Fort Ross Road West Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Fort Ross Road West


One of our favorite Sonoma County climbs - private and steep among the redwoods.

Photos By: Maxfield Bonta

Explore this Climb

PJAMM Cycling LogoDark Sky logo


Climb Summary

cycling Fort Ross Road - road, fog over Pacific Ocean

Cycling Fort Ross Road - from the west

View west from top of western climb - Pacific Ocean covered with fog


Fort Ross Road West

This climb is the  shortest in the Tri-County Top 10, but has the steepest average grade at 10.9%.  During nearly the entire ride you are surrounded by redwood forest making for a private  and very unique climb.  The smell of the coast and redwoods coupled with the mild  temperatures  make for a very enjoyable ride (aside from the double digit grade over the  entire ascent).  

Bike climb Fort Ross Road - Fort Ross sign on Hwy 1   

 Bike climb Fort Ross Road - 2 cyclists on bikes in redwoods

Traffic/Roadway surface:  This is a narrow effectively one lane road that has very little  traffic.  The road is in fair condition.  Descending can be a bit harrowing as the road has  many sharp turns, rough and gravel surface and is so steep it is very difficult to keep your  speed down.

Bike climb Fort Ross Road - 2 cyclists at top of climb


Steepest ¼ mile begins at mile 4.3 (11.3%)

Fort Ross Road East

The east side of Fort Ross Road (beginning in Cazadero) is much milder than it's big brother Fort Ross West (#6 on the Tri-County list - 2.4 miles at 10.9% average grade).  The 5.2 mile initial climb is followed by a 1.5 miles 523' descent, followed by roughly 1 mile of flat riding, ending with a 1.4 mile 8.1% punch to the intersection of Meyers Grade and Fort Ross Roads.


Start in Cazadero


 3 options - Fort Ross Road (left), King Ridge (straight), Old Caz (right)

Like so many of the Sonoma West County climbs, we are surrounded by redwood forest and shaded by tree canopy cover nearly the entire climb.  This is a good option for long Sonoma County rides on hot days.  There is a nice, nearly private, loop that begins in Cazadero travelling west on Fort Ross Road and finishes travelling southeast on Kings Ridge back to Cazadero which is plotted here - MAP.  



This climb is highly recommended for its rural and forested charm.  The roadway surface is rough and narrow, but there is very little traffic along the climb - this is a safe ride.   Cazadero, population 350, has a rough deli/market and an AWESOME Bakery - Raymond's Bakery - come for the ride, stay for the danish!  Raymond's is a MUST.




Steepest ¼ mile begins at mile



Peter Sagan (SVK) outsprints the field

Santa Rosa, Stage 1 2012 Tour of California

Photo: Kent Porter / Press Democrat 2012

Fort Ross Road has been featured once in the Tour of California:

  • 2012 Stage 1