King Ridge Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

16.5 mi
2,655 ft
1.2 %



Cycling King Ridge - one of the most scenic bike climbs in Sonoma County. This is a Northern California jewel and the backbone of Levi's Gran Fondo. 
Gradient for the crux of this route is the 1.3 mile, 10.7% segment beginning at mile 4.5.  We use the 16.5 mile segment for this climb page because King Ridge is much a cycling experience as it is a cycling challenge. The "climb" portion of the 16.5 miles averages 5.6% when descent is eliminated.  However, 47% of the ride is descent, 27% is at 0-5% grade, 17% is at 5-10%, 8% is at 10-15%, and 1.1% of the climb is at 15-20% average grade.  The steepest quarter-mile is 13.4% and steepest mile is 11.2%. 

 See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  Narrow windy two lane road with no center stripe that is in poor condition and with pot holes in spots.

Traffic:  Next to none - this is a very peaceful ride. 

Parking:  Park at Cazadero for an out-and-back (MapStreet View) or for our favorite Sonoma County loop, at Duncans Mills (MapStreet View).  Note that our official loop is from Cazadero, but Duncans Mills is on the route and that is a great alternate starting point. 
Provisions:  There are none on the route.  There is food and beverages at Raymond's Bakery, 1.1 miles before the start of the climb, or Jenner (mile 41), or Duncans Mills (mile 46) if you are doing the King Ridge Loop.  
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.
We recommend the King Ridge Loop (starting in either Duncans Mills or Cazadero) - 53 miles 6,465' gained.  This is our favorite Sonoma County loop. 

If you have travelled to Sonoma County to cycle or have any questions concerning cycling in the North Bay, you are welcome to contact me at with your questions about the area - I grew up and live in Sonoma and have good knowledge of cycling in this region. 
Use the “Routes in Area” button on the menu bar above to see other bike climbs in this area. 



Difficulty: Challenging



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Apr 15, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 2
Apr 15, 2021
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 2
Road conditions consist of pretty broken pavement on a very narrow road. You will encounter almost no cars but beware when one does appear as there are many steep uphill portions with sharp cliffs if you are too far over so it can be very scary as a car (or truck in my case) passes you. Once you get to the top portion the woods open up and the farmland expands for miles with lots of close up animal viewings. Many cattle were very close or on the pavement staring you down as you passed. Hope you are okay with cattle guards because you will go over 15+ of them! Overall a remote ride with multiple spots with steep pitches but experience would be much improved with better pavement.

Climb Profile Not Found

Cycling  King Ridge Road - photo of barn, road, fence and water trough 

King Ridge Road - between Cazadero and junction with Hauser Bridge/Tin Barn Roads

 Sonoma County Top 5 Scenic Bike Climbs

This is the climbing backbone of what many feel is the jewel of Sonoma County cycling, King Ridge Road.  The ranking is misleading low because there are so many rollers over the 16 miles course - the primary climb is 3.8 miles at 6.1%, but the full accepted King Ridge route from Cazadero  is 16.5 miles gaining 2,614’ while descenting 1,674’.  

Climb begins in the small (pop. 420) west county town of Cazadero.

Climb start

Cyclists riding bike up hill 

First 16 miles of the remote roadway is predominantly bordered by trees.

PJAMM Cycling riders on King Ridge Road

The "ride" is really 16 miles of rollers from the start to the junction of King Ridge/Hauser Bridge Rd/Tin Barn Rd (16 mile route map), which consists mostly of steep pitches followed by descents.  We are exposed to the best of Sonoma County cycling along this route - challenging climbs, remote venue, grazing cattle, vineyards, minimal traffic, and distant views of mountains and ridges to the east and west.  

This is cattle country . . .

King Ridge Road - manure on roadway 

. . . we mean it!!

There very few residences . . . .

. . . but a lot of ranch structures on this ride.

Climb by bike King Ridge Road - vineyards and lake 

Some vineyards along the way - it is Sonoma County, after all.

We also ride through some redwood stands along the way.

Bicycling King Ridge Road - finish and road sign

End of the line - 16 miles to this point from Cazadero.

King Ridge ride ends at the intersection of King Ridge, Hauser & Tin Barn Roads . . .

. . . tin barn . . . get it?  🙂

King Ridge Road is the centerpiece of Levi's Gran Fondo (circa 2003), an extremely popular and well run wine country century held in September each year and attended by 7,500 riders, give or take.

Other climbs included on the Gran Fondo Route

  1.  King Ridge Road (Full routes on Strava:  Panzer; Panzer+WC; Gran; Gran+WC)
  2. Hauser Bridge Road:  (link to PJAMM page)
  1. Levi’s Gran Fondo Strava Route:  Gran; Gran+WC 
  1. Coleman Valley Road 
  1. Strava Route:  Panzer; Gran; Gran Fort Ross; Medio
  1. Kruse Ranch Road (link to PJAMM page)
  1. Strava route:  Panzer; Panzer+WC) -  
  1. Willow Creek Road (link to PJAMM page)
  1. Strava Route: Panzer+WC; Gran+WC; Gran Fort Ross/WC; Medio/WC)
  1. Fort Ross Road East (link to PJAMM page)
  1. Strava Route:  Gran Fort Ross; Gran Fort Ross/WC

There is a very pleasant loop that exposes us to all that Sonoma County has to offer which runs from Cazadero-King Ridge-Hauser Bridge-Seaview-Timber Cove-Hwy 1-Fort Ross Road (Map and displayed at the bottom of this page).

Supplies:  This is remote cycling - there are minimal spots for supplies along this ride and the loop noted above.  There are supplies at the Cazadero General Store near the start but nothing after that (except water at the Ratna Ling Retreat Center at mile 19.5) .  You can also begin at Raymond's Bakery one mile south of Cazadero to fuel up and grab a deli sandwich at the Caz General Store at the end of the ride - you can't go wrong with that plan as part of your itinerary!

Roadway surface/Traffic:  The roadway is in moderately poor condition, but manageable by all - just a bit bumpy along the way at spots.  Traffic is next to nothing - very remote with a true private feel to it.



King Ridge Road, Sonoma County

Stage 7 2016 Tour of California


King Ridge has been featured once in the Tour of California:

  • 2016 Stage 7  

That’s a wrap!!

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