Lee Canyon + Hwy 158 Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

10.2
FIETS
16.3 mi
DISTANCE
4,986 ft
GAINED
5.7 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Ron Hawks, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

TOUR DETAILS & STATS
2021 Tour de France

INTRO

"Another very difficult climb, this hill shares its start with beyond category Lee Canyon. Ride the long approach up Route 156 with its distant views and solid grade until around mile 14 when you turn left onto Nevada 158. Very soon you encounter increased grade and a more twisty route as you head along the shoulder of the massive mountain ridge. Long views are to your left and more trees appear as you gain altitude. After just over a half mile on 158 the grade eases a bit and you pass the 8,000 feet elevation mark (signed). Soon the grade eases further and just over two miles from the junction with Lee Canyon the listed climb ends at an unmarked pass at over 8,300 feet..." (This quote is presented with the approval of John Summerson, from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 198.)

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We stayed in Las Vegas when we did these climbs and drove the 18 miles from Vegas to this climb for our long riding day.

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CLIMB SUMMARY

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.

IMG_5548.JPG

 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.  

IMG_5551.JPG 

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.