Hwy 168  Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

7.6
FIETS
16.4 mi
DISTANCE
4,545 ft
GAINED
5.1 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

​The first 4.3 miles of this ride are along a fairly heavily traveled highway where vehicles pass at high speed. There is a bike lane along this portion of the climb, but the high speed traffic makes this an unpleasant portion of the ride and the views are uninspiring. We gain 734’ at an average grade of 3%, so beginning at the intersection of Lodge Road and Hwy 168 is a viable option for this climb (12 miles/3,739’/5.9%) . 
"168 is a tough climb up into the Sierras that shares its finish with [Tollhouse Road]. At five miles the road becomes four lane and the grade from this point forward becomes steeper and more consistent.  This route carries much more traffic than Tollhouse Road..." (This quote is presented with the approval of John Summerson, from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 147.)

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The town of Prather is about 1.5 miles from the beginning of the climb and has a couple of gas stations and deli.

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CLIMB SUMMARY

       

​The first 4.3 miles of this ride are along a fairly heavily traveled highway where vehicles pass at high speed (YouTube Playlist).  There is a bike lane along this portion of the climb, but the high speed traffic makes this an unpleasant portion of the ride and the views are uninspiring.  We gain 734’ at an average grade of 3%, so beginning at the intersection of Lodge Road and Hwy 168 is a viable option for this climb (12 miles / 3,739’ / 5.9% - Map) .  The town of Prather is about 1.5 miles from the beginning of the climb and has a couple of gas stations and deli.

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From the intersection of Lodge Road and Hwy 168, we climb along a four lane highway (much less travelled than the first portion of the ride[1]) for  8.9 miles (13.2 miles from the start at Gooseberry Lane) with milder traffic than the first part of the climb.  The shoulder along Hwy 168 for these 8.9 miles is very good.  

There is a store in the tiny community of Pine Ridge at the intersection of  Hwy 168 and Tollhouse Road (mile 13.2;  Tollhouse Road Climb Page #62 Top 100 U.S. Climbs) and the road narrows to two lanes and is quite scenic and forested for the last 3.1 miles.

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The climb ends at the intersection of Hwy 168 and Littlefield Road.   Shaver Lake (the town and lake) is another 5 miles to the north of our finish.  

           

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Other Top 100 US Climbs in the area are #62 Tollhouse Road (10 miles east;  shares its final, and most scenic, 3.1 miles with this climb), and #64 Beasore Rd (29 miles north).

Food and Fluids:  Cressman’s Market at mile 13.6.

Roadway surface and traffic:  The roadway is excellent and there is a good bike lane for the first 14 miles.  The last 2-3 miles are more alpine setting, windy road and slower traffic, but minimal to no bike lane or shoulder.  Traffic can be significant, particularly on weekends.  


[1] Except the Sunday after July 4, 2015 when we climbed the last portion of Hwy 168 via Tollhouse Road.  We believe the heavy traffic to be an aberration that day related to 4th of July the day before.