Page Contributor(s): Howard Aughinbaugh, Ohio Valley, IN, USA.
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Kitchen Creek Road on Mt. Laguna is a San Diego County outlier (56 miles east of San Diego in the Cleveland National Forest). There are no houses and no provisions along this 11.3 mile ride, so come prepared (it can be tortuously hot with desert-like conditions during the summer).
Kitchen Creek Road dead ends at a gate at mile 5.25 (ater 1,186’ at 3.5%). The next 6 miles are at 4.9%, gaining 1,625’. At the gate at mile 5.25, motor vehicle traffic must turn back (although there is really minimal traffic along this road) and we have another 6 miles on a single lane roughly paved road riding up towards, but not reaching, Mt. Laguna peak (we can travel another 3.1 miles (285’) to Mt. Laguna and Laguna Mountain Lodge and Store for a rest and provisions before the trip back to the start.
Gate #1 at mile 5.2
We pulled up a few miles short of the finish due to inclement weather. We did the entire climb on the 2012 Mt. Laguna Bicycle Classic.
Roadway surface and traffic: There is minimal to no traffic along this climb. The first 5.25 miles of roadway is excellent, the next and the second half is closed to motor traffic and paved, but a bit rough.
Summary and further photos by PJAMM contributor Howard Aughinbaugh:
The first 5+ miles up to the 1st gate was a typical southern CA weathered road with lots of expansion cracks due to heat. Past the 1st gate and up to the 2nd gate, road narrows to single lane, and adds fallen rock and brush growing through the road surface. Zero traffic on this section. Past the 2nd gate up to Sunrise Highway Gate, road surface was abysmal with large potholes, lot's of alligatoring, broken pieces of pavement, rocks, and pine cones all over the road. Not surprising since the county has this section marked as a non-maintained road. I met a fireman / park ranger working on the 3rd gate just off of Sunrise Highway at the top of the climb. He said the county would open the 3rd gate to traffic for the summer soon I think was speaking about the area immediately past the gate. There appeared to be a large parking area just past the gate.
Between Gates 1 & 2
Gate #2 at ~mile 9.5.
Section after Gate 2 up to Sunrise Hwy - rough going.