Burma Grade - Merced River
Climb summary by ultra athlete and adventurer John Berude, Berkeley, CA.
The Burma Grade is a lovely, stout gravel climb in the foothills just outside the eastern border of Yosemite National Park. The climb starts at the old suspension bridge over the Merced River in Briceburg along CA-140.
As you work your way up the hillside, you are treated to increasingly wonderful views of the Merced River canyon and the aesthetic lines of the gravel switchbacks below! The road is in good shape with occasional loose spots, and there is day-use parking and a water spigot at the bottom by the river. The climb starts low and is south-facing, so get an early start if you plan to ride it during the heat of summer!
An excellent little addition is to ride an out-and-back along the Merced River from the base of the climb. This flat, well-maintained road is in great shape for 5-6 miles and offers idyllic views of the Merced River. Finish it all off with a dip in the river at one of the many excellent swimming holes! For those looking for a grander adventure, this climb accesses the historic Old Yosemite Road (see separate climb page for more details) and enables you ride a wild and scenic mixed surface loop into the legendary Yosemite Valley and back down the Merced River Canyon!