Left Hand Canyon - Super James Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

5.6
FIETS
11.9 mi
DISTANCE
2,891 ft
GAINED
4.6 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Scott Herrin, Boulder, CO; Kevin Eggleston, Boulder, CO

INTRO

This is a very popular Boulder area climb up to and past the cycling-friendly Jamestown.  The first part of the climb from the intersection of Hwy 36 and Left Hand Canyon to Jamestown is a great warm up at 3% average grade for 8.3 miles. The final 3.5 miles however is at 8.3% and quite the challenge. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
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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.
This is one of the great climbs in the Boulder area (PJAMM Boulder Climb Area page) - we stay in Boulder with its many hotel options when we are cycling this and other area bike climbs. For longer stays you can look to rent a home or condo in the area.

Use the Routes in Area tool to see other bike climbs in this area. 

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Left Hand Canyon to Brainard Lake via Jamestown

Ride 23.6 miles gaining 5,222’ at 3.8% average grade.

This is a long but generally mild climb, although you will be tested for a mile near the half-way point with a mile 10.4% segment beginning at mile 10.6 and 2.5 miles at 9.4% from miles 9.2-11.7.  There are 2 sets of multiple short descent segments from miles 12-15 and 22-23.

The climb begins by riding west on Lefthand Canyon Drive from Hwy 36

We ride along Left Hand Canyon Creek the first 5 miles and then Little James Creek for another 5 or so.

Enter the National Forest at mile 3.5

We pass through historic Jamestown at mile 8.

Photo:  westernmninghistory.com

Photo:  westernmninghistory.com

Turn onto Peak to Peak Highway at mile 14.7 and Brainard Lake Road at mil 19.4

Finish at Brainard Lake.

The roadway is in great shape and traffic fairly mild along this climb.  There is a 1 ½ mile gravel section after Jamestown just before Peak to Peak Highway, but it is manageable on a road bike, particularly with 28mm and above tires. From Jamestown, it’s ~4.5 miles paved and then ~1.5 unpaved to P2P. Unpaved not ideal on 23mm road tires.

2.1 miles of gravel/dirt at 1.5% beginning at mile 12.5 and continuing to Peak to Peak Hwy