Nestled within the vibrant city of Pasadena, California, lies a biking trail promising an adrenaline-pumping experience with a quirky twist - the ascent to Mt. Wilson. With a trail both demanding and exhilarating, seasoned cyclists find themselves gravitating to this challenge time and again.
Stretching over 15 miles, the route to the peak of Mt. Wilson is not for the faint-hearted. The 12-mile uphill, sometimes referred to as 'gaggerto,' is just the prelude to what lies ahead.Reaching the top offers dual rewards:
But post this indulgent pitstop, it's all about speed and thrill. Northwards, an asphalt stretch leads riders to the 'Tunnel of No Return.' From here, it's onto a single track culminating at the 'Dragon's Teeth.' A word of advice: tread with caution. The subsequent mile-long granite stretch is notorious for its sharp edges. Prepared riders come equipped with three tubes, while daredevils often take the 'Chad Reed' approach, risking the treacherous path tubeless.The concoction of Red Bull and chili invariably fuels riders for a swift descent. Yet, caution is paramount, especially nearing the water bars at the Mt. Lowe ruins. Misjudging this section at high speeds has seen many a cyclist take a tumble.
For those unfamiliar with the starting point, it's located just east of JPL. Locals, especially those walking their pets, can guide newcomers to the toll road.A word of caution:
While some may perceive the Mount Wilson Toll Road as a relentless uphill battle, there's an alternative for downhill enthusiasts. Consider driving up the ACH (Angeles Crest Highway, CA Hwy 2) to the Mount Wilson observatory for a purely downhill cycling spree.
Mt. Wilson's trail can be described as dangerously delightful. From its challenging ascent to its thrilling descent coupled with the unique pitstop offerings, it provides an experience like no other. However, moderation is key. The potency of this adventure — and the chili — mandates infrequent rides for optimum enjoyment. Twice a month seems just about right. Remember, it's not just about conquering the trail but also the after-effects of that delectable chili!