Tollhouse Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

8.1
FIETS
10.2 mi
DISTANCE
3,673 ft
GAINED
6.7 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

This is the preferred route to the high point of Hwy 168 on the way to Shaver Lake. The first 7 miles are on a two lane road that is in good shape and little traveled. We begin the climb just past Tollhouse where the road begins to bend right. This climb is quite challenging and is best ridden early in the day, before the heat appears.
"Tollhouse Road is a big climb toward high mountains in central CA. A variable grade makes this one a bit tougher than its statistics suggest. The start is shallow and then you enter the small berg of Tollhouse where the grade picks up and becomes more variable. Once beyond town the grade picks up again along with the scenery.  There are several tight switchbacks along this section..." (This quote presented with the approval of John Summerson from The Complete Guide to Climbing by Bike in California, p 147)

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ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Challenging
4
Road
4
Traffic
3
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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May 14, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 4
May 14, 2021
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 4
The first portion of the climb on tollhouse was very quiet, I only saw two cars on the way up. The longest / steepest section is just before 168. Once I turned right onto 168 the traffic picked up and there is no shoulder for most of the three mile segment. The cars come in waves so you do have some time without any cars but there are a lot of trucks and the road has blind turns so it’s not always easy for them to get around. 168 also has road work being done just past the end of the climb where the road becomes one lane for about 1 mile. If only you could get to Shaver Lake bypassing 168!
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

Climb Profile Not Found
CLIMB SUMMARY

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Cycling Tollhouse Road - the more scenic bike climb to the top of Hwy 168.

Ride 10.3 miles gaining 3,834’ to elevation 5,514 at 6.8% average grade.

This is the preferred route to the high point of Hwy 168 on the way to Shaver Lake.  The first 7 miles are on a two lane road that is in good shape and little traveled.  We begin the climb just past Tollhouse where the road begins to bend right.  This climb is quite challenging and is best ridden early in the day, before the heat appears (as it will with a vengeance during the summer months).  As we climb away from Tollhouse, there are some distant views of the Sierra Foothills and we enter Sierra National Forest at mile 1.5 (sandwiched between Yosemite National Forest and Kings Canyon).  We are surrounded by oaks and scrub brush along the lower portion of the climb yielding to a more alpine setting over the last 5-6 miles - providing welcome relief from the heat by shading the roadway in many places over the final few miles.  

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Start

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Ride through Tollhouse at the ½ mile mark.

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Enter Sierra National Forest at mile 2.1

Turn onto Hwy 168 at 7.2 miles.

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Market at 7.3 miles - just after turning onto Hwy 168

There is good reason this climb is in the U.S. Top 100.  The first 6.5 miles are at 7.2% average and the final 3 after turning onto Hwy 168 are at 6.6% average grade.  The alpine setting, sweet smell and shade offered by the conifers over the final few miles are very pleasant.  However, we were surprised by the continuous traffic flow in both directions for the three miles we were on Hwy 168 on July 5, 2015 (when we traveled this route on a late afternoon in summer 2014 the traffic was not nearly as heavy).  We think that a Sunday, July 5 (day after July 4) may have explained the insane traffic during our climb up Hwy 168.

High point is Hwy 168 and Littlefield Road

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Hwy 168 can be very busy.

Steepest ¼ mile begins at mile 6.6 (13.9%) and mile at 6.4 (10.3%) 

Food/fluids - can be obtained in Tollhouse at the beginning of the ride and at  Cressman’s Market at mile 6.5 just after we turn onto Hwy 168.