Santa Fe Dam Road Bike Ride



Cycle path




Elevation Gain



Starting/Max Elevation


764’ / 789’

Starting Coordinates


34 09.518’ N, 117 54.638’ W

An easy ride following the river from the San Gabriel canyon in Azusa to the Santa Fe flood control basin. As you might expect it’s a gentle downhill to the basin but not that you would notice, even on the return. With the exception of crossing the entrance into the Santa Fe recreation area the whole ride is on a paved cycle path shared with foot traffic, and hence is suitable for all ages and levels of ability. The path is in good condition - we frequently inline skate some of the sections as it’s so smooth and level.

Getting there

From the 210 freeway take highway 39/Azusa Avenue exit North (towards the mountains). Continue North on Azusa Avenue about 0.9 miles past the junction with Sierra Madre Avenue to a parking area on the left, just beyond where the central divider ends and shortly before the National Forest information building on the right. Google directions to start


The Ride

Not much description is needed for this one. From the parking area ride North on the cycle path for 0.2 miles and make a u turn to the left to pass around a gate (0.24 miles). Continuing North also follows the river but the path ends in less than a mile and you are forced to use the road, which is narrow and very busy on weekends.

At 1.53 miles you will notice a gate on the left, this exits to Todd Avenue and the junction with Sierra Madre Avenue in Azusa. If you are riding a mountain bike I recommend joining the parallel single track on the left of the cycle path. At 2.25 miles you will pass an old railway bridge on the right (exits on to Encanto Parkway in Duarte), and at 2.54 miles there are rest rooms and a recently renovated picnic area on the left, just before passing under Huntington Drive at 2.81 miles. At 3.28 miles you pass under the 210 freeway and after a couple of sharp bends enter a wide stretch of the path. At 4.36 miles follow the signs to the left, past a nature centre on the left and car parking on the right. Continue following the signs directing you to the right (4.47 miles) at a service road and across a park access road at 4.84 miles before reconnecting with the cycle path.

At 5.3 miles you will need to cross the entrance to the recreation area - fortunately there is a ticket station here so cars are slow moving (especially good when navigating this on roller-skates!). At 8.22 miles you can either turn around to head back the way you came, or if riding a mountain bike drop down into the basin to return via the recreation area.



View from dam bike path

View from dam bike path

View from dam bike path






View at end of path

View from path looking North to lake

View from path looking North to lake

Ride log

Last Ridden


Pedal Time

Elapsed Time

Jan 26th, 08


1 hour 24 minutes

1 hour 29 minutes

Nov 24th, 07


1 hour 29 minutes

1 hour 50 minutes

July 29th, 07





[Directions to start]

[Map in pdf (1.13 MB)]

[GPS Trace (waypoint every quarter mile)]

[GPS Trace (all waypoints)]

[Topo file (.tpo)]






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Site Last Modified: Tuesday, March 10, 2009