Hwy 27 - Atacama  Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

18.2
FIETS
21.4 mi
DISTANCE
7,393 ft
GAINED
6.5 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Ard Oostra, Switzerland.

INTRO

This is the highest paved pass in the Americas at 15,578’. In contrast to Central and Northern South America (e.g. Colombia), this is a stark climb in the high Andes desert with minimal to no vegetation to be seen. Yet this is a dramatically stark and beautiful climb which we are very glad we spent the time to get to and climb.
This climb has a 6.5% average grade. 76% of this climb is at 5-10% grade and 5% is at 10-15%.  The steepest 500 meters is 9.9%. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  Two lane highway in very good condition with a nice shoulder the entire climb.

Traffic:  Mild but with some big rig traffic as this is a pass connecting San Pedro de Atacama to Paso de Jama.

Parking:  There is a wide spot to park on the left 200 meters past the start of the climb (MapStreet View).
Provisions:  There is no place to get food or water on the route.  There are several locations for food and beverages in San Pedro de Atacama 13 kilometers west of the start of the climb (Map).

Weather:  You finish this climb 2,250 meters higher than where you start, at elevation 4,751 meters.  Consult the PJAMM "Full Forecast" feature for the time you expect to arrive at the finish to assess what clothing to bring on your ride.
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
Stay in San Pedro de Atacama (population 3,899 in 2012) for this climb (Google Map + Reviews).  Also consider taking a tour of Alma Observatory 55 kilometers east of San Pedro de Atacama (tour infoGoogle Map + Reviews). 

ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Not Yet Rated
-
Road
-
Traffic
-
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

FROM
No Climbs Found

MEMBER REVIEWS & COMMENTS

Let us know what you thought of this climb. Signup for our FREE membership to write a review or post a comment.
Already have an account?
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

Climb Profile Not Found
CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Hwy 27, Atacama, Chile - cyclist riding on road

San Pedro de Atacama

Climbed by PJAMM September 21, 2017

 World Top 10 Epic Bike Climb

This is the highest paved pass in the Americas at 15,578’.  In contrast to Central and Northern South America (e.g. Colombia), this is a stark climb in the high Andes desert with minimal to no vegetation to be seen. Yet, this is a dramatically stark and beautiful climb which we are very glad we spent the time to get to.

 

    Start the climb at 8,300’.

  bike climb Hwy 27, Atacama, Chile - garmin showing elevation at top

         Finish 21 miles / 34 km.

Cycling Hwy 27, Atacama, Chile - Riding past Volcano Licancabur

We are in site of Volcan Licancabur most of the climb.

Stratovolcano on the border between Chile and Bolivia.

Hwy 27, Atacama, Chile Cyclist on road - volcano Licancabur in background

We are in site of Volcan Licancubur (on the Chile/Bolivia border) nearly the entire climb.

Bicycling climb Hwy 27, Atacama, Chile - steep grade sign, volcano, roadway

Hwy 27, Atacama, Chile

Miles 10-18 (km 6 to 29) are steep and can be quite cold.

Yep  snow!

Hwy 27, Atacama, Chile

Just about to the top.

Cycling Hwy 27, Atacama, Chile - PJAMM cycling Brad Butterfield at finish with bike

The finish.

This climb appears to have been “discovered” by cyclists in 2014 when the “Atacama Challenger” first shows up on Strava May 2, 2015, and then annually thereafter on May 1, 2015, April 29, 2016 and May 1, 2017.  

Cycling Hwy 27, Atacama, Chile - PJAMM cycling Brad Butterfield at finish with bike

Beware of weather - it can sweep in instantly!

Photo:  PJAMM friend and contributor Ard Oostra, Switzerland.