The PCH and Deer Creek Road
Deer Creek Road connects to the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) between Mugu Rock and the Los Angeles county line, just north of Malibu.It quickly rises above the Pacific Ocean offering spectacular views while you drag yourself up the hill. You can see Santa Catalina and Santa Cruz islands in the Channel Islands chain.Deer Creek is one of the three toughest climbs in Ventura County, in my opinion. The other two are Balcolm Canyon Road and Potrero Road. Deer Creek Road rises 1,380 feet in about 2.5 miles with a grade that ran between 10 to 15% on my Garmin. However, the grade really stayed between 12 to 15%, with the occasional 9% section as the "flat" part. Deer Creek Road starts steep and stays steep.
|Mugu Rock featured in movies, TV|
and nearly every car commercial with
a beach theme.
The biggest thing that will affect you on the PCH is the wind. The coastline runs east to west between LA and Santa Barbara, so the sea breeze will blow from the west. So going to LA, there is a tailwind, coming back there will be a steady headwind, the notch at Mugu Rock is a real wind tunnel at times. The wind builds as the day wears on, so it pays to ride early. I would say about 30% of the cyclists out on the PCH are riding aero or time trial bikes.
|Neptune's Net, on the PCH near the|
LA county line.
Deer Creek Road
|You turn the corner and it gets worse.|
|The PCH as seen from Deer|
This is one climb where a power meter is valuable. While the road was very steep, I kept an eye on
my power output and tried to keep it below 300 watts. I will be burning matches above 300 watts. So as long as I was still moving up the hill, I was happy. The road stayed between 12 and 15% and the flat spots were 9%. I was surprised that I was to continue up the hill without any complaints from my
I was able to get 2 miles into a 2.5 mile climb. The two things holding me back were the heat and my water that was disappearing fast. By my calculation, I was five miles from the Circle X Ranch, the next place that I could refill my water bottles.And it would get hotter on the way there. So I turned around, but I will be back to finish the last half mile of the climb and continue to Yerba Buena Road, the Circle X Ranch, Mulholland Highway and then Decker Canyon. A future ride for the day when the temps are not in the 90s.