Gravel Bike California Presents: Pacifico Mountain Ride June 30

I been asked so many times about doing a Pacifico Mountain Ride, I’m finally pulling the trigger on leading a ride on one of my favorite loops in LA.

Remember to RSVP on the Facebook Pacifico Mountain Ride event page.

For those who are asking what level of rider do I need to be, this ride isn’t about speed, but strength.

Five thousand feet of climbing is a lot, especially moreso with a portion on dirt, so we’re asking for people that can easily handle this amount of climbing.

We’ll be meeting June 30th at 8AM at the Monte Cristo Fire Station (

Instructions will be given out at 8:15, and we hope to roll shortly after.

This Sunday is also going to be reaching highs close to 90F, so I’d like to get rolling before it starts to bake.

Pacifico Mountain Loop – 38.6 Miles, 4,883 feet of climbing

Here’s a some information, tips, and rules I stole from Fight Club for this ride:

  • The first rule is that this is an unsupported ride and everyone rolls at their own risk. I’ll probably repeat this a few times in here so people get the point.
  • Make sure to bring your own tubes and a couple of water bottles. There are only two spots along the way for refills.
  • I’d say riding tires 35mm and above will do the trick.
  • Parking is not FREE. You can buy a $5 day pass at the Shell Station at the bottom of Angeles Forest Highway or the 7-11 off of Big Tujunga. It’s about a 30 minute drive to the Fire Station from both spots. There are a couple of spots at the Monte Cristo Fire Station to park, but I’m sure some will have to pull up on the side of the highway.
  • This will not be a race pace. At the same time, you have to be in very good to great shape to do this ride. If you’re just getting back into riding, I suggest you read Rule #1 again.
  • If the heat ain’t too hot, I we will add Mount Mooney to the ride. It adds a couple hundred feet of elevation, but cuts down distance a little.
  • Afterwards, whoever wants to join is welcome to come to San Fernando Brewery. You’re welcome to bring in outside food, but there will be a food truck there as well.

Here’s some individual notes breaking down each segment. There will be a bunch of regroups, but they will be short to keep things moving:

Start to Mile 6.9 – This will be all road going north on Angeles Forest Highway. It’s a steady grade around 5%, but it’s a good way of knocking off a bunch of early elevation to start. Around mile 3, you’ll see the destination of this segment with a structure up ahead at Mill Creek Station. We’ll be turning right at this peak to make it up to the fire station where there’s a water spickett in the parking lot right before the fire road. You’ll also notice before turning off another road on the opposite side of ANF which will reveal itself to be Mount Gleason.

Mile 6.9 to Mile 9.3 – Get ready for the hardest climb of the day. It’s roughly three miles ranging from 8% – 10%. The road is slightly sandy and a bit of a grind with no real let up. You’ll start to see Acton and the Sierras behind as you continue up. We’ll be stopping at the top where you’ll be looking down at an untouched valley where it intersects with another fire road.

Mile 9.3 to Mile 10.6 – Still mostly a climb, but will feel like rollers as taking the gas off a bit will make a big difference. We’ll be doing a quick regroup just to make sure people don’t miss the turnoff to Pacifico Mountain.

It’s a little bit more than a mile….


Mile 10.6 to Mile 13.8 – The climb up to Pacifico Mountain will definitely be a bit more of a strain than coming out of Mill Creek. It’s half the distance and about the same grade, but the trail is a bit sandier and there’s less room to work with. About half way up the climb, you’ll cross the Pacific Crest Trail, but obviously stay the course. The peak / campground is about a 1.3 mile climb in total and we’ll take a longer break at the top to soak it in because the views are killer. On the way back down, a lot of caution is needed as you’ll be dealing with a lot of softness and branches down along the way.

Mile 13.8 to Mile 16.9 – This three mile stretch will somehow feel longer than it is even though you’ll be having downhill fun. Despite the fact that you’ll be navigating downed trees and strewn rocks about, this is actually the best shape I’ve seen the road in a long time. Please be cautious of hikers as you speed down. We’ll have a quick regroup as we hit the gate. If you’re not feeling it at this point, this is an excellent spot to turn back as it’ll be all downhill back to the start.

Mile 16.9 to Mile 17.6 – We’re back to climbing, but fortunately this will be a paved road. I just made a small note for this section to not miss the turnoff back onto dirt.

Mile 17.6 to Mile 20.6 – Back to some rolling dirt fun. Other than a few ruts that cut in front, this section will bring a smile to your face. There’s a couple of off shoots to your right, but they should be apparent enough to stay away from. We will stop at the water fountain as we reach the paved road of Chilao campground. Everyone better refill.

Mile 20.6 to Mile 22.3 – It about a mile of riding through some shade from the trees until we hit Angeles Forest Highway. There will be a short downhill, but right at the bottom you’ll see a fire road off to your left which we’ll be making our way to climb Mount Mooney if we’re up for it.

Mile 22.3 to Mile 24.3 –  The climb up Mount Mooney is only 1.4 miles at a mild 5.5%. It does cut a little distance off than staying on Highway 2. There’s a crossroads where you can continue down a little to see the mini observatory nearby, but we’ll save the science experiment for another date. The downhill is a bit rutty, but thankfully short so use caution:


Sideways on Mount Mooney…


Mile 24.3 to Mile 29.2 – We’re back on Angeles Crest Highway with a big descent with a climb that’ll feel drawn out in the middle. We’ll do a short recollect here before the turn off to Upper Tujunga Canyon because even though the ‘Crest is closed up ahead, someone will forget about that….

Mile 29.2 to Finish –  Another reason for a quick regroup is this segment is fun to ride together and draft off of. Unfortunately, there’s likely to be a headwind that will negate a little of the downhill fun. At mile 35.3, the road flattens out with a few annoying climbs to finish off the last three miles. There will be a short left turn back onto Angeles Forest Highway which you’ll see our starting point. Otherwise, that’s it!

I’ll be updating details as they come, but make sure to RSVP on the Facebook Pacifico Mountain Ride event page to get a head count.