Big Basin – China Grade

I decided to do Big Basin today.  It’s my typical route, which went up Hwy 9, south on Hwy 35, then west on Bear Creek, then onto China Grade before making the climb back on Hwy 9 back home.

Was a typical Bay Area September, and wasn’t too hot .. Sunny and in the 80s.  How could you ask for anything more?  Started out partly cloudy, and by the time I started the climb on Hwy 9, the sun came out … Got “Mr. Blue Sky” ringing in my head (yeah, I’m a big ELO fan). 

Only thing annoying about the Hwy 9 climb is the two stop lights along the climb.  Well at least it gives us a break on the climb.  What did annoy me was some cyclists were going even with the light still red.  What’s your hurry?  You still gotta stop anyways.  All I could do was shake my head in disgust.


Just before getting to Bear Creek, I pass through some Christmas tree farms.  I always have to take a pic here.  I must have 5 pictures of the same shoot from previous rides here.

Onto Bear Creek, and a nice decent … Until I get to the section of road that is chipsealed … Oh I forgot all about that.  Oh well, I’ll have to just suffer through it.

Onto China Grade.  It’s been a while since doing this climb.  It first lulls you with the beautiful forest-like scenery, with Redwood tree trunks everywhere … And then the steep grades begin.  I had forgotten how tough this climb is, but at least it’s not as bad as Jameson Creek.


When finally reaching the top, I was so happy, and took a break here, and not in a real hurry to continue.  I still had a 6 mile climb up out of Big Basin up to Skyline.

Totals according to my Garmin is 70.12 miles, while Strava gives me 69.2 miles.  It’s robbing me of 1 mile.  Why is that?  The Garmin is giving me raw data, so why short change my total mileage?  I may just use Garmin Connect, but that’s 3 years of days accumulated.

Check out my 69.2 mi Ride on Strava:

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