Angeles Crest Hwy



Glendale to Wrightwood via the Angeles Crest Highway - 77 miles

I was originally inspired to do this ride from the story on Mike's webpage.  I finally found the time to do this ride on one of my non-working Fridays in October.  I first cycled the six miles from my house to the Orange Metrolink train station, after which the train took me and my bike to Glendale, the closest train stop to the Angeles Crest Highway.  (The ride had to be done on a weekday in order to use Metrolink, which is much more bike-friendly than Amtrak.)  After riding eight miles through Glendale, I was finally at the start of the Angeles Crest Highway in La Canada. 

The start of the Angeles Crest Highway, just north of the 210 freeway

As I was starting this part of the ride, going away from the 210 freeway and toward the base of the mountains, it felt like this would be the steepest part of the ride, despite the road being straight and not winding.  My suspicion was confirmed here.

The weather down below was predicted to be overcast, with possible drizzle on the lower facing coastal slopes.  I was lucky to get away with only being slightly misted on.  The downside was that it made it difficult to take good pictures and to see anything other than the road.

Well, at least I know the road is open to Wrightwood!

Somewhere around 3000 feet I was starting to climb above the low clouds and fog.  Finally, sunlight!  It was then that I realized I had forgotten to bring my sunscreen!  Oh well, nothing I could do about it now!

Why can't I remember where I took these last five pictures?

The next elevation sign was 5000 feet ... there was no 4000 feet sign!

After about 40 miles of riding for the day so far, I had made it to Newcomb's Ranch around 12:30 PM.  This is the only place for food on the ride between La Canada and Wrightwood.  So I guess it was time for lunch.  The only others there were some guys on sport motorcycles.

On the road again ... now there's pine trees!

Still foggy in the valley below!

Looking down the west fork of the San Gabriel River.  Highway 39 is visible on the ridge to the left.

Approaching the tunnel

Just a few miles to Dawson Saddle (visible in the photo)

Hard to see in the picture, but there's desert in the background

The last couple of miles to Dawson Saddle were tough for me.  After finally making it to the top, I knew what was coming up for the rest of eighteen miles to Wrightwood.  First, it was all downhill to Vincent Gap.

Then it was about another 900 mile climb to Blue Ridge.  I had to stop at Grassy Hollow to refill my water bottles, since I had forgotten to refill at Newcomb's Ranch (oops).  I thought I would find some water at Mt. Waterman or Kratka/Snowridge ski areas way back, but I blinked when I had passed them - somehow I had expected them to be bigger.

Mount Baden-Powell, 9000'+

Mt. San Antonio, a.k.a. Mt. Baldy, 10000'+

View towards LA.  Still cloudy/foggy!

Looking over near Blue Ridge Road

Blue Ridge Summit!  It's all downhill from here to Wrightwood!

Big Pines Visitor Center

Big Pines Visitor Center

Mountain High East

Mountain High East

Made it to Wrightwood!

Looking down Highway 2 in Wrightwood

Looking up Park Drive into downtown Wrightwood

Highway 2 continues past Wrightwood, where it ends at Highway 138, but that part is not too terribly interesting.  My wife drove up to Wrightwood in the van later that night, so I had a ride back down the hill.  All in all, it was a good ride.  Also, hardly any traffic on a weekday.

Other links and information

bulletMike's ride from Glendale to Wrightwood and back
bulletAngeles Crest Highway (SR2) Road Guide
bulletThe Angeles Crest Highway
Page Last Edited (though probably not for content): 14 September 2010