Sunset Peak is a prominent peak that overlooks the East Fork of the San Gabriel River and the high country of the Eastern San Gabriels. The route up to Sunset Peak is a abandoned fireroad that leads to the broad summit that use to have a fire lookout tower. This route in itself is a classic local ride. The variation here though is the descent down the northeastern firebreak that leads right back down to Cow Canyon Saddle. This is not a route for those who ride cross country only, this route involves big mountain riding capabilities. Most people will want to wear armor and full face helmets. I suggest people hike this firebreak before riding to learn the terrain.
From Cow Canyon Saddle take the gated dirt road on the south side of the road. Just before the road is the bottom of the northeast firebreak. Ride up this abandoned road for about 3 miles staying to the left at both intersections. Just before you reach the summit of Sunset Peak you will reach the top of the firebreak as it tops out.
The descent starts quick and steep and soon enters rock fields and faces. Besides the steepness and exposure pay attention to the swordlike clusters of Yucca. The lower regions of the route have more steep sand and are a bit easier to ride.
Take the 210 Freeway to Basline offramp in Claremont. You want to head west on Baseline to the first light interesction, Padua Ave. Turn right onto Padua and go north, towards the mountains, for about 2 miles to the lighted Mount Baldy Road intersection. Go right onto Baldy Road and continue for about 2 miles reaching Shinn Road on the right. Continue north and to the left up Baldy Road passing through the tunnels for about 8 miles. As you enter Baldy Village there is a turnoff for Glendora Ridge Road on the left. Make the left and continue up Glendora Ridge Road for about a mile reaching Cow Canyon Saddle. You use to be able to park at the large parking lot at the saddle, but the nearby RV park has posted No Parking signs. I do not know if they actually have the right to do this but you can park along the road just before you reach the saddle.
When to Bike & External LinksThe fireroad can be ridden year round. It is a fun snow ride.
For current forecast go to Weather Underground.
You will need a Adventure Pass to park at the turnout. Adventure Passes are available at many gas stations in Claremont and Upland. They are also available at the Baldy Ranger Station and further up the road at a private house near Icehouse Canyon. The Icehouse Canyon house will have a sign out front where they are selling passes.
For current condtions contact Angeles National Forest or San Bernardino National Forest.
For information about Mount Baldy Vistor center