Chaney Trail South - Mt. Lowe Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

6.8
FIETS
3.6 mi
DISTANCE
2,045 ft
GAINED
10.8 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

This is the steepest climb in the LA area (excluding some of the minor city blocks like Eldred St.) and in the San Gabriel Mountains.  While the road surface is terrible, the ride along Sunset Ridge is well worth it as you get some of the best views in the entire city, staring almost straight down at Pasadena. 

*Note - Our route goes to the end of the paved segment.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
Surface:
Terrible. Absolutely terrible. The roadway is old, cracked and bumpy, and while hard to believe, somehow manages to get considerably worse after you pass the gate to Mt Lowe Road (closed to cars).  Sand, dirt, and moderately sized chunks of asphalt are all over throughout the second half.  We ride this all the time on 25mm road tires have never had a flat, but to be honest, it's far more comfortable on gravel tires. 

Traffic:
Minimal traffic on Chaney Trail road. When the road turns into Mt. Lowe Road at the parking lot, the rest of the climb is closed to motor vehicles.

Parking:
There's a parking lot at the top of the drivable section, but a recreation pass must be displayed. Free street parking is available on Loma Alta Dr. 
None along the route
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.
Staying in La Cañada Flintridge is your best option to cycle the San Gabriel Mountains, as Hwy 2 gives you access to all of the climbs on the western side of the range, as well as great riding in the neighborhoods around the Rose Bowl. 

For the more famous climbs like Mt. Baldy, the GMR, Crystal Lake or Hwy 39 - Dawson Saddle, definitely stay in the Azusa/Glendora area, the best place to easily access these top caliber rides. 

ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Strenuous
1
Road
5
Traffic
4
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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MEMBER REVIEWS & COMMENTS

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Apr 19, 2022
difficulty: Strenuous
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 1
Apr 19, 2022
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 1
I've done the full climb both on a mountain bike and running, and I honestly think it's faster to run than to ride a bike up this (I passed multiple cyclists while running). If you just want a brisk workout, going up to the gate from Chaney is very difficult, but you get awesome views of LA and JPL. You can go all the way up to Mount Wilson, and then down Wilson toll road for an epic MTB loop. The road starts okay, then turns to dirt, and then to chunky rocks that is super difficult to ride a bike on. There's also a number of good MTB trails off of this climb as well.
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

Climb Profile Not Found
CLIMB SUMMARY

This is one of our favorite climbs in the area - a good reminder of what steep feels like!

Called Sunset Ridge for a reason…

As you ride along the ridge you switch between the north side and south side, the south giving some of the best views of LA, and the ocean. The climb runs west/east, so you climb directly over the city, looking directly down at Pasadena.

The north side of the climb rides along a dramatically deep canyon in the front of the San Gabriels with some beautiful rock formations.

The road surface is horrible and there’s dirt, sand, and gravel covering decent portions. We try to never break 10 mph while descending, which at -15% is hard!

The road turns into dirt at the end of the climb, and continues up to Mt. Wilson. Definitely not suited for road tires, but it’s an epic gravel ride!

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