Cycling the remote and a bit eerie Pine Creek Road
Ride 8.8 miles gaining 3,260’ to elevation 7,880 at 7% average grade.
US #64 Pine Creek Road is one of the 9 Top 100 most difficult climbs in the U.S that begins in the Owens Valley (PJAMM Owens Valley Climb Page) on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the central/eastern portion of California.
The first 2 miles of this climb are in high desert-like conditions, but at about 3 miles we enter a canyon that surrounds us for the remainder of the climb. By mile 6 we are passing some very distinct rock formations, but on our trip up the canyon we fought brutal westerly winds which is common throughout the Owens Valley. At 7 miles we pass through a stretch with more trees, nearing the end of this pocket canyon.
Entering the canyon.
We ride through a canyon most of the climb.
Our caveat - at mile 7.85 we are greeted by a closed swinging yellow gate with (a) a stop sign, (b) another sign (below) "Pine Creek Mine, Avocet Tungsten, LLC Do Not Block Gate", and (c) a sign that says "Authorized Vehicles Only - hiking access to Morgan Pass Only - Not for Pine Lakes." So, the sign doesn't specifically say "no trespassing" and suggests use of the road is authorized, at least for hiking. We offer no opinion regarding the legality of riding the .8 miles beyond the gate up to the mine. As you can see from our photo (below) and video, we did continue the .8 miles and 415' at 9.9% beyond the gate, but suggest a call to Avocet Tungsten LLC to perfect authorization. It’s a great climb to include in a cycling tour of Owens Valley, California.
Pine Creek Pass Trailhead Parking Lot and end of the line - for cars!
Several hiking trails stage here. The area is surrounded by 13,000’ peaks.
Abandoned mine - a bit spooky riding up here as sunset approached.
You will get a very good sense of the climb viewing our YouTube videos.
Steepest ¼ mile and mile are at end of climb - 11.2 and 9.85% respectively
Roadway and Traffic Report: The road is lightly traveled and in good condition except for the final .8 miles from the yellow gate to the tungsten mine which is pretty rough.