Page Contributor(s): Todd Short, Scottsdale, AZ; Bruce Hamilton, La Quinta, CA; Stacy Topping, Tacoma, WA,
Steepest Gradient (%)
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Cycling Grand Mesa South, a top US bike climb in the Rocky Mountains.
Ride 19.1 miles gaining 4,722’ to 10,830’ at 4.6% average grade.
Start of Grand Mesa South.
Enter Grand Mesa National Forest at mile 12.
Pass Ward Creek Reservoir at mile 14
Roadway Surface and Traffic Report: For both the northern and southern approaches to the pass, the roadway is very good and while there is moderate and briskly moving traffic along the first third of the route, the traffic thins as you ascend and was never really a concern for us.
Finish at 10,839’
At the top of the climb, you can take a dirt road to the right to the Land’s End Observatory:
“Land's End Observatory is a ranger observatory on the rim of Grand Mesa in Colorado. It is accessible from the Grand Mesa Scenic and Historic Byway via Land's End Road, which is about half paved and half gravel. . . . The observatory was built by the United States Forest Service and the Works Progress Administration in 1936-37, with some assistance from two Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) side camps. A large viewing area outside the building provides a panoramic view of western Colorado and eastern Utah. As of 2014, the observatory building itself is closed and boarded up. . . .”