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Cycling Alba Road
Ride 3.8 miles gaining 2,040’ at 10.3% average grade.
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.
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.
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.
Before heading out to cycle Alba Road, be sure to rely on our list of Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip, and use our interactive checklist to ensure you don't forget anything.
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.