Cycling Glacier Lodge Road - another exceptional Owens Valley road bike climb.
Ride 9.6 miles gaining 3,725’ to 7,807’ elevation at 7.3% average grade.
Thanks much to Ron Hawks and Dan Razum for many of the photos on this page.
This is one of the 9 Top 100 U.S. climbs in the Owens Valley - the mecca of road bike climbing in the United States and perhaps the world. Other Top 100 U.S. Climbs in the area are #6 Onion Valley, #7 Horseshoe Meadow, #9 White Mountain, #13 Whitney Portal, #24 South Lake, #28 Rock Creek, #29 Lake Sabrina, and #64 Pine Creek.
This bike climb enters Inyo National Forest at mile 2.2. This Inyo National Forest is 1,903,381 acres established 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt. There are several campgrounds at the end of the climb which runs along an edge of the John Muir Wilderness Area (580,322 acres established in 1964; extends through Sierra and Inyo National Forests).
The start to mile 2.5 is gradual, at an average 5.5%, but the grade rises thereafter - 7.3% for the next mile, 9.2% for miles 3.5-5.5, with an overall average of 7.2% from miles 2.5 to the finish 7.1 miles later. Like many of the Owens Valley climbs, the first several miles are through a lower desert-like setting with scrub brush and barren land with the eastern Sierra Nevada Rance slowly approaching. At the 5 mile mark we begin to climb through a shallow canyon for several miles. At the 6.5 mile mark we begin to see pine trees and by mile 8 are squarely in a Sierra Nevada alpine forest setting. Beware of the heat during the summer months in which the degrees averages 92 (June), 98 (July) and 96 (August).
Start in an arid desert-like setting.
Enter Inyo National Forest (1,903,381 acres; est. 1907) at mile 2.3
Relatively straight climb, but one set of hairpins at mile 3.
Much of the climb is through or just above a canyon.
Camping area begin in the last mile of the climb.
Some beautiful country and settings near and at the end of the climb.
Finish At Big Pine Creek Campground and Trailhead
Steepest ¼ mile begins at 4.8 (11.6%) and mile at 4.2 (10.2%)
Traffic and Roadway report: The roadway surface is good throughout this ride and the traffic is very light.