Bohlman Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Bohlman Road


Rural climb at the eastern edge of Saratoga.

Explore this Climb

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Climb Summary

Cycling Bohlman Road, Saratoga, California.

Although a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley,

this area has its share of wilderness.

Ride 4.2 miles gaining 2,006’ at 9% average grade.

This portion of the multi-segmented Bohlman Road Climbs begins at the southwestern edge of the quaint Silicon Valley town of Saratoga.  While we begin in a neighborhood (upscale!), we are quickly into rural and forested surroundings with some views of thousands of acres of open space and state park land to the west.

Climb begins by riding up Bohlman from its beginning, adjacent to the Madronia Cemetery.


Views along the climb

The first 1.9 miles at an 11% average grade are shared by multiple Bohlman Road Routes.  The rural nature of the climb is highlighted by the chicken coup towards the end of the ride, and wildlife such as the bobcat we encountered near, you guessed it, the chicken coup! (Warning: we had a mountain lion sighting as of February 23, 2019 -- see below.)

Climbing Bohlman Road by bike - view of Santa Clara Valley through trees

Mt. Diablo to the northeast

Left photo:  Moffett Field

Right photo:  San Jose


Top Left:  PICRYL Collections

Top Right and Bottom:  Wikipedia

We have amazing views of the Silicon Valley and South Bay along this climb, including the retired Naval Air Base, Moffett Field. Moffett Field is home to some of the largest freestanding buildings in the world (old dirigible Hanger 1 covers 8 acres).  I have fond memories of Moffett Field having flown into it from Midway Island when I was stationed there (1976-1977) and serving as a Naval Judge Advocate General Corps during breaks from Santa Clara Law School (1981-1984).

Hanger One’s history:

“Built in 1931-1932, designed by German airship engineer Dr. Karl Arnstein for the Goodyear Zeppelin Corporation, Hangar One covers 8 acres and can accommodate six American football fields.

It measures 1,133 feet (345 m) long and 308 feet (94 m) wide and 198 feet (60 m) high. The hangar's interior is so large that fog sometimes forms near the ceiling. The "orange peel" doors, weighing 200 short tons (180 metric tons) each, are moved by their own 150 horsepower (110 kW) motors.

At the time this was built, it was the largest building in the world without interior supports, providing an unusually extensive room for the construction of "lighter-than-air" airships. It was significant for U.S. Navy coastal defense capabilities during the peacetime era between 1932 and 1941 and construction of USS Akron and its sister ship, USS Macon, built in 1931 and 1933. These two airships were 785 feet (239 m) in length.”  Read more


Roadway Surface and Traffic Report:  The roadway is excellent and there is very little traffic along this road, which dead-ends at the end of Bohlman Road.  This is a safe, pleasant and challenging climb.

Bike climb up Bohlman Road - street sign at end.

An actual mountain lion sighting at the intersection of Bohlman and On Orbit, February 2019.

That’s a wrap!!