Bicycle riding to and from Crystal Lake

Bicycle Riding -- The trip up can be difficult or easy depending on your bicycle and how much weight you carry -- and, of course, your own physical condition. From down around the Rincon Fire Station at 1,000 feet altitude, the climb by bicycle up to 5,000 feet and a distance of some 13 miles can take you anywhere from one and a half hours, or there abouts, all the way up to three or more hours depending on how much effort you apply.

From the Crystal Lake gate, another four or five miles climbing further up the road will bring you to Angeles Crest Highway -- Highway 2. There is a gate at the Highway 39 and Highway 2 junction, and the condition of the road from Crystal Lake further North to Angeles Crest is extremely poor. Currently Caltrans is working on repairing that section which links Angeles Crest to Highway 39 so you should stay off of it.

The bicycle ride back down the canyons from the Crystal Lake gate is almost entirely down hill, with about 100 feet of it being up hill -- the hill overlooking Coldbrook Camp. Because of that one can come down the mountain with little effort.

From the Valley of the Moon parking lot heading back down the route is all down hill until you get past West Fork Road and the bridge that spans Bear Creek which parallels West Fork. From that point on all the way back down in to Azusa and "civilization" again it's up hill and down hill -- with about 70% of the ride down being down hill.

Some of the hazards that I have encountered over many years of bicycling up and down which continues be a problem to avoid are:

The author of this web site has literally spent years bicycle riding, hiking, and camping all over the San Gabriel Mountains West of Mt. Baldy and East of Pasadena. Most of that was done with a single speed bicycle not much older than I am however that bicycle was destroyed on a high-speed trip back down the mountain one night and I had to walk the 25 miles back down to the city.

A good number of people ride up and down the mountain every Saturday and a smaller number of people can be seen every Sunday. Most people ride up from down below all the way to the gate that closes the highway while others drive up to the gate and then bicycle up to the Crystal Lake gate or beyond to Angeles Crest Highway.

Once you get past the gate at mile marker 32.12 most of these hazards and dangers disappear.

There are a few emergency callbox stations located high up in the mountains along the highway, and each of them work despite the fact that the highway is closed. One such box is located at North 34 degrees, 18.009 by West 117 degrees, 50.616 at 4653 feet. I note the location of that callbox because it's near a good source of emergency water located within 100 feet at North 34 degrees, 18.029 by West 117 degrees, 50.633 at 4431 feet.

Water is an issue when bicycleing and hiking up and down the highway, more so when it's done in the Summer months. There are many high-volume streams that the USFS warns not to drink from however I have drunk from all of them over the past 20 years many times and I've not had any medical or health problems because of it.

Coldbrook campgrounds at mile marker 32.5 has good drinking water now, all of the faucets within the campgrounds have been repaired and the water tank has been serviced and now there is good drinking water. This will help people hiking, jogging, and biking up and down -- which is a very good thing!

Site map is at: Crystal Lake site map

This web site is not operated or maintained by the US Forest Service, and the USFS does not have any responsibility for the contents of any page provided on the http://CrystalLake.Name/ web site. Also this web site is not connected in any way with any of the volunteer organizations that are mentioned in various web pages, including the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders (SGMTBs) or the Angeles Volunteers Association (AVA.) This web site is privately owned and operated. Please note that information on this web page may be inaccurate.

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