Interbay Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Interbay Road


Remote and kinda eerie ride out of deep canyon starting from power station tucked deep into the Tahoe National Forest

Page Contributor(s): Dan Razum, Campbell, CA, USA

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Climb Summary


Sadly, our friend from Campbell CA, Dan Razum reports of Corkscrew:

“I checked out The Corkscrew ride in July 2019 and it is well and true closed from the landslide.  I took some pictures of the slide, I can send to you if you want.  I don't think the climb will ever open again, it is a major slide and the road is so remote that it will probably never be cleared.  It is totally unpassable, can't even be hiked, there is a lot of scree.”


Road can barely be seen middle left of photo

Here is what Corkscrew used to be:  

The Corkscrew is a short but stout climb off Mosquito Ridge Road and can (should?) be done in conjunction with some derivation of the Mosquito Ridge climb.  This is a remote climb in the Tahoe National Forest that is quite epic.  Take Fire Road 23 off of Mosquito Ridge Road and travel 2.2 miles to the Oxbow Reservoir and Rubicon River.  Just past the Reservoir the climb begins in earnest.  


Oxbow Reservoir on the Rubicon River.  


There are some great views of the Hydroelectric Plant (the start) about 1,000’ up the climb as well as some interesting “look-backs” at the Corkscrew you just navigated (see slideshow, above).  The grade on this beast is steep throughout, spiking at the mid to upper-teens in spots.  This one will test you!

The road is rough, but quite manageable and there is no traffic to speak of.  The three climbs in this area are all very remote with light vehicular traffic.

Note:  There is a slide just past the power plant on Rubicon Road, so you now cannot access Corkscrew from the Oxbow Reservoir side.  You can access the climb by doing Mosquito Ridge climb (Map of just the Mosquito Ridge climb) then continuing on Mosquito Ridge to French Meadows Road (turning right there) at mile 25.5 then bending right to merge onto French Meadows Road at mile 30.9 until you get to the back slide of the slide and the bottom of the Corkscrew climb - then turn around and retrace your steps to the start of the Mosquito Ridge climb - here’s the out-and-back map for this 96.5 mile 12,880’ day - 




This descent from Mosquito Ridge Road down interbay Road to a somewhat eerie and desolate hydroelectric dam is quite the challenge, particularly after climbing Corkscrew and Mosquito Ridge.  Mosquito Ridge’s 18 mile stretch of road from the start of the Mosquito Ridge climb (at the bridge over the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the American River  - really, that’s how it’s referred to on the maps!) is home to some incredibly difficult and remote Northern Sierra Climbs - Interbay Road being one of them.  We have not been able to identify the name of the road or the hydroelectric dam at the bottom, but the road is on the right side of the Mosquito Ridge ascent precisely 10.8 miles from its beginning at the bridge at longitude/altitude 39.05182, -120.616433.  We charted the climb here:  RideWithGPS Map.    


The beginning of this climb is just up the hill from the dam at 39.02937, -120.60419 latitude/longitude.  There was no traffic on this one - it is remote, desolate and a bit creepy!  The roadway is paved and was in pretty good shape which was a bit surprising given it’s ghost-town feel . . . hey, was that a tumbleweed that rolled across the road in front of me?



This monster climb, done in conjunction with Mosquito Ridge and Corkscrew, offers a formidable climbing challenge at 58 miles and 9,925’ of climbing:  Map.    


Our friend from Campbell, CA, Dan Razum writes on 7-28-19:

“You mention a climb on "Unnamed road", some 10 miles up Mosquito Ridge.  I'm pretty sure the name of the road is Interbay Road, the dam is Interbay Dam and the power station is Midfork Powerhouse.  It may not be listed on Google Maps, but that is what the signs on site indicate.

Interbay was not spooky at all.  Very sunny, which I think alleviates any spookiness and I encountered 3 vehicles (1 from the power company and 2 private cars). So it didn't seem uninhabited.  By the way, I'm guessing the sign saying "Interbay Road" probably wasn't there when you went.  And the plaque near the dam is easy to miss, I almost didn't see it. So don't feel bad about missing the names.”