Cycling Arizona State Road 78
Ride 13.9 miles gaining 3,085’ at 3.8% average grade (4.6% climb only).
Climb summary by PJAMM ambassador Dan Razum, Campbell, CA.
We started the climb about half way up, after the intermediate descent around mile 7. We start out
in a small ravine and climb through two 180 degree turns to arrive at a long straight section.
From this point you can see the top of the climb on the mountain in the distance. This straight section has a moderate gradient and we can observe interesting scenery all around us.
After the straight section we pass over a cattle guard grate and enter Apache National Forest. We climb through several wide sweeping curves, with the final destination always in sight. As we climb higher, the views become more vast.
Near the top there is a parking area with impressive views of the entire road below, and all the curves we just climbed.
The parking area isn't quite the top though, so we need to climb a little further. The actual top is where the road flattens
out, there isn't any indication or any views. A short distance past the top is Black Jack campground, with restrooms, if needed, but no water, unfortunately.
Overall, this is a beautiful climb with very nice views of the valley, the far off mountains and
the road below. In the distance we can also see Morenci Mine, as a large white spot in the distance.
We definitely recommend this climb for the scenery.
Morenci Mine - white spot to the left.
The road is fairly wide, with a good shoulder in some parts, but not everywhere. And the pavement is in good condition. There is a fair amount of traffic on this climb, but not excessive, the climb felt safe. There is no shade, so it is likely to be hot, unfortunately. Of course, if hot weather is a big issue for you, then you might want to think twice about cycling in Arizona in general.