An Exceptional and Must Do climb!
We try and save the superlatives for when they truly apply - they apply to this climb! The climb is a valid Top 100 (#91 as of September, 2015), but offers much more than just a challenging ascent.
From our perspective, this is a 2 part climb - the lower 7.4 (4.8% / 1,966’) and upper 8.8 (5.2% / 2,425’) mile sections. The first 6 miles are up a narrow and well maintained road (Old Hwy 99) surrounded and covered by trees most of the way. We cross bridges over train tracks twice and hear the crowing of roosters occasionally along the way. This climb has a very homey and woodsy feel to it and by itself would warrant serious climb-consideration if you were in the Ashland area.
We cross under Interstate 5 at mile 6.6 and after a .8 miles loop parallel the freeway we turn right onto Mt. Ashland Ski Road at mile 7.4.
It is a couple miles up this very wide and well-maintained road that it begins to offer exceptionally scenic views of Mt. Shasta (52 miles line-of-sight) and the peaks/ridges surrounding it (photo / see slideshow above for some of those magnificent views). The climb ends at Mt. Ashland Ski Area. Once at the top, we have more great views of Shasta and its surroundings to the south and Ashland to the north.
While at first blush a bit of a trek to get to, it’s really not as “remote” as it seems on a U.S. map. The start of this climb is only 23 miles from Rogue Valley - Medford International Airport - see Map (however, beware of the bad reviews for this airport). We know Ashland to be a very popular town for many out-of-area visitors each year - if you are one of them (or fortunate enough to live in the area) and a cyclist, do not miss out on this exceptional climb. This is a climb that justifies a trip just to ride up Mt. Ashland, or certainly include it in your itinerary if you are in the area for other reasons.
Steepest ¼ mile begins at mile 7.9 (10.4%) and steepest mile at mile 12 (8.1%)
This climb is just south of the quaint and popular town of Ashland (pop. 20,713 in 2013) and ends at Mt. Ashland Ski Resort . and can be done in conjunction with #85 Parks Creek East 59 miles south and #58 Mt. Shasta which 70 miles to the south.