Published on May 15, 2019 by Tom Owen

Spectator Advisory – Men’s Stage 6 & Women’s Stage 2 (Ontario to Mt Baldy)

Amgen Tour of California Fans

This is the stage that the spectators and racers have been asking us to bring back for the past two years. It is going to be a huge challenge for the peloton(s), but it is also going to be a challenge for the spectators. This advisory will detail the schedules of the road closures and where you can park and can’t park. You should be able to use this information to plan your viewing options of May 17th. With some preparation and an early start, you will be able to find a number of great places to watch the race!

NOTICE – Glendora Mountain Road and Glendora Ridge Road remain closed to vehicles. LA County is still doing work on these roads. They are not scheduled to be re-opened until May 31st. You will not be able to drive on any portion of Glendora Mountain Road (in the National Forest) or on Glendora Ridge Road. You will be able to walk or use a bicycle. CHP will be controlling the gates.

Women’s Stage 2

  • The women’s race starts at the Citizens Bank Arena for the is at 9:45 AM
  • They will start the climb up Glendora Mountain Rd (GMR) at 10:25 AM. GMR will be closed to vehicles. Cyclists and pedestrians will still have access until CHP asks you to pull to the side of the road.
  • The women will reach the GMR QOM at 11:15 AM and Mt Baldy Rd by 11:45 AM
  • They should finish by 12:09 PM

Men’s Stage 6

  • The Men’s race starts at the Citizens Bank Arena at 11:50 AM
  • Race will start climbing Mt Baldy Rd at 12:29 PM at Shinn Road
  • Mt Baldy Road will close at Shinn Rd at 11:45 AM and re-open at 12:45 PM
  • Race will start climbing Glendora Ridge Rd (GRR) from Mt Baldy Rd at 12:45pm
  • Race will turn south on Hwy 39 at 1:40 PM
  • Race will turn east on Sierra Madre Blvd at 2:10 PM
  • Race will turn north on Glendora Mtn Rd at 2:20 PM.
  • The men will return to Mt Baldy Rd at 3:20 PM. Mt Baldy road will be closed at Glendora Ridge at 2:45 PM

General Information

  • Basic Services (water, food, gasoline) are basically unavailable in the mountains. There are no gas stations, there are no stores. You may find local residents selling water and some type of food, but do not rely on it. You will need to rely on your own food and water.
  • You may be required to purchase a one-day Adventure Pass. If you are parking north of Mt Baldy Village, YOU WILL NEED AN ADVENTURE PASS ($5)
  • Plan on “packing out” any trash or other refuse
  • There will be no shuttle program for spectators
  • If you plan on walking or riding your bike to the switchbacks or the finish area, you need to be parked in the first available spot you can find on Mt Baldy Rd by 11:00am on race day. WARNING: much of the six miles from the Mt Baldy Village to the finish line is 10-15% and the descent is just as dangerous as the ascent is hard.

Best Places to Watch the Races

In order to preserve the natural beauty of the area, please do not paint on the road. The CHP and Forest Service have been asked by the Tour to enforce this rule through ticketing and confiscation of paint.

