Franklin Canyon to Topanga – LA

Topanga Canyon is one of the more popular west side rides in LA. This particular route is a big loop that runs up through Franklin Canyon and connects to Mulholland Drive which will eventually connect you to old Topanga Road and take you down to Pacific Coast Highway.

Topanga, a name given to the indigenous tribe of the Tongva people, means ‘where mountain meets the sea.’ Topanga Canyon is known for its bohemian and mystical atmosphere, with assorted art stores and quaint restaurants it’s another one of those small natural LA sanctuaries we have left to enjoy.

Strava Link and Rating are Located at the Bottom of the Page

Many people do this ride starting from PCH but I would prefer to do it in reverse as I would rather be descending with Topanga Road traffic opposed to riding up with it. 

If you’re coming from the west side you can pretty much take Santa Monica Blvd (Old Route 66) all the way up to Comstock (quick neighborhood street) and then hook a left at Wilshire. If you’re coming from East LA connect to Willoughby Street (bike lane) and you can roll that safely all the way up to Santa Monica Blvd and that will put you on track towards Franklin Canyon as well.

Strava Link and Rating are Located at the Bottom of the Page

Before you get to Franklin Canyon you will roll through the opulent Beverly Hills neighbourhoods and begin one of the main climbs to get into Franklin Canyon. Eventually you will climb out of Franklin and hop onto Mulholland. Mulholland is a backbone road that separates LA from the valley known for housing many famous Hollywood personalities. Mulholland will essentially take you all the way to old Topanga Road with a small deviation through Tarzana and Woodland hills neighbourhood’s. Be careful in the neighbourhood’s as there are some seriously steep descents that come out of nowhere. 

Once you get through the neighbourhoods you will merge onto old Topanga Road, which is a very short climb to the top before the big descent down to PCH. If it’s your first time descending, I highly recommend you take it slow as there are many tight turns that can quickly ruin your day.

The ride down to PCH is definitely the most exciting part about this route. With a nice California montane chaparral and woodland landscape this ride is well shaded and a fun opportunity to get on the pedals with out breaking too much of a sweat. Eventually you will hit PCH, which will you take south until you find an opening to the bike path. If you’re on the bike path keep an eye out for a pedestrian tunnel that goes under PCH and up to Channel Drive. From there you’re pretty much linking up to San Vincente and should be on your way home!

I would rate this route a 7.5/10 with a few difficult climbs and some challenging street sections. 

Link to route here …


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