Cycling Breckenridge West, California
Ride 24.6 miles gaining 5,950’ at 4.1% average grade (5.5% climb only)
This climb begins just 12 miles outside of Bakersfield, CA and is much more gradual in grade, but three times longer in length, than the east side of the pass. One very scenic (if not epic) part of this climb is the lower quarter which takes us through rolling hills surrounded by nothing more than Southern Sierra grasslands and the view back from around miles 2-6 is simply unique and spectacular. The smooth topography void of any trees or vegetation other than high brown grass gives the impression of being in the Sahara Desert’s sand dunes, rather than barren hills covered only with grass (see photos - extremely unique scenes).
There are no provisions along this route and it gets extremely hot during the late spring and summer, so bring two water bottles and a good size hydration pack and extra food. The climb ends at unmarked Breckenridge Pass and the more adventurous (nutty?) of us will drop down the east side of Breckenridge Mountain and ride back up Breckenridge East. Doing this is a very difficult and risky proposition as there is no place for water in this nearly 100 mile trek if you begin in Bakersfield (or 70 miles if you park at the start of Breckenridge West climb).
Roadway Surface and Traffic Report: Narrow two lane road with no center stripe for the first portion of the climb, turning to a narrow and twisty wide one lane road over the last third of the climb. There is minimal traffic on this climb.
Thank you Lisa Irizarry!!