Cycling Topanga and Old Topanga Roads
Ride 8.2 miles gaining 1,501’ at 3.4% average grade.
Topanga Canyon starts at the busy Pacific Coast Highway. The start of the climb is just across the street from Topanga Beach, a famous surf beach in Malibu. There’s ample parking along the side of the road at the intersection, but since it is such a busy surf area, the spots tend to fill up during peak surfing hours!
Topanga Canyon road is very busy with cars, high speed limits, and small shoulders, but the traffic dies down once you turn onto the much less trafficked Old Topanga Canyon.
Unlike most other climbs in the Santa Monica Mountains, Topanga winds through a forested canyon, so there is little to no view for most of the ride. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell that you’re ascending, since you're surrounded by trees. This is one of the only rides in the Santa Monica Mountains that is shaded for a large portion.
Right at the intersection where you turn on to Old Topanga Road, there’s a little cluster of shops, along which the Water Lily Cafe. I stopped in and grabbed my daily afternoon macchiato, as well as an incredible Tuna salad sandwich.