Bicycling the Crest
Rolling Deep into the San Gabriels
The terrain and scenery change beyond Red Box. The 12 miles between Red Box and Newcomb Ranch lie roughly between the well-known front range of the San Gabriels and the lofty, less-explored back range. The road through this intermountain section goes up, then down, then up, then down, and then up. After Newcomb Ranch, the climbing immediately gets serious.
About eight miles past Red Box is Charlton Flats, where the chaparral gives way to pine trees. There is a picnic ground here, but no water fountain--at least not any more. Not to worry, though. Red Box almost always has water (although sometimes it is shut off) and there is water at Newcomb Ranch and nearby Chilao.
Because of all the uphill-downhill stuff you can get tired without gaining a lot of elevation. However, I am able to reach the 5000' level.
CalTrans has a maintenance facility near Chilao, just before my next water stop. Apparently some workers live here. What a cool place for company housing!
Newcomb Ranch is a big hangout for the motorcyclists who ride the Crest. On weekends there can be a huge number of motorcycles parked here. Today, a Friday, there are a relative few.

You can get food and drink at the restaurant here, or you can fill water bottles at the drinking fountain. A note of caution: the water I got from the drinking fountain here tasted rusty.

Newcomb Ranch, like the Angeles National Forest, is open every day.
At this point, I'm a little more than halfway to Wrightwood, but the toughest climbing is about to come.
The first six miles out of Newcomb Ranch is climbing--no flat spots, no downhills. I reach the 6000' level about three miles into the climb. I'm glad I stopped, rested, and had something to eat and drink before starting this segment of the ride.

PART 3: To Dawson Saddle