Page Contributor(s): Ron Hawks, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Bruce Hamilton, La Quinta, CA, USA
Steepest Gradient (%)
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Cycling Elkhorn Summit in northeastern Oregon.
Ride 10.4 miles gaining 3,647’ to elevation 7,220’ at 6.4% average grade.
This climb starts about 12 miles out of the tiny northeastern Oregon town of Haines and travels 10.3 miles up to Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort (ski/snowboard resort). This climb is an outlier as it is 281 miles from the next Top 100 climb (Hood Mountain near Portland).
Oddly, there is no Strava segment to the top of Elkhorn Summit. The main Strava Segment (The Anthony Climb) ends at the first of two summits, just before the .8 mile -2% 99’ descent that begins at mile 10.8. Ride 2 miles past the start of the descent to reach the true summit.
Thanks much Bruce!
Steepest ¼ mile begins at mile 1.5 (11.4%) and steepest mile at 8.8 (9.6%)
Finishing this climb in less than an hour is very fast. Most should expect to be climbing for well-over an hour. The pain begins immediately upon crossing a small bridge over the Powder River as the road immediately turns sharply upward on some very rough pavement. The climbing eases up a bit upon entering the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, where the road surface also improves considerably. At one point, the road nearly levels for a very short reprieve and then returns to the consistently steep gradients that characterize the climb. The only other relief is a 5 percent grade at the trai head entrance for Van Patten Lake. For the remainder of the climb the air gets thinner, pavement starts to degrade, and the road gets even more serious. Two long straight stretches demoralize the climber near the top, because the road appears to continue upward indefinitely. Eventually the road crests at an inauspicious section that gives very little indication that the violence has culminated. At this point, ego-oriented climbers should stop their watches because the official climb is complete—start timer at bridge, go all out, stop timer at dirt road on the right where the climbing stops, work done. Anthony Lakes Campground is just a quarter mile down the road, and offers a gorgeous setting to rest and refill water bottles. Cyclists should exercise caution on the descent, watching for anomalies in the road, loose gravel, and oncoming traffic on the corners. While the climb does offer a few beautiful views of the Baker Valley and the Wallowa Mountains to the East, the true beauty is in the physical effort required to ride this climb. For riders who take time to sit up and enjoy their surroundings, there are other scenic offerings. The road takes the cyclist through thickly forested ponderosa and tamarack pines in the lower elevations. At higher elevations the trees get shorter and more sparse, giving way to white granite rocks and mountainous terrain that is characteristic of the Elkhorn mountains, a tall range sandwiched between the Blue Mountains and Wallowa Mountains. The road follows Antone Creek for most of the climb and then bisects Bear Butte and Van Patten Butte before topping out and entering the Anthony Lakes basin. The Anthony Lakes area hosts a variety of recreational opportunities throughout the year. Winter sports include nordic and alpine skiing and snowmobiling. Summer activities include mountain climbing, mountain biking, fishing, canoeing, hiking, and camping. A few things that may be experienced on the ride: mountain goats, big horn sheep, bear, elk, bald eagles, turkeys, and maybe prong-horned antelope.
Thank you to LaGrandeRide.com - The Anthony Climb for this excellent summary.