Cycling Glendora Mountain Road --
PJAMM Cycling’s choice for the most scenic cycling climb in Southern California.
California Top 10 Most Scenic Bike Climb
Climb summary by PJAMM’s John Johnson.
This is one of three routes to the top of Mt. Baldy:
Cycling GMR - Ride 27 miles gaining 6,645’ at 3.8% average grade.
The true grade after eliminating descents is 7.4%.
This is the more scenic alternative to the Mount Baldy Road route. This version of the Mount Baldy bike climb begins at the corner of E. Sierra Madre Avenue and Glendora Mountain Road in Glendora, California.
This bike climb is not a Top 100 US climb because it has 1,115' of descent, taking it out of the "nearly all" continuous climb category. It would rank #97 on the Top 100 US list if the descent were eliminated. In other words, it is still a tough climb. GMR, as it is referred to in Southern California, begins its ascent between Mt. Baldy Road to the East and Highway 39 (Dawson Saddle and Crystal Lake) to the West. This climb shares its last 4.5 miles with the Mt. Baldy climb.
Before heading out to climb Glendora Mountain Road, be sure to rely on our list of Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip, and use our interactive checklist to ensure you don't forget anything.
Enter Angeles National Forest (655,387 acres; est. 1908)
Glendora Mountain Ridge as seen from Morris Reservoir on way to Dawson Saddle/Crystal Lake.
GMR is upper center of photo.
This climb is in the San Gabriel Mountains of the Pacific Coast Range.
GMR ridgeline - Mt. Baldy center-right of photo.
Exceptional views of the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains.
From November through March the surrounding mountains are often dusted (or covered) with snow.
Veer right onto Glendora Ridge Road from GMR at mile 9.7
Horse Canyon Saddle.
Enter Mt. Baldy Village and merge onto Mt. Baldy Road at mile 21.7.
We highly recommend Mt. Baldy Lodge
Great atmosphere and quite cycling friendly.
There is a water fountain at the Mt. Baldy Post office at mile 21.8
Mt. Baldy Village -- mile 22.
One of the 12 switchbacks on the last three miles.
Riding through hairpin #2.
OK -- we are only a few miles from LA, but it gets rural quick.
We have seen no bears on our 8 trips up this climb, but . . .
. . . we did see a coyote August, 2019
Sign just before the left turn to the ski resort parking lot.
The ¼ mile leading to the Mt. Baldy sign is the steepest of the entire climb (14% average).
Final push to the sign - only ½ mile at 3% from there.
That’s a wrap!
AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
Andrew Talansky wins GMR/Mt. Baldy Stage 5 of the 2017 Tour of California
Queen Stage (Stage 6) 5-17-19 - Glendora Ridge Road
After Stage 6 of the 2019 Tour of California is complete, Mt. Baldy (GMR always included) will have been a stage finish five of the 13 years the Tour has been held (each year since 2006). The route on the Mt. Baldy stage is always the same route:
The route for all five ToC GMR/Baldy mountain-top finishes (2019 Map).
The Tour of California Route is generally:
Chris Horner wins 2011 ToC but Levi gets Stage 7!
Robert Gesink wins in sprint finish with Darwin Atapuma.
After Mt. Hamilton (in Northern California’s East Bay/Silicon Valley), Mt. Baldy/GMR has been included in more Amgen Tours than any other mountain climb.
2015 -- Jullian Alaphilippe.
Stage Profile for all Glendora Mountain / Mt. Baldy ToC stages.
Summary from 2015 Tour of California Website:
“Route Information: May 16, 2015 - Stage 7 Finish
The climb up to Mt. Baldy is an integral part of the Amgen Tour of California’s nine-year history. Since 2011, when it was first introduced as the race’s first true mountaintop finish, the steep switchbacks up to the Mt. Baldy Ski Area at 6,500 feet elevation have served as the deciding factor in crowning the overall champion. Due to overwhelming demand from the fans, Mt. Baldy is back for the Amgen Tour of California 10th Anniversary after a two-year hiatus!
Mt. Baldy is located 45 miles from downtown Los Angeles and is a popular location for hikers, sightseers and cyclists. During autumn, spring, and summer you will find hundreds to thousands of outdoor enthusiasts traveling Mt. Baldy every week to summit the tallest peak in Los Angeles County, Mt. San Antonio (Elevation 10,068 feet), which is accessible from a trail network originating at the Mt. Baldy Ski Area. For those who prefer a two-wheeled adventure, cyclists from far and wide visit Mt. Baldy to climb the challenging switchbacks, which ascend over 2,000 in only 4.3 miles (9% average gradient). In the winter months Mt. Baldy is known for its steep ski terrain and easy access from the big city below” (see also: 2019 ToC summary of Baldy Stage).
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S TOP BIKE CLIMBS
Top Southern California Road Bike Climbs - clockwise from top left to middle:
Nate Harrison Grade, San Diego; Gibraltar Road, Santa Barbara; Palomar Mountain, San Diego
Glendora Mountain Road, Los Angeles; Mt. Baldy, Los Angeles
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