Mt. Baldy Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling






Mt. Baldy

CA, USA

Mt Baldy Bike Climb: One of the Toughest in Southern California

Explore this Climb

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LOCAL WEATHER

Start
Finish

Currently

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59
°F
°C

Clear


wind:
2.5 mph NW with gusts up to 4.9 mph

rain:
0% chance of light rainfall

10:22 AM (local)
PJAMM Sunrise Icon6:50 AMPJAMM Sunset Icon7:06 PM

Temperature
Precipitation
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Sun

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75° 51°

Mon

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78° 49°

Tue

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75° 52°

Wed

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60° 49°

Thu

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70° 46°

Fri

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74° 50°

Sat

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73° 52°

Climb Summary


Cyclist on Mt. Baldy Road - bike, sign, PJAMM


​The Mount Baldy bike climb is a popular Southern California climb that offers a very difficult route and an alternate less challenging but more scenic route with much less traffic (
Glendora Mountain Road).   The Mt. Baldy route merges with GMR at mile 8 (at the town of  Mt. Baldy, population 369) and they share the last 5 miles to the finish at Mt. Baldy Ski Resort.

Cycling Mt. Baldy - aerial drone photo of Glendora Mountain Road and Mt. Baldy Road and canyon.

Aerial drone photo:  view southwest from hairpins above mile hairpins mile 9.5


Most Challenging Route:  This is the most challenging but not the most scenic of ascents to the top of Mt Baldy (see GMR, below and
GMR Climb Page).  The main Baldy route travels from North Mills Road 13.1 miles to Mt. Baldy Resort parking lot - the mountain finish for many Tour of California stages.

Begin climb by riding up Mt. Baldy Rd. from its “T” intersection with N. Mills Ave.

Cycling Mt. Baldy - cyclist on bike riding up to Mt Baldy Resort sign

Enter Angeles National Forest (est. 1908; 655,387 acres) at mile 2.6


Cycling Mt. Baldy - cyclist on bike riding up to Mt Baldy Resort sign

Sign just before the left turn to the ski resort parking lot.

The first 8 miles of this ride are unspectacular and through arid, high desert landscape with dry grass during the summer and scattered desert shrubs.

We encounter 2 tunnels at about Mile 5.2 to 5.4 which are about 50-100 yards in length and, although they are lighted, can be treacherous – flashing red lights for this part of the ride are highly recommended. Traffic is fairly heavy and fast over this section of the climb.

Open ...Open ...

Bicyclist on bike entering tunnel on Mt Baldy

Cycling Mt. Baldy - aerial drone photo of 2 tunnels on Mt. Baldy Road - road and tunnels

We enter Baldy Village at Mile 8  and the remainder of the ride is more scenic.  Once we turn from Mt Baldy Highway at the Icehouse (Mile 9.8), we begin the crux of this climb. The final 2.9 miles of the ride to the Mt Baldy Ski Resort sign at the top of the steep climb is 9.5% average grade and an elevation gain of 1,442’.   The final segment of this ride from the Village to the Ski Resort is low traffic and more scenic.  

Mt Baldy Lodge sign

Mt. Baldy Village - mile 8      

     Hairpin curve on Mt Baldy Road

1 of the 12 switchbacks on the last 3 miles

Bear crossing sign Mt Baldy Road, Southern CA

O.k. - we are only a few miles from LA, but it gets rural quick

AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

Bear crossing sign Mt Baldy Road, Southern CA 

Andrew Talansky wins Mt. Baldy Stage 5 of the 2017 Tour of California

Photo:  SoCalCycling.com

After stage 6 of the 2019 Tour of California is complete, Mt. Baldy will have been a stage finish 5 of the 18 years the Tour has been held (each year since 2006).  The route on the Mt. Baldy stage is always the same route:

The route for all 5 ToC Mt. Baldy mountain-top finish stages (2019 Map)

The Tour of California Route is generally:

  • Start in Ontario and ride to Mt. Baldy Road.
  • Ride climb Mt. Baldy Road to the village of Mt. Baldy.
  • Turn left at Mt. Baldy onto Glendora Ridge Road.
  • Ride Glendora Ridge Road to its intersection with Glendora Mountain Road.
  • Turn right onto Glendora Mountain Road and ride to East Fork Road.
  • Ride East Fork Road to Hwy 39.
  • Ride Hwy 39 south towards Azusa, past San Gabriel Reservoir to Sierra Madre Road.
  • Ride Sierra Madre Road to Glendora Mountain Road.
  • Climb Glendora Mountain Road to Glendora Ridge Road on to the village of Mt. Baldy.
  • Turn onto Mt. Baldy Road and continue 5 miles to the finish of the climb at Mt. Baldy Resort.

Chris Horner wins 2011 ToC but Levi gets stage 7!

Robert Gesink wins in s.t. As Darwin Atapuma.

After Mt. Hamilton in Northern California (East Bay/Silicon Valley), Mt. Baldy has been included in more Amgen Tours than any other mountain climb.

2015 - Jullian Alaphilippe

Stage Profile for all Glendora Mountain / Mt. Baldy ToC stages.

Summary from 2015 Tour of California Website:

            “Route Information: May 16, 2015 - Stage 7 Finish


The climb up to Mt. Baldy is an integral part of the Amgen Tour of California’s nine-year history. Since 2011, when it was first introduced as the race’s first true mountaintop finish, the steep switchbacks up to the Mt. Baldy Ski Area at 6,500 feet elevation have served as the deciding factor in crowning the overall champion. Due to overwhelming demand from the fans, Mt. Baldy is back for the Amgen Tour of California 10th Anniversary after a two-year hiatus!
Mt. Baldy is located 45 miles from downtown Los Angeles and is a popular location for hikers, sightseers and cyclists. During autumn, spring, and summer you will find hundreds to thousands of outdoor enthusiasts traveling Mt. Baldy every week to summit the tallest peak in Los Angeles County, Mt. San Antonio (Elevation 10,068 feet), which is accessible from a trail network originating at the Mt. Baldy Ski Area. For those who prefer a two-wheeled adventure, cyclists from far and wide visit Mt. Baldy to climb the challenging switchbacks, which ascend over 2,000 in only 4.3 miles (9% average gradient). In the winter months Mt. Baldy is known for its steep ski terrain and easy access from the big city below.”  See also -
2019 ToC summary of Baldy Stage.

Glendora Mountain Road (GMR)

Glendora Mountain Road:  This is the more scenic alternative to the Mt Baldy Road route.  This version of the Mount Baldy bike climb begins at the corner of E. Sierra Madre Avenue and Glendora Mountain Road in Glendora, California.  We did not include this ride on our Top 100 list because it has 1,115' of descent which takes it out of the "nearly all" continuous climb category. It would rank #97 on our list if included, with a Fiets Index Score of 7.33.  GMR, as it is referred to in Southern California, begins its ascent between Mt Baldy Road to the East and Hwy 39 (Dawson Saddle and Crystal Lake) to the West.  This climb shares its last 4.5 miles with the Mt Baldy climb.  Distance:  26.69 miles, 6,646’ ascended, -1,115’ descent, average grade 3.4%.