Mt. Lowe Motorway (Chaney Trail) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

9.9
FIETS
9 mi
DISTANCE
3,806 ft
GAINED
8.1 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

The first half of this climb overlaps with the south side, the steepest climb in the LA area. We start this one from the Mt Lowe Railway road trailhead parking lot, but the more common place to start is from Loma Alta road to the south.

(We also end the climb at Mt Wilson to ensure you see the epic railway tunnel!)

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. 

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San Gabriel Mountains
United States (CA)
38 ROUTES
43 POIs
ROUTE STATS (TOTAL)
677.5
mi
DISTANCE
80,483
ft
ELEV. GAIN

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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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!