Dawson Saddle Traverse

101 miles with 13,100 feet of climbing
Dawson Saddle Traverse • Route Profile
Route Profile

Dawson Saddle Traverse • Climbs

HC: Mile 12
Cat. 3: Mile 39, 48, 57, and 74
Cat. 4: Mile 3 and 6

Dawson Saddle Traverse • Description

Dawson Saddle is the #1 paved climb in California in terms of elevation gain. San Gabriel Canyon Road (Highway 39) and Angeles Crest Highway lead up to the saddle. After Crystal Lake turnoff, Highway 39 is closed due to landslides, but it is in rideable condition (with a few short gravel sections).
Starting in Azusa, the ascent can be broken into different sections: Morris Reservoir (short descent here), San Gabriel Reservoir (short descent here), East Fork turnoff (1,500 feet), Crystal Lake turnoff (5,000 feet), Islip Saddle (6,600 feet), and Dawson Saddle (7,900 feet).
After Dawson Saddle, the route leads down to Vincent Gulch Divide, then it ascends to Blue Ridge (Inspiration Point), and then it descends again to Wrightwood, passing Big Pines. The way back is the same, with an optional out-and-back climb to Crystal Lake.

Dawson Saddle Traverse • Interactive Map

Dawson Saddle Traverse • Pictures

Dawson Saddle Traverse • San Gabriel Canyon Road
San Gabriel Canyon Road
Dawson Saddle Traverse • Islip Saddle
Islip Saddle
Dawson Saddle Traverse • Angeles Crest Highway
Angeles Crest Highway
Dawson Saddle Traverse • Dawson Saddle
Dawson Saddle
See Also: Gran Fondos & Centuries