Cycle Turnbull Canyon
Cyclists who like to climb, rejoice! Sandwiched between Whittier and Hacienda Heights is a range of high hills and deep canyons for pushing your limits, along with a café for refueling. Highlighting this 18-mile loop is Turnbull Canyon, a twisting stretch of road perfectly suited to climbing. Launch from Manzanita Park in Hacienda Heights for a warm-up cruise through quiet neighborhoods. From the 60 Freeway, exit at Hacienda Boulevard and go south to Newton Street. Turn right, and then right again onto Kwis Avenue to the park. Ride from the park to a wide boulevard leading to Whittier. Zigzag down to the Whittier Greenway Trail, a former railroad line turned recreation path traveling through town toward the San Gabriel River. The route rolls toward the historic Uptown Whittier area and temptingly close to Mimo’s Café (a mid-ride rootbeer float might give you the extra boost you need for what’s ahead). Turnbull Canyon is a 2.5-mile climb at a 5% average grade, with switchbacks. You’ll gain 200 feet and enjoy eagle-eye views of the valley below. Note: The road is a bit narrow, but traffic is generally light; even so, use caution (after a rain, a muddy and slippery glaze coats the road on the west side). Once over the top, the descent is loaded with fun, swooping turns on the canyon’s eastern flanks for a long coast back to the starting point.
From Manzanita Park in Hacienda Heights, ride north on Kwis Ave. to Los Robles Ave. Turn left and then left again onto Turnbull Canyon Rd. (This is the lower road with the same name as the canyon road proper.) In one block, veer right onto the main canyon road. Wind your way through the canyon and then make a quick left on Los Altos Dr. At S. Vallecito Dr. turn right and ride to Camino Del Sur. Go left for one mile to Colima Rd. and turn right. This is a busier road but has a wide shoulder. Follow Colima for 1.7 miles to a right turn at Mar Vista St. In 0.5 mile turn left on Catalina Ave. Follow Catalina 3 blocks to Whittier Blvd., turn left and then make a quick right onto Gunn Ave. In 0.5 mile is the junction with the Whittier Greenway Trail. Turn right and follow the trail 2.6 miles to Philadelphia St. and turn right for 0.5 mile to Greenleaf Ave. Turn left to Mimo’s Café, keep rolling to Broadway and go right to Painter Ave. Turn left and go one block to Beverly Blvd. and right to start the climb up Turnbull Canyon. At the junction with the lower Turnbull Canyon Rd., turn left and follow your route back to the trailhead.
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