Mission Ridge Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

8
FIETS
11 mi
DISTANCE
3,808 ft
GAINED
6.6 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

"The climb of Mission Ridge is a difficult ascent near Wenatchee in central Washington and another contender for the most difficult in the state. A shallow start within a canyon greets you on this hill and the grade gradually gets steeper as you ascend, leading the rider toward Squilchuck State Park. There is a bit of farm traffic along this section at times but not enough to affect the climb. At mile 6.8 turn right for the finishing stretch...which is a key section to making a successful summit as these last 3.9 miles are the most difficult on the hill. Through several big switchbacks, this section averages over 8% and also contains the maximum grade on the climb. Near the top good views arrive in places..." (This quote is presented with the approval of John Summerson from The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 226.)
The average grade for the Mission Ridge climb is an impressive 6.6%.  The steepest quarter-mile of the climb is 11.4%, and there is a full mile in the middle of the route that averages 10%.  14% of the climb is at ≥10% grade.
  
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Roadway:  Excellent condition in 2020.  Since the road ends at a ski resort, it is open year round.

Traffic:  Minimal. 

Parking:  At Squilcuhuck Market of Squilchuck Road near climb start.  MapStreet View
Provisions:  Other than at the market at climb start, there is no place to get food or water along the ride.  There is the Mission Ridge Cafe at the top, but I do not believe it is open in the off season.  
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.
If you are staying in or near Wenatchee, try a version of the Apple Route Trail if you have the chance - Map .  You may also enjoy Ohme Gardens County Park if you have time and are staying in the area - Google Map + Reviews. The area also has vacation rental options to stay in.

ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Challenging
3
Road
3
Traffic
2
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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Apr 8, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 2
traffic: 3
road: 3
Apr 8, 2021
scenery: 2
traffic: 3
road: 3
This climb is best divided in 2: above and below the turnoff for Wenatchee heights. Below is busy traffic, including dump trucks, and mixed width to non-existent shoulder. Above is nearly zero traffic (if ridden when the ski area is closed), consistent 3 foot shoulder and better pavement. I recommend veering from the standard route by taking methow street (“met-how”) for the first two and last two miles. It parallels squilchuck road, then joins it. Better scenery too. Going up it is steeper in places, then it flattens. Park at Lincoln park. As with the other climbs in this area, wind is the main variable. Mission ridge consistently records the highest winds in Washington (at it’s 7000 foot summit). The day I did it, 8 April 2021, winds were just a tad breezy at the parking lot, then crazy headwinds once I got below 2500 feet. Another reason to take methow street so you can take the whole lane.
May 4, 2021
Thanks for the tip! Looking forward to doing this climb this summer after Tour de Bloom!
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

Climb Profile Not Found
CLIMB SUMMARY

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Cycling Mission Ridge, a northern Washington Top 100 US Bike Climb.

Ride 11 miles gaining 3,954’ to elevation 4,586’ at 6.5% average grade.

Before heading to Washington on your cycling adventure, be sure to rely on our list of Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip, and use our interactive checklist to ensure you don't forget anything.

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Climb begins in Wenatchee (pop. 31,925 as of 2010; elevation 780’).

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Sections of this climb are very steep --  11% for a full ½ mile at mile 8.

The 5 Top 100 U.S. Climbs in the Northwest are spread far apart -- Mission Ridge is 268 miles from #51 Hurricane Ridge,  and 183 miles from #100 Mt. Spokane, the two Top 100's closest to it.  This climb starts in the small Washington town of Wenatchee and ends at the Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort 11 miles up Squilchuck Road.

We begin this one smack dab in the middle of Washington in the town of Wenatchee, which is known as the “Apple Capital of the World” and, sure enough, the lower portion of this climb travels through apple and pear orchards.  In spite of the moderate average temperatures during the summer, the Wenatchee area can be very hot (over 100 degrees for our climb in August), so be prepared for that -- although the temperature will be 10-20 degrees cooler at the top of the climb.

Our first two miles include some scenic travel through apple and pear orchards, then another four to five miles of generally unspectacular scenery up to the turn onto Mission Ridge Road at mile seven, where the real scenic -- and difficult -- part of this climb begins.  The final four miles of the climb after turning onto Mission Ridge Road are at 8.2% (versus 5.6% for the first seven miles).  We enter Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest at mile eight and have great views back towards Wenatchee to the north along the several switchbacks towards the top.  We enter an alpine setting that surrounds us with trees and gives a little shade from mile seven to the ski resort at the finish.

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Orchards at the bottom of the climb.

Seven miles to the turn to the ski resort -- four miles to go!

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Incredible views of the northern Washington plains 4,000’ below.

The below summary is from PJAMM contributor Scott Gault, East Wenatchee, WA:

Mission Ridge is my favorite climb in Wenatchee, with an elevation of 4,000'. It has a convenience store at the bottom for food and water. The climb starts out gradual -- for the first five miles its about a 6% grade, then the last six are around 8%.  The first half is very open with few trees, but the last six miles have the most amazing scenery with trees all over, the air feels so refreshing, it makes you feel alive! There are quite a few cars but they are mostly friendly, waving and encouraging you.  At the top is a very beautiful rewarding view of Wenatchee.  There are also trails at the top to hike or mountain bike, and a Ski Lodge that is open in the winter.  It will be about 10 degrees colder at the top, so you will want to bring a jacket for the way down. Going down the first few miles are very steep with a lot of corners, although the trees do block the wind nicely. Around half-way down as the grade softens, the trees fade away, the road straightens, and you can fly down the hill -- but watch for deer. I wouldn't do this ride in the winter because of the weather, particularly snow. Overall the ride is great, feeling the road and nature, struggling and using every drop of strength to get to the peak.

Steepest ¼ miles begins at mile 7.3 (11.3%) and mile begins at 6 (9.8%).