Page Contributor(s): Ron Hawks, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Steepest Gradient (%)
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Routes along Empire Pass, from Park City and from Midway.
Ride 8 miles gaining 3,232’ at 7.5% average grade.
Empire Pass from Midway shares its first seven miles (and by far most difficult stretch) with Top 100 #14 cycling climb, Guardsman Pass. Guardsman/Empire Pass begins just north of Midway, Utah and can be reached by either the Midway (more difficult), or Park City (least difficult) sides. We can also connect with Empire Pass from Big Cottonwood Canyon, U.S. most difficult bicycle cimb #39. The Midway ascent to Empire Pass has been recently paved as of 2018 and is in excellent condition.
Before heading to Utah on your cycling adventure, be sure to rely on our list of Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip, and use our interactive checklist to ensure you don't forget anything.
Start of climb: Intersection of Warm Springs and Pine Canyon Roads,
about two miles north of Midway.
Enter the state park soon after the start.
Pass through cottonwood groves in the upper half of climb.
Nice views south to Midway and Deer Creek Reservoir.
The climb is steep cycling throughout its first seven miles (8.6%, 3,098') and levels off significantly after turning right at the junction of Guardsman and Empire Passes (at the seven mile mark). The last 0.9 miles of the "climb" are very mild with a 2.7% average grade and only 105' of elevation gained.
Turn right at mile seven after 7.1 miles/3,115’/8.5%.
Travel the remaining nine-tenths mile at 2.5%.
Traffic and Roadway Report: The roadway surface since 2018 is exceptional as the road has been repaved. Traffic is very light.
Steepest ¼ mile begins at mile 1.8 (15%); steepest mile beings at mile 1.2 (12.4%)
Note: Empire Pass from Midway was the last climb of the 2019 Tour of Utah. This climb is just before the descent into Park City for the finish of Stage 6 and the Tour of Utah on August, 18, 2019.
Empire Pass Tour of Utah History: As best we can tell from our research, Empire Pass has been included in the TofU 7 of the last 10 years (2012-2016, 2018-2019).
Epilogue: Joe Dombrowski (USA; winner 2015 Tour of Utah) won the stage in 3:11:09 (24 seconds in front of João Almeida (Por)). Ben Hermans (Bel) won the Tour of Utah at 18:46:09 by 50 seconds over James Piccoli (Can).