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Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason

95 miles with 10,800 feet of climbing
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Route Profile
Route Profile

Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Climbs

Cat. 2: Mile 0 and 39
Cat. 3: Mile 11 and 53
Cat. 4: Mile 29, 73, and 88

Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Description

Mount Wilson is a classic Los Angeles area climb, and Mount Gleason is a remote peak in the Angeles National Forest. This mountain-rural ride offers plenty of climbing, but mostly on moderate grades (except for the final miles up Mount Gleason, which are very steep).
Starting in La CaƱada Flintridge, Angeles Crest Highway (Highway 2) leads up to Red Box, and Mount Wilson Road continues up to Mount Wilson. Mount Wilson's Skyline Park opens at 10 am (except during the winter season), and it is the last opportunity to refill water. The ride then descends Mount Wilson Road and follows Angeles Crest Highway and Upper Big Tujunga Canyon Road down to Angeles Forest Highway.
Angeles Forest Highway leads up to Mill Creek Summit, and Mount Gleason Road continues up to Mount Gleason fire camp and further up to Mount Gleason summit. The ride then descends Mount Gleason Road, Angeles Forest Highway (tunnel), and Big Tujunga Canyon Road all the way to the foothills. Foothill Boulevard finally heads back to the start/finish.
Mount Wilson has a rich astronomical history, but Mount Gleason has an interesting past as well.
From the mid 1950s, the mountain served as a Nike Missile Site, including an underground bunker of nuclear warheads. In the mid 1970s, the site was converted to a fire camp, training prisoners as wildfire fighters. In 2009, the largest inferno in Southern California history, the Station Fire, completely destroyed the camp. Today there is construction going on, power lines to deliver solar energy from the Mojave Desert to L.A.

Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Interactive Map

Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Pictures

Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • View from Red Box
View from Red Box
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • View of Los Angeles
View of Los Angeles
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Mount Wilson Solar Tower
Mount Wilson Solar Tower
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Mount Wilson Observatory
Mount Wilson Observatory
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Mount Gleason Road
Mount Gleason Road
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • View of Mojave Desert
View of Mojave Desert
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Fire Camp
Fire Camp
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Fire Camp
Fire Camp
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Fire Camp
Fire Camp
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Mount Gleason Road
Mount Gleason Road
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Mount Gleason Road
Mount Gleason Road
Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Mount Gleason Summit
Mount Gleason Summit

Mount Wilson and Mount Gleason • Personal Notes

Jean C. and I went for this ride. It was a long, hard, and hot day (up to 100 degrees) with amazing climbing and interesting sites.
On Mount Wilson we saw many cyclists and day hikers/trail runners, and on Mount Gleason we met several hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail.
There are more road bike/multi-surface possibilities on Mount Gleason, and I hope to be back soon.
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See Also: Gran Fondos & Centuries
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