VIDEO: LA’s Great Hidden Climbs – Mt Washington Drive

Los Angeles has a number of great climbs hidden within just because there are so many of them that it’s hard to give them all their proper due.

You can find many associated with the many mountain ranges we have, but it’s nice to find the smaller ones tucked in.

One of my favorites is Mt Washington Drive located but where else in Mount Washington.

From a pure riding standpoint, it has the perfect mixture of pushing it to staying just out of the red zone.

The majority of it keeps a steady 6.2% grade over just 1.3 miles, but the kicker comes near the end where it should on all good climbs.


Of course, there’s much more to Mount Washington than just a few minutes of pain.

The way it weaves across the hillside makes you always question this reality within the urban fabric as you make your way up.

The first thing I tell people is “Left, Right, Left” at the start as there’s three intersections to navigate, but many over think the simple instructions because they’re taking everything in.

The bottom starts up some century old concrete as you pedal by these crafted homes originating from the same time period.

As you make your first turn, you start to ask yourself, aren’t I in the middle of the city?

The wooden white fence mixed in with the grassland and foliage makes you feel like you’ve somehow escaped into to country.

Just as you’re able to pick up the pace again, you start to see the final challenge ahead of you.

There’s no way mistaking this walled section that you’ll be making a u-turn to complete.

It’s not that its excessively steep, but the pitch is a bit deceiving.

If you’re able to look over to your right after you make this turn, you’ll see the top of a substation that was part of a funicular a hundred years ago.

In fact, the other station still exists at Marmion now converted into apartments.

You’ll still see this building on Marmion.

The train used to run straight up Canyon Vista Drive, which has now been interrupted by a park.

If you ever try climbing the upper section of that road, you’ll have a pretty good gear wrenching idea how steep of a climb this train made.

As you reach the top of Mt. Washington Drive, most make the right turn on San Rafael and continue to the view of Eagle Rock on the road’s peak.

You’ll also pass an unusually placed Self Realization Center on the right if you’re able to realize it.

Mount Washington is a fun, short climb that does not exist in the imagination of anyone who hasn’t been here.

Fortunately, it’s there for you to realize…