BALCOM CANYON RD. Date reviewed - 2/06
Fun . . . . . . . . 4
Difficulty . . . . .High
Traffic . . . . . . Light to Medium
Driveways . . . .None
Condition . . . . Fair to Good
Length . . . . . .3 miles
The northern most section Balcom Canyon Rd. is a short (3.3-mile) but fun little road that can make a nice connector from N/W Los Angeles County to Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. Considering it's length it is over almost before it starts, but don't let that make you complacent. This is a technical drive, especially headed northbound because you drop elevation pretty quickly and there are some very tight corners to contend with.
Headed north away from Highway 118 on the southern section of Balcolm Canyon (which is fun but not really note-worthy) you will pass Stockton Road on your right. Approximately 1.8-miles past Stockton, Balcolm will make a very hard turn to the left; use caution here as there is a dirt road that continues straight and you really don't want to take that route. You are now headed east and not quite another mile down will bring you to a "T" intersection; Balcolm Cyn. heads north (and this is the section we are interested in) and Bradley Rd. which continues southeast back to the 118.
Leaving Bradley Rd. will have you climbing uphill through some sweepers, but very quickly you will come to the crest of the hill and a tight switchback. After winding around the top (noted on map to right) you will drop down the north side of the hill down a very tight grade. Watch your speed here as this is one steep grade and there are switchbacks all the way down.
Be especially careful northbound as the lane (which is on the canyon drop-off side) is sliding away towards the bottom and the County has not done a proper repair. They have "stop" signs set up at the worst spot but there is at least one more collapse that isn't really dealt with. While it's close to the bottom of the canyon and the drop wouldn't be nearly as far as from the top, I still wouldn't recommend testing your car's airbags here.
The last section at the north is a straight run to the end of the road at South Mountain Rd., which can be taken west to Santa Paula and Highway 150 and then up to Ojai and Highway 33.- Back to Region
Red: Balcom Canyon Rd.
Red: Highway 150
Orange: South Mountain Rd.
Purple: Hwy. 23 - Grimes Canyon Rd.
Short but definately sweet.