Figueroa Mountain

Santa Ynez, California, USA


The Mount Figueroa loop is one of the best-known rides in the Santa Barbara region - and it’s a beast. With an average gradient at around 8%, it’s one of the toughest Southern California cycling climbs. It’s also one of the prettiest. Climbing it by bike is a serious endeavour, but conquer it and you’ll be rewarded with epic views across the Los Padres National Forest and the San Rafael Mountains. The climb begins in earnest at around 17 km, and the gradients kick in steeply from the start. It’s 5km to the top of the first ridge with an average 7.7% gradient. Not leg-breaker hard, but tough all the same, particularly due to the unpaved 1.6km (1 mile) section. The narrow road to the top is cut into the forested mountainside, and you’ll need to watch out for patchy asphalt and debris on the road. Make the most of the stunning views to your left and right as after a final, short, sharp climb you reach the unremarkable, no-view, forested summit.