Towne Pass East Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Towne Pass East


Beginning at sea level, climb into the teeth of Death Valley!

Explore this Climb

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Climb Summary

Cycling Towne Pass, Death Valley  - cyclists with bikes at Death Valley National Park Sign 

Start the climb in Stovepipe Wells, CA  

Visit our Death Valley National Park page 


Climbing by bike Towne Pass, Death Valley  - elevation 0 sign with cyclist next to it

Stovepipe Wells

Cycling Towne Pass - we have a lot of history with this iconic unique bike climb.  16.9 miles gaining 4,979’ to elevation 4,962’ at 5.6% into a powerful wind.


PJAMM cycling to Whitney Portal  from Badwater - 116 degrees at the start.

Here we are at the start of Towne Pass 11 p.m. and still 105 degrees.

Then - hike 8 miles to the highest point in the Continental US.

Townes Pass East begins in Stovepipe Wells, CA and is the highest ranked climb in Death Valley at #50 on the Top 100 cycling climbs list.  We begin this climb in the heart of Death Valley at sea level and ride into what will likely be a powerful headwind.

Stovepipe Wells = 0’

The first several miles of this bicycle climb seem almost flat and we are definitely in an arid, desert-like setting.

Climb Towne Pass, Death Valley by bike - cyclist on bike on Hwy 190 passing 1000' elevation sign

Bicycle ride Towne Pass, Death Valley  - bike leaning against Hwy 190 sign near road

We begin to climb into more mountainous, yet stark, landscape around miles 7 and 8.

As of October, 2014, there was water at the 9 mile point at Emigrant Campground. There is very little vegetation along this climb and no trees. As with most of the Death Valley climbs, the views are very stark and high desert-like. This climb is one of the less scenic of the 5 Top 100 climbs located in Death Valley, but certainly a cycling challenge and can be done in conjunction with #90 Townes Pass West (an over-and-backer) or unranked Emigrant Pass East (Death Valley Main Page).


#9 climb on of our 2014 Death Valley climb trip


JJ at the top of Towne Pass during Badwater to Whitney ride 2017

Weather: Do NOT attempt these climbs in the summer when the average​ high temperatures range from 101-116 between May and September. (See Weather summary, below, for more details.


Average high temperature in July is 116°F/46.6°C

Steepest ¼ mile begins at mile 13.5 (9.9%) and steepest mile begins at 12.7 (9%)

Death Valley Weather

Traffic and Roadway report:  As of October, 2014, the roadway surface was excellent throughout this ride but there is minimal to no shoulder and traffic can zoom by at highway speeds.