Palomar Mountain Road
Cleveland National Forest
San Diego County, CA

On Sunday February 22, 2009, Stage 8 of the Amgen Tour of California will be climbing Palomar Mountain South Grade Road from Pauma Valley to East Grade Road. This will surely provide an epic ending and decisive climb. For a map of the stage -

The climb to the top of Palomar Mountain Road is 12.5 miles if you start in Pauma Valley on State Route 76. The ascent starts on SR 76 just west of Valley Center Road. The climb is made up of two distinct sections. The first section on SR 76 is 5.8 miles and the second section on Palomar Mountain Road is 6.8 miles. Palomar Mountain Road is also known as South Grade Road. There is a flat section of approximately 1/2 mile between the sections.

The climb on Palomar Mountain Road is often compared to Alpe d'Huez. Both have 21or so switchbacks and the mountains are similar in elevation. Palomar has more pine trees at the top, but there are no Alpine glaciers nearby. Alpe d'Huez is a bit longer and much steeper. However for Southern California standards, this is one of the best climbs around. Many locals think this is the hardest climb in Socal, I give that distinction to the Mt. Baldy ski area .

Total Climb 12.68 mi. 4325' ascent 6.5 %  
Part 1 - SR76 5.82 mi. 1810' ascent 6.0 %  
Part 2 - Palomar Mtn Rd 6.86 mi. 2530' ascent 7.0%  
Alpe d'Huez 8 mi 3514' ascent 7.9%  
  13km 1071m    

Maps and Profiles



palomar.gif (21065 bytes)Click to Enlarge Profile

Directions - The climb starts on State Route 76 in Pauma Valley,
15.4 miles east of I-15

Large Map of Climb 1200 X 422 280kb
  Small Map of Climb 800 X 281 99kb
Map of the Area
  Map of Palomar Climb and East Grade Rd Loop
  Google Terrain Map of Main Climb Switchbacks



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