Cavedale Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

4.9 mi
1,925 ft
7.4 %



This is a fairly remote and challenging climb that ranks #7 in Sonoma County.  Cavedale Road is our favorite bike climb in the southeastern section of Sonoma County. The roadway is renowned for being rough and broken and we do not recommend descending it.  At five miles, this is one of the longer bike climbs in the area and Sonoma County.  The views along much of the first half of the ride are very scenic, with spectacular views of the Sonoma Valley and its vineyards far below. This road gets it's name form a  small cave about 3/4 of the way up. If you ride around a holiday there usually is some special decoration inside to lighten up this difficult climb. The last 1/4 mile is rolling down hill to the fire station and drops you at the junction of Dry Creek and Trinity road. 
This climb has a 7.3% average grade with 70% in the 5-10% range.  The steepest quarter-mile is 10.6% and steepest mile 9%. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button above.
Roadway:  Narrow two lanes in poor condition with some potholes. 

Traffic:  Minimal.

Parking:  We normally park in Glen Ellen and do a loop that includes Cavedale.  You can park along the left side of the road just after turning off Highway 12 - MapStreet View
Provisions:  No food along the route.  There is water at the fire station at the intersection of Cavedale ant Trinity Roads a couple miles past the finish of this climb - MapStreet View.  There are also food, meals, and beverages at restaurants or the two stores in Glen Ellen 6.2 miles southwest of the climb finish. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
A nice loop is Glen Ellen - Climb Cavedale - Descend Trinity Road - Back to Glen Ellen - 17 miles 2,340' (Map).

If you have travelled to Sonoma County to cycle or have any questions concerning cycling in the North Bay, you are welcome to contact John Johnson - Founder | CEO of PJAMM Cycling at with your questions about the area.  He grew up and lives in Sonoma County and has a good knowledge of cycling in this region.  There are several hotel options in nearby Santa Rosa to choose from if cycling in this area.  



Difficulty: Challenging



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Apr 9, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 3
Apr 9, 2021
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 3
Beautiful views along the climb. Road pavement is average but gets worse at the top (PJAMM said not to descend this and he is absolutely right — go down on Trinity, the road has been newly paved!). There are three steep but very short kickers towards the top but besides that a pretty consistent grade up. Enjoy!

Climb Profile Not Found

Cycling Cavedale Road - cyclist riding on road - mt tam and sonoma valley in background 

Cycling Cavedale Road, Sonoma County, CA

Ride 4.9 miles gaining 1,900’ at 7.3% average grade.

This climb ranks #7 on the Sonoma County Top 10 list with a Fiets Index of 4.2

Bike climb Cavedale Road - cyclists, road signs and roadway at start

Start - Hwy 12 and Cavedale Road.

  Cycling Cavedale Road - cyclist at the start - road signs


Bike climb Cavedale Road - cyclist riding past roadway monument

Interesting monument near the start.

Private funds contributed in 1915 to build the road.

Sheesh . . . talk about inflation!

The view along much of the first half of the ride is very scenic, with  spectacular views of the Sonoma Valley and its vineyards far below.  The grade is  generally smooth (albeit moderately steep), with a few extreme pitches (a couple of short stretches in  the 16% range).  

Narrow road, but minimal traffic and some great views of the Sonoma Valley

Climbing Cavedale Road by bike - truck on road 

Mt. Tam can be seen in the background of both video clips.


View southwest at mile 2.1

Cycling Cavedale Road - Mt. Tamalpais, San Pablo Bay, San Francisco

Lower half of Cavedale Road bike climb.

Mt. St. Helena top center of photo to the north via drone aerial photo from top of Cavedale climb.

Cycling Cavedale Road - cave with leprechaun

This likely put the “Cave” in Cavedale!

Descent:  We stongly recommend against descending this road.  The pavement is extremely poor, with many potholes, gravel and  rough stretches (one of the worst in Sonoma County).  The alternate descent is Trinity Road which intersects Cavedale about 2.3 miles west along rolling generally flat terrain.

Biking Cavedale Road - rough road

There is water and tools 2.3 miles at Trinity and Cavedale Road intersection.

Biking Cavedale Road - rough road

That’s a wrap!

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