Alba Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

3.8 mi
DISTANCE
2,040 ft
GAINED
10.3 %
AVG. GRADE

6.4 FIETS
FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

Alba Road is one of the most challenging and scenic bike climbs in Santa Cruz County.  This is ranked the most difficult bike climb in Santa Cruz County and #5 in the entire Bay Area. 
10.3% average grade with 0 descent.  39% of the climb is at 10-15% and 9% is at 15-20%. The steepest quarter-mile of the climb is a daunting 16.8%. 

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Roadway:  Fairly good condition although a bit rough in spot.  There is likely to be some debris to watch for on the descent.

Traffic:  Minimal.

Parking:  Four spots on the right about a quarter-mile up the climb Street View, but there is really minimal opportunity to park on the first part of the route.  There may be spots available at the Ben Lomond Park near climb start - Map; Street View. 
Provisions:  There are several places to eat in Ben Lomond - Google Map - Places to Eat, as well as two markets - Google Map - Markets.
Alba Road is one of many nice climbs in the Santa Cruz Mountain area.  See PJAMM Climb Area Page - Santa Cruz County.

Use the “Routes in Area” button on the menu bar above to see other bike climbs in this area. 

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ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Bicycle climb of Alba Road in the  Santa Cruz Mountains, Pacific Coast Range.

Cycling Alba Road

Ride 3.8 miles gaining 2,040’ at 10.3% average grade.

A Bay Area Top 10 Most Scenic Bike Ride

​The Beast of the West!  This one is #3 on the Top Santa Cruz/Santa Clara Climbing List. This is the toughest climb in Santa Cruz County and the Santa Cruz Mountains.  From the start it sinks its teeth into us and does not let go until we approach the stop sign at the intersection of Alba Road and Empire Grade, 3.8 brutal miles later.  We love this climb as we are surrounded by and covered in redwoods nearly the entire climb.  Plus, due to the very low traffic along the roadway, this is a very peaceful, although tortuous climb.

Cycling Alba Road - riding through redwoods; alba schoolhouse

A tranquil, though painful, ride through the Santa Cruz Mountains and redwood forest.

 

There is a very cool restored one-room type schoolhouse a mile or so up the climb called the Alba Schoolhouse.  Be sure to stop and take a look around.

Alba School house; cyclists

We also start (and finish if you are doing an up and downer) at the northern edge of Ben Lomond, a fairly sizeable Santa Cruz Mountain town with several dining and lodging options to choose from.  

Roadway Surface and Traffic Report:  The road varies from double to single lane and is in fair condition.  There is minimal traffic along the route and we rate this as a very safe climb.