Cycling Highway 33/Pine Mountain Ridge Road to Pine Creek Summit
Ride 36 miles gaining 7,000’ at 3.3% average grade.
Although not the most scenic of Southern California bike climbs, this is marginally a bucket list climb because it is the longest bike climb in California and the sixth longest in the US.
Ride summary by PJAMM’s Dennis M. of San Jose, California.
The climb begins at the northeastern edge of Ojai (pop. 7,461 in 2010; nickname Shangri-La) in Ventura County by riding north up Highway 33. We enter the Los Padres National Forest (1,900,800 acres, est. 1936) and in the first mile of the climb ride in the San Emigdio Mountains of the Pacific Coast Range as we climb towards Pine Mountain Summit on Highway 33.
Enter the national forest almost immediately.
Brush and some rock formations at the lower segment of the climb.
The first 30 miles of the climb winds from Ojai up through Los Padres National Forest with wide shoulders and a gradual grade. You reach Pine Mountain Summit, and then take a single lane access road to Reyes Peak (which ends in a dirt road).
It's a bit up and down, with a significant descent around mile 12 (although hard to see on the RWGPS plot) -- but it's definitely a nice bike ride.
Turn onto the very narrow and remote Pine Mountain Ridge Road at mile 30.
The upper steep section was dirty and single lane, but seems to have been paved in the past five years or so -- some other online ride reports said it was pretty terrible but I did not find it so. You should also be cognizant of two-way traffic. Pine Mountain Ridge Road is a true single lane road -- nice bike path, narrow road.
Beautiful alpine views.
Alpine setting with some nice distant views along the last six miles.
Just past the Reyes Peak Campground at the Chorro Grande Trailhead.