Nine Mile Canyon Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Nine Mile Canyon


Long steady grade in high desert conditions into the southeastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

Page Contributor(s): Bruce Hamilton, La Quinta, CA, USA; Stacy Topping, Tacoma, WA, USA

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Climb Summary


Cycling the eastern Sierra Nevada Nine Mile Canyon Road.

This bike climb beginning on Hwy 395 is a worthwhile undertaking.

Ride your bike 15.7 miles gaining 5,170’ to 7,580’ at 6% average grade.


Start of the climb.


Did you say “God forsaken?” . . O.k., we’ll give you that!


PJAMM’s Stacy Topping - Chasing the US Top 100!

Another one down . . .

The Nine Mile Canyon Road climb begins a bit west of Death Valley, and the temperatures during the summer can be stifling.  The average high temperature during July and August exceeds 100 degrees.  The scenery through the first 10 miles is high desert, stark and barren - but we must say it is a exceptional cycling experience.   Miles 2-4 are 8.1%, mile 5 averages 8.9% while miles 8.2-9.2 spike to 10% average, which can present a challenge in 100 degree weather.  


Photo of steepest quarter mile - average 12.4% - hits 15%

Bill and John back at the start after their

2012 Nine Mile Canyon/Sherman Pass out-and-back

During the summer months, and even in cooler weather, this is a very challenging climb.

Traffic and Roadway report:  The roadway surface is good throughout the ride with two lanes divided by a center line for the first 10 miles.  There is minimal traffic along this route and the roadway has a safe feel to it.

The steepest ¼ mile on this climb begins at mile 8.2 and is 12.4%.  The steepest mile beings at the same location as the steepest ¼ mile and is 10.6%.

Steepest ½ mile begins at mile 8.3 and is 11%.