|Country Club Dr just past Mar Ave.|
As Exchange Pl curves left to become Soledad Ave, veer straight (or slightly right, if you will) onto Country Club Dr and be prepared to shift to lower gear. Sufferingville begins at Mar Ave intersection until the first left curve with maximum grade of around 16%. This stretch of the road is also very narrow, which makes its usual lack of traffic quite a blessing. There are some really nice houses along the road if you can manage to take in their view, though. After the left curve the golf course appears on your right side and the road mellows out for a short stretch. Take your time! This is the only real break in hard climbing you are going to get before the top.
|Country Club Dr at the golf course. The only 'rest' stretch on the climb.|
|Romero Dr switchback.|
If you aren't here to set a new Strava PR or to snag to much coveted KoM, though, take a break at Encelia Dr curve and go check out the gorgeous overlook on the left side. The road dead ends but a paved trail continues a bit down the hill and around a left curve to a water tank. On a clear day the view of La Jolla Village and the shoreline is drop dead gorgeous! I wouldn't ride a road bike down that trail since it's full of broken glasses and other debris, but a little hike into such scenic solitude never hurts anyone!
|Encelia Dr trail to water tank.|
|Encelia Dr up toward Upper Hillside Dr.|
Yes, yes, I've gone up Via Capri a few times. It is relentlessly gnarly, but what turns me off about it is having cars speed by on left while dodging parallel-parked cars on the right while trying make snailish progress up the steep slope. Country Club route is a much more serene and personal climb where the handful of cars that might drive by go at 15 mph, with the drivers noticing everything on the road (because, on such a narrow and curvy road, they have to!) and are much more keen on a friendly wave or even a verbal cheer to urge you up the hill.
|Turning left from Encelia Dr onto Upper Hillside Dr.|
|Upper Hillside Dr to Via Casa Alta.|
|Spectacular view is earned by spectacular pain... or something like that.|
|The true top of Soledad Mtn. The TV antennae on Via Casa Alta (with a good view of Mission Bay & Pt Loma to boot).|
Via Casa Alta dumps you onto La Jolla Scenic Dr between Via Capri Dr and Soledad Mountain Rd (turn left to go to the cross). There are many ways of descending the mountain, but if you need to go back to Exchange Pl at Torrey Pines Rd (or to La Jolla Village proper) by the least trafficky way without descending down steep, curvy and very cracky roads, I'd suggest hanging a right onto LJ Scenic Dr, then;
-R - Nautilus St
-R - W Muirlands Dr
-R - Fay Ave
-R - Pearls St
-L - High Ave
-R - Virginia Wy
-L - Exchange Pl
If you feel like climbing some more, though, more Mt Soledad back-road routes coming up in a bit!