  • Ontario (race start). You will have opportunities to get autographs, take pictures, and talk to the riders.
  • Glendora Mountain Road (GMR) GMR is a great place to watch the race. It is a very long climb (about 8 miles). It is steep. There is nothing there for food or water. We will have some Porta-Johns along the climb.
  • Glendora Ridge Road (GRR). This is a 13-mile section of the course that the riders will do twice. The vistas from here are spectacular. Again, there is no food or water available.
  • Intersection of GMR and GRR. Just .3 miles from the 2nd You can watch the race go by and then easily walk up to the KOM and be there to watch the race come by the second time.
  • GRR at the first KOM. No services. Great views down the valley. Just a mile downhill to Mt Baldy Village. You can watch the race come up Mt Baldy Rd, climb up to the KOM, and then watch them return. Probably the best place to watch the race on the entire course. It will also be VERY crowded.
  • Mt Baldy Village. You will be able to watch the race come by twice: as they head towards the first KOM and then as they return and head towards the finish. There are just two places to eat, but there is the possibility that there may be some outside dining set-up by the town.
  • The “Switchbacks” on Mt Baldy Rd will be the most coveted place to watch the race, but this viewing spot presents the most challenges. There is parking for several cars. If you park in a “No Parking” zone, you have a 100% certainty that you will be ticketed and towed. Tow trucks will be on the mountain. Average towing bill from Mt Baldy Road is very expensive. Parking will be gone early on race day. If you are lucky enough to find parking on Mt Baldy Rd between the switchbacks and the Mt Baldy Village, you will need to either walk or ride your bike to the switchbacks. Average walk or ride will be 3-4 miles. There are zero services here. Once the parking is gone, only residents will have access to the road to get to their homes. IDs will be checked by CHP.
  • Manker Flats is just one mile from the finish, but it will be closed for the public to access by car. Awesome place to watch the race, but it is not accessible by car. At 1.5 miles from Ice House Canyon Rd, the road will be closed to all traffic (except VIPs, staff, and the staff shuttle). Best advice is that as you climb the switchbacks, grab the first spot you can. You will have the same view as the people higher up the road, be able to get the same great pictures, and best of all, once the race passes your location, you can get off the mountain much faster than the people above you!
  • Race finish at the Mt Baldy Ski Lifts parking lot. Great place to watch the race, but the most difficult place to get to. There is no parking available to the public. This area has such limited parking, that even the race itself does not have enough space and will need to use a shuttle service. Realistically, the closest parking is going to be more than three miles away. To get to the finish area, you will need to walk or ride your bike. There is spot for bikes, but you will need to bring your own lock. WARNING: much of the five miles from the Mt Baldy Village to the finish line is 10-15% and the descent is just as dangerous as the ascent is hard.

Road Closures (all times are approximate)

Mt Baldy Road – This is the main road up to Mt Baldy Village from Ontario. This road will be heavily monitored by CHP.

  • From the intersection of Ice House Canyon – will be closed early Saturday morning (5:00 AM) to allow for oversized trucks to make it to the finish area. It will be reopened after the trucks make the top and then closed again when all parking is gone. The switchbacks will have no parking and security until the trucks get up the hill. By 6:30 AM, those areas will be open for parking
  • From Ice House Canyon to Glendora Ridge Road – 10:30am to 11:30am for the women’s race and from 2:45pm to 3:45pm
  • From Shin Rd to Glendora Ridge Road – CHP will temporarily close Mt Baldy Rd at Shin Rd at 11:30am. Once the race is on Mt Baldy Rd, traffic will be allowed to continue up Mt Baldy Road to find parking

Glendora Ridge Rd – This is a 13-mile section of the course that runs between Mt Baldy Road and Glendora Mountain Rd

  • This road will be not be open to vehicles (only bicycles).

Hwy 39

  • SB Hwy 39 at East Fork Rd, will close at 1:30pm and reopen as the race clears the intersection
  • NB Hwy 39 at Sierra Hwy will close at Sierra Madre Blvd at 1:00pm and reopen as the race passes the intersection

Glendora Mountain Rd - From Sierra Madre Ave to Glendora Ridge Rd

  • This road is not open for any vehicle (only bicycles)

Available Parking

  • All four tires must be totally off the pavement
  • There will be no parking at the finish area or in Manker Flats. You will be immediately towed from these areas.
  • Parking on the switchbacks is limited and will be gone by Noon on the 17th
  • Parking north of the Mt Baldy Village will also be limited. The entire Trout Pond parking area will be taken for Team Parking.

About the Author

Tom Owen

Tom Owen is a cycling writer who has worked with some of the cycling world's biggest media brands, covering everything from the top levels of the professional sport to bikepacking adventures in the Balkans.