Sonora Pass West Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Sonora Pass West


At times extremely steep and very scenic climb into the Stanislaus National Forest in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

Explore this Climb

PJAMM Cycling LogoDark Sky logo



If you love climbing by bike and would like more detailed information on the world’s top bike climbs, join our PJAMM Cycling group and receive our Special Edition Climb Report.
  • Receive a monthly report.
  • Get detailed and entertaining information on the greatest bike climbs and climbing areas throughout the world.
  • Discover beautiful landscapes with drone video and professional photos of remote and exotic places.
  • Gain insider knowledge on where to stay and how to conquer some of the most difficult climbs.

Climb Summary

Cycling Sonora Pass West - steep grade sign and roadway surrounded by forest

Cycling Sonora Pass - one of our favorite Sierra Nevada bike climbs.

Ride 9.1 miles gaining 3,426’ to elevation 9,655 at 7% average grade.

California Top 10 Most Scenic Bike Climb

This is a short but stout climb in a fairly remote area of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.   While we think the sign at the beginning of the climb is an exaggeration (26% grade), this  climb will test you in a few spots, including 10%+ grades at the very beginning for 1/2 mile.  Miles .5-3.0 average 10.0%, and there is a 3/4 mile stretch from 6.0-6.75 that averages 12.3%.  As can be seen from the YouTube Playlist , the views along this climb of high sierra  forest and granite rock faces are spectacular.   The climb can be done as an out-and-back 2 climber by going down the east side of Highway 108, then back up Sonora Pass East.

Climbing Sonora Pass West by bike - roadway and pass sign

“The oldest trans-Sierra emigrant trail to California crossed over the spectacular Sonra Pass.”

Hwy 108 over Sonora Pass closely follow the old Sonora & Mono Toll Road.


 Climbing by bike Sonora Pass West - highway and little pass between rock formations

.6 miles from the start - steepest ¼ mile (15.4%)

Cyclist riding through steep segment.

Viewpoint at mile 1.1 - overlooking Kennedy Meadows.

4.5 mile mark - just after the only descent (.6 miles -1.5%)

Mile 4.7


Many scenes with interesting rock formations on this climb.

Mile 6.5 - 2.6 miles & 690’ to go at 5.1%.

                        Biking Sonora Pass West - Pacific Coast Trail sign 

The  Pacific Coast Trail crosses the summit of Sonora Pass East/West.


  Cycling Sonora Pass West - Pass sign at top of climb

Traffic and Roadway report:  The roadway surface is excellent throughout this ride and  although there is minimal shoulder, traffic is light and this seems to be a safe ride.

We stayed in Sonora in preparation for our climbs from the east and west to the Sonora Pass and stayed at the Gunn House which was a modest but decent place to stay.  

Cycling Sonora Pass West - Pass sign at top of climb

That’s a wrap!!