After speaking with the Ridge Route Preservation Organization, they have expressed concerns about people driving on the fragile parts of the road. Some parts are closed off to motorized vehicles and some parts are open but in very questionable condition.
I would like to clarify what is and isn’t open or maintained. My goal is to very clearly highlight the condition of the roads and share this information (along with lots of pictures) as honestly as possible. I am not a historian, nor do I work with the County or State. That’s why in most posts, I link information to outside sources that are credible. I’m an artist and I’m here to share with you what I see.
Real quick, here are the definitions of what I’m referencing:
North Ridge Route – Running from the 138 Freeway to the gate a few hundred feet past the location of the Tumble Inn
Old Ridge Route – From the North Gate a few hundred feet from the Tumble Inn to the South Gate which is located about 1.4 miles North of the intersection of Templin Highway and Ridge Route in Castaic.
South Ridge Route – From the South Gate mentioned above, all the way to where it intersects with Castaic Road (there after, it’s called Parker Road)
Now that we know what I’m referencing to, let’s get to it!
North Ridge Route
Open and Maintained – From the 138 Freeway to about 1 tenth of a mile South of the site of Sandberg’s. There will be a sign that says “End of County Maintained Road”
Open and Not Maintained – From the “End of County Maintained Road” sign up the the “North Gate”, located a few hundred feet south of the Tumble Inn. This stretch is in pretty rough condition with lots of large potholes in a crumbling road. I recommend passage by a vehicle with good ground clearance such as a truck, Jeep or SUV. It has been done in cars before but I wouldn’t do it and risk damage to the undercarriage of the car.
Old Ridge Route
Closed and Not Maintained – The entire Old Ridge Route is closed off. It is not maintained however there are parts that have been repaved. According to the Ridge Route Preservation Organization, the roadway is fragile and should not be driven. In order to preserve this amazing road, they ask we not drive it, even if the gates are open. It can, however, be seen of foot or by bike. Hmm, wonder if anyone’s tried it on horseback?
South Ridge Route
Open… Maintained? – This is where I’m not entirely sure. From the South Gate to Templin Highway is open but I’m not sure if it’s publicly maintained, maintained by Angeles Forest or privately maintained. It is in great condition though. There is a sign at the intersection of Templin Highway and Ridge Route that marks it as Forestry Road 8N04 going North of Templin Highway.
Open and Maintained – From Templin Highway to Castaic Road is a public road that anyone can travel. It has been repaved since the original road, but luckily you can still see the old road poking out from the pavement. It’s pretty easily driveable but in the rainy season does gets potholes. I’ve seen crews pretty regularly up there fixing it though. Lots of bits of the old road to see including a spot with the original curbing!
Hope you stay safe and enjoy your journey on the Ridge Route!