Desert to Tall Pines Hwy Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

6.1
FIETS
10.7 mi
DISTANCE
3,197 ft
GAINED
5.6 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Sam Lyons, Phoenix, AZ, USA

INTRO

A well kept secret, this climb is one of the most beautiful in Arizona. Start in the low desert among massive, hundred-year old saguaro cacti, and climb past Sedona-like red rock canyons into high pine country, the entire time having a stunning unobstructed view of Roosevelt Lake and the iconic Four Peaks.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
There are a few parking lots around where 288 crosses the Salt River - two before the bridge (on the left) and one after it (on the left). As of 2021, a Tonto National Forest pass wasn't necessary to park during the day at these sites. 
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Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
For more information about visiting Tonto National Forest, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto 

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ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Globe Young Highway (Hwy 288)

Ride 10.7 miles gaining 3,200’ at 5.6% average grade.

Although it was cool June day (in Arizona terms, high of 91) I wanted to start the ride in the perfect 70 degrees of sunrise. The climb is roughly a 2 hour drive from Phoenix, on the northeast side of Lake Roosevelt.

The best place to park the car is at the Diversion Dam picnic area on the north side of the salt river. From here it’s about 6 miles to the start of the climb on hilly desert roads.

Many saguaro cacti on this route

Saguaro cactus can live 200 years and weigh up to 6 tons.

Theodore Roosevelt Lake is in view behind us more than 8 miles up the climb.

The lake is formed by Theodore Roosevelt Dam dedicated in 1911

This is the largest lake located entirely within the state of Arizona.

4 Peaks.

Enter an alpine setting around mile 6.