Cycling Route 276 West
Ride 2.6 miles gaining 1,104’ at 8% average grade.
Climb summary by PJAMM ambassador Dan Razum.
We start at the Shining Creek Trailhead. There is a large parking lot here and another parking area a couple hundred yards up the road, so parking is not a problem.
The climb isn't too long but it is steeper than Route 276 from the east. The gradient is uniform throughout the climb. It isn't super steep but it does make you work. There is plenty of shade and the curves and scenery keep things interesting. We pass a small waterfall near the beginning which looked very refreshing during the hot summer.
The road is in good condition and rather narrow, without a shoulder. Traffic is very light, much less than on the east side of Route 276, so we had no safety concerns.
There is a nice view where power lines go over the road but other than that the trees obscure any view of the surrounding mountains. Near the top there is a sign indicating the Blue Ridge Parkway is ahead, but the sign is deceptive because there is still about a half mile remaining! But we do eventually reach the Parkway, which is the top of the climb.