Los Angeles County, CA, is a cyclist's paradise. With its mild climate and diverse terrain, it's no wonder that cyclists of all ages and levels flock to the area to explore its many routes. From the San Gabriel Mountains to the Santa Monica Mountains and the spaces in between, there are plenty of options for cyclists looking for a great ride. One of the most popular routes is the Rose Bowl Loop.
This 3-mile loop around the stadium, its parking lots, and a golf course is a favorite among both cyclists and runners for basic training. Unless there's an event taking place, it's never a bad time to cycle at the Rose Bowl. Even at night, there are plenty of people around, and the roads are mostly well-lit. If you're driving at night, make sure your front and rear lights work well.
A little closer to Los Angeles is the river bike path between Griffith Park and Elysian Park. This is an ideal route for cyclists looking for a leisurely ride. Griffith Park is arguably one of the best urban parks in the world, offering plenty of options for different riding styles. For a relaxed stroll, take Crystal Springs Drive and Zoo Drive.
If you're looking for a bit more of a challenge, add Griffith Park Drive to your circuit. Both routes are easy and well-paved, with large lanes or side areas to ride on. Traffic is rarely an issue, but the park can get crowded on weekends. If you're looking to get your heart rate up, Griffith Park has plenty of hills to choose from, including Mount Hollywood. There are numerous passable roads that will take you up the mountain and give you a good workout.
To go around the park in circles, we recommend going up Commonwealth Avenue to the Griffith Park heliport, crossing Mount Hollywood, and then heading back down to Vermont Canyon. This route has two ascents interrupted by some flats and descents. Be sure to visit the Observatory while you're there. Surprisingly enough, Los Angeles has highways dedicated solely to cycling, skateboarding, and mountain biking. The entire paved Los Angeles River trail covers about 45.9 kilometers and takes you away from the infamous LA traffic.
There's also a quiet 7.2-kilometer bike path that takes you from Griffith Park to Elysian Park (or vice versa). End your trip with a quick drink and bite at Spoke Bicycle Cafe in Frogtown, located just off the path. They offer bike rentals if you need one for the day. If you want to have the chance to see the Hollywood sign on two wheels, there are several options available in Griffith Park. For a leisurely stroll, take Crystal Springs Drive, which connects to Zoo Drive and passes attractions such as the Griffith Park merry-go-round and Walt Disney's Carolwood Barn.
Or head down North Vermont Avenue to the Griffith Observatory for a steeper climb. This city breaks borders Burbank and Glendale, so you can see both in the distance if you reach the highest peaks in the park (and if there isn't too much fog). Keep in mind that not all trails are open to bicycles, so pay attention to signs. Remember that you're in Los Angeles National Forest, so be sure to pack out all your trash when you leave. With an average temperature of about 65 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, Los Angeles almost always has perfect weather for cycling.
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