Cycling The Bear (it is!) - but, it’s also a no-no.
Ride 8.9 miles to 5,755’ gaining 4,915’ at 10.5%
Thomas Morgan's ride on Strava.. Note - ride goes over private land and this is the input we received from Tejon Ranch Company, Brian W. Grant, Vice President - Ranch Operations: "We do not offer access through Deer Trail Rd. except for events. We are looking to host one this spring with a local shop (Action Sports in Bakersfield) and will make sure we keep you on the list for when this event is to take place. Thanks."
So, our summary here is just for informational purposes, not for the climb itself and we have not included this climb as a formal # on the Top 100 (just an informal 6A to show that it exists and what it's rank is in the event Tejon opens the private part of the climb (1 mile at the beginning) up to a once a year climb a la Mt. Washington and Mt. Equinox.
Strava member Thomas Morgan email:
“You are correct, the first mile or so is on Tejon Ranch land and the gate has been recently posted and you probably noticed that one of my riding buddies was run off by what I assumed to be one of the hunters that pay to hunt on the property. I have another friend that works for the ranch and I may be able to get a better idea of whether they are likely to allow cyclist to use the road. After the second gate, the road in on Bear Mountain Park District land and they don't appear to have any problem with public use of road.
The climb itself is pretty tolerable for the first .25 to .50, but then it kicks up and doesn't really let up until you reach the top. The climb extends 8.9 miles from Bear Mt. Blvd or Hwy 223 and gains almost 5,000 feet. At 7.6 miles you come to the first and only bailout road. Starland Dr. meets back up with Deer Trail Dr. after Deer Trail heads back downhill. To do the complete climb, continue on Deer Trail past Starland Dr. The grade lessens somewhat after Starland, so the last section to the top isn't too bad. The condition of the road is mostly good to excellent, with a few sandy crumbly sections mostly in the first mile or two. After the third and last gate you are on a public road and you will start to see some scattered houses which become more frequent as the climb progresses. Once you reach the summit, it’s about 2-3 miles of mostly descent until you reach Bear Valley Road. When you turn left on Bear Valley Road, continue in a general easterly direction towards Tehachapi. On the day that I did this ride I continued to Tehachapi and back down into Bakersfield via Woodford-Tehachapi to Keene, Hwy 58 to the Caliente Turn off and then onto Bena Rd. You might try to descend back down Deer Trail Dr, but I wouldn't recommend it. Due the grade, and especially the sandy portions at the bottom, descending could prove to be pretty exciting. While the road averages 11%, there are a number of sections that exceed 15%.
After a couple of miles there are also what appear to be residential service water tanks periodically stationed beside the roadway and most appear to have faucets although I'm not sure whether the water is drinkable.”