Cycling Route 276 East
Ride 9.6 miles gaining 2,121’ at 4.2% average grade.
Climb summary by PJAMM ambassador Dan Razum, San Jose, CA.
The climb starts at the bridge just before the Looking Glass waterfall. It is possible to park at the waterfall, but it is a bit busy so we parked a mile or two before the start. There are several parking areas along Rte 276 before reaching the climb, for hiking trails, fishing and general outdoors recreation so you can park a little ways away and do a short warmup to reach the climb.
The climb is long but it is never very steep. We ride along a creek for the first few miles, the same creek that flows into the Looking Glass waterfall. The last third kicks up a bit but it is still manageable. With the scenery and the uniform gradient we were able to get into a good rhythm and the climb passed by fairly quickly.
The road is in good condition although it has no shoulder. But traffic was light and courteous, mostly tourists, so it wasn't a concern. There is shade most of the way, a few parts are exposed to the sun. There are some small glimpses of the mountains as we near the top, but not really any open views, due to the trees.
The climb ends at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, with lots of good riding available in either direction.