Cycling Lee Canyon + Hwy 158 (#3 Nevada/#35 USA)
Ride 16.3 miles gaining 4,986’ at 5.7% average grade.
Hwy 158 is the grade cut into the mountain center-left of photo
Hwy 156-158 is a Top 50 U.S. Climb which begins in a fairly desolate and desert-like setting about 30 miles northwest of Las Vegas.
This climb can be extremely hot and probably should be avoided between June and August when the average high temperature ranges from 99 to 104 degrees. The first 11 miles are through high desert landscape with many Joshua Trees, which turns gradually to pine and fir forest beginning around mile 12.
By the time we top 8,000', we are in a completely different climate zone made up of pine forest and scenic mountain formations. The Highway 158 portion of this climb begins by turning left off Highway 156 onto 158 at about the 14.1 miles mark. From miles 0-14.1 we gain 4,460' at 5.9% average grade. The final 2.2 miles on Highway 158 are at 4.5% gaining 498'
Looking back to the turn off (we actually turn left onto 158 on the ascent)
The climb is fairly steady, between 4-7%, and with very few higher extended grades throughout. This ride can be done in conjunction with 3 other climbs in the immediate area (#22 Hwy 156 which shares its first 14 miles with they Hwy 156 climb, #49 Hwy 157-158 and Hwy #66 Hwy 157). Be careful if doing this ride without support as the only provisions are likely to be at the Mt Charleston Resort at the end of Hwy 157 - support is highly recommended for any effort involving Lee and Kyle Canyons in the same ride.
Desert View Overlook - Mile 15.6
Magnificent views from the overlook.
Finish - High point at 8,682’
Roadway Surface and Traffic: This climb is primarily along a Nevada state highway (156) which does not have a shoulder or bike lane to speak of, yet traffic is minimal, making the ride much less nerve-wracking than riding on the busier state highways. The 2.2 miles on Hwy 158 are wonderful, with minimal traffic and excellent views. The roadway surface is excellent throughout.