepest section is a third of the way up and is 1.2 miles at 9.4%.  The top is at the intersection with Skyline Boulevard.  This is a gorgeous climb and not to be missed.

Cycling Tunitas Creek Road - bike leaning against base of huge redwood tree, surrounded by other tall and thinner redwood trees

Tunitas Creek is often done in tandem with Old La Honda Road.  To do this, go straight across Skyline Boulevard and you are at the top of the 5-mile descent of Kings Mountain Road.  At the bottom, take a left on Woodside Road and ride 1.1 mile to Woodside.  Take an immediate right at the market onto Mountain Home Road.  From there it is 2.8 miles to Portola Road, where you’ll then ride and 0.5 mile to Old La Honda Road and the start of the climb.

Cycling Tunitas Creek Road - bike leaning against wooden mailbox next to stop sign and road sign for Woodside, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz, dense tree coverage

The climb ends at the junction of Tunitas Creek Road and Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35).

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