Kitchen Creek Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

4.1
FIETS
11.5 mi
DISTANCE
2,680 ft
GAINED
4.1 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Howard Aughinbaugh, Ohio Valley, IN, USA.

INTRO

​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.  
The average grade of 4.1% increases to 4.9% by eliminating descent from the gradient equation.  37% (4.4 miles) of the climb is at 0-5%, and 52% (5.9 miles) 5-10%.  The grade never exceeds 10%.  The steepest quarter-mile is 8.1% and steepest continuous mile is 7.5%.

Consult the PJAMM "Full Forecast" feature for the time you expect to arrive at the finish to assess what clothing to bring on your ride.
Roadway:  The first 5.25 miles on Kitchen Creek Road are in very good condition.  The last six miles after the gate are a little rougher but still very good.

Traffic:  Minimal for the first 5.25 miles to the gate.  Zero traffic after the gate.

Parking:  At the start of the climb -  Map;  Street View
Provisions:  This is a remote climb and there is no place for food or water along the route.  There are food and beverages available at the Laguna Mountain Lodge and Store 15 miles up the mountain from the start of the climb - Map;  Street View.

Weather:  It gets hot out here so be sure to consult the PJAMM "Full Forecast" feature for assess what clothing and provisions to bring for the climb. 
This is a remote climb 56 miles east of San Diego.  The closest option for lodging is the Sycuan Casino Resort which is just west of the national forest.

ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Challenging
2
Road
5
Traffic
4
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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MEMBER REVIEWS & COMMENTS

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Apr 4, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 2
Apr 4, 2021
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 2
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. The PJAAM summary for this climb only mentions one gate. I was surprised by the other two.
Apr 14, 2021
I can confirm that the 3rd gate is usually open. I don't typically head up in the winters but ride it in Fall and Spring a fair amount. Haven't ever encountered the third gate being closed.
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

Climb Profile Not Found
CLIMB SUMMARY

CLIMB SUMMARY

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).  

IMG_0167.JPG 

   IMG_0178.JPG

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

   IMG_0204.JPG

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.