Discover

California

Cycling in California

in
Photo: Traveler

Our Tour recommendations are based on thousands of activities completed by other people on komoot.

Sure it’s got Hollywood and Silicon Valley but cycling in California will show you just how much jaw-dropping natural landscape this state has to offer. The third-largest state in the USA, California’s geology is incredibly diverse and that means you can find gorgeous flat routes, undulating hill trails and gloriously difficult mountain rides. 

Blessed with mountain ranges, cycle routes in California can take you to heady heights as well as provide you with endless foothills to climb up and whizz down. Cycleways take you along California’s phenomenal Pacific coastline for hundreds of miles and along dirt tracks through desert scrubland. With a monumental central valley, you can enjoy flat rides along rivers and through preserves. 

Californian cities are often very bike-friendly too, with plenty of cycle paths that lead you from place to place, coffee shop to coffee shop.

Difficult
03:14
30.5 mi
Intermediate
01:53
18.5 mi
Difficult
03:32
33.2 mi
Difficult
04:08
41.2 mi
Difficult
02:58
27.3 mi
Difficult
04:43
45.4 mi
Intermediate
01:09
11.0 mi
Difficult
05:50
51.7 mi
Difficult
03:38
35.3 mi
Intermediate
03:25
35.2 mi
Difficult
04:29
42.7 mi
Intermediate
02:37
25.3 mi
Intermediate
03:09
32.9 mi
Intermediate
01:47
17.9 mi
Intermediate
02:37
26.6 mi
Difficult
06:22
58.2 mi
Intermediate
02:54
32.4 mi
Intermediate
02:27
20.4 mi
Easy
01:42
15.7 mi
Difficult
06:48
61.8 mi

Top 20 cycling routes in California

    1
    Difficult
    03:14
    30.5 mi
    9.5 mph
    1,725 ft
    1,725 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    2
    Intermediate
    01:53
    18.5 mi
    9.9 mph
    950 ft
    950 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • 3
    Difficult
    03:32
    33.2 mi
    9.4 mph
    2,200 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    4
    Difficult
    04:08
    41.2 mi
    10.0 mph
    1,775 ft
    1,775 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    5
    Difficult
    02:58
    27.3 mi
    9.2 mph
    1,950 ft
    1,925 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    6
    Difficult
    04:43
    45.4 mi
    9.6 mph
    2,800 ft
    2,800 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    7
    Intermediate
    01:09
    11.0 mi
    9.5 mph
    625 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    8
    Difficult
    05:50
    51.7 mi
    8.9 mph
    4,675 ft
    4,675 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    9
    Difficult
    03:38
    35.3 mi
    9.7 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,750 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    10
    Intermediate
    03:25
    35.2 mi
    10.3 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    11
    Difficult
    04:29
    42.7 mi
    9.5 mph
    2,600 ft
    2,600 ft
    Ferry
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.
    12
    Intermediate
    02:37
    25.3 mi
    9.6 mph
    850 ft
    850 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    13
    Intermediate
    03:09
    32.9 mi
    10.4 mph
    375 ft
    375 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    14
    Intermediate
    01:47
    17.9 mi
    10.0 mph
    750 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    15
    Intermediate
    02:37
    26.6 mi
    10.1 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    16
    Difficult
    06:22
    58.2 mi
    9.1 mph
    4,600 ft
    4,600 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    17
    Intermediate
    02:54
    32.4 mi
    11.2 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.
    18
    Intermediate
    02:27
    20.4 mi
    8.3 mph
    600 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    19
    Easy
    01:42
    15.7 mi
    9.2 mph
    450 ft
    450 ft
    Easy bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.
    20
    Difficult
    06:48
    61.8 mi
    9.1 mph
    5,200 ft
    5,200 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

Discover More Tours around California

More Information

Pedaling the Pacific coast

Perhaps there’s no better way to start talking about cycling in California than pedaling across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. From the hilly city, crossing the bridge places you right in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and you can ride along the Pacific coast or along the bayside. 

Los Angeles is a paradise for cyclists wanting to have a permanent sea view. You can ride for miles along beachside cycle paths, car-free and with plenty of cafes to pause at. Out of the cities, coastal cycle routes in California get wild and rugged too. The Big Sur coast is famed for its astounding, jagged beauty; so if its big views you’re after, you’re guaranteed them here. 

Marvellous mountainous adventures

Lake Tahoe, on the Nevadan border east of Sacramento, is a hotspot for cyclists of every type. Extreme climbs and matching descents challenge even the best of riders while paradisiacal trails around the lake will make your heart soar. Ride through towering forests of Douglas Fir and enjoy the family-friendly cycle routes under the watchful gaze of huge mountains. 

In the Santa Monica mountains just north west of LA, you could cycle for hours and never see a car. Instead, you might catch the pros training on the exceptionally challenging ascents, which always give way to breathtaking descents where the brakes will be your best friend. 

In Mt. Tamalpais State Park, ride through exceptional scenery with redwoods, lengthy climbs and jaw-dropping ocean views. Routes here are never easy but they are the kind that are so incredible, you won’t even mind the fourth climb of the day. 

Preparing for cycling through California

Wherever you enjoy bike rides in California, there are a few things to bear in mind. Under-18s must wear helmets by law and it’s advisable that if you’re on a bike, a helmet is on your head whatever your age. Unlike many places, Californian law requires cyclists to hug the edge of the road rather than take up a dominant road stance. Remember though, if you’re no fan of cycling in traffic, the state has plentiful traffic-free and quiet routes you can choose instead. 

When you go up into hilly and mountainous areas, you may quickly find yourself totally alone and without any mobile phone signal. Being prepared with snacks, water and tools is crucial. In mountains, descents can be hair-raising so always check the health of your brakes first. 

California's best cycling routes on the map

Discover More Tours around California

Popular around California

Find the perfect Tour

in

Weather Forecast around California

Discover

California