Al Baha Pass Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

16.5 mi
4,536 ft
5.2 %


Page Contributor(s): Ties Arts, Bussum, Netherlands


This 16.5 mile bike climb is located in Al Bahah Province, Saudi Arabia. The average gradient is 5.2% and there is a total elevation gain of 4,536 ft, finishing at 6,764 ft.

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No problem with safety other than riding on a busy road with some long tunnels.
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Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - panoramic view shows mountain road carved into the side of the Asir Mountains

Cycling Al Bahah Pass

Ride 26.6 kilometers gaining 1391 meters at 5.2% average grade.

This was the first climb of our Saudi Arabia Asir Mountain adventure - and the easiest.  Although the grade is manageable, the conditions were challenging.  We traveled 25 hours to get to Jeddah and then drove five hours to the start of the climb, and had nearly 100 degree heat at the start.  But, that’s what adventure is all about, right? 👍👍

Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage, view of Asir mountain range with Al Bahah pointed out in the distance, UNESCO World Heritage Site, John Johnson standing in front of sign for Thee Ain ancient village, PJAMM Cycling logo

The climb begins at Thee Ain Ancient Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The start, along with many spots along the way, are a bit daunting because you can see Al Bahah many, many kilometers in the distance, perched atop a very steep mountain.

Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - aerial view looking down shows panoramic view of road carved into side of mountains, bridge connecting road over small valley, PJAMM Cycling logo, photo collage, ride gradient profile

Things to watch out for along the way:

  • Heat: We are here in November during the Saudi winter, but it still gets hot in the lower lands, although the weather cools towards the top of the climb.
  • Traffic: There is a fair amount of traffic along this climb.  My guide followed me for about two-thirds of the climb and that worked out well.
  • Tunnels: There are about 20 tunnels along the route, most are short but two towards the top are about a quarter-mile each and definitely require SAG support (following you closely).  Bring flashing rear lights for the climb.

Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - only provisions along the climb; roadside merchant sells green oranges and tangerines

There is only one spot for provisions along the way . . .

. . . green oranges (very tasty) and tangerines.

Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - tunnel entrance

Many short and two longer tunnels on the climb.

Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - bike parked against guardrail, 500 yard tunnel pointed out in distance

View my Strava page for the climb.  I saw no other cyclists on this road during my three hour ride.

Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - babboons sit on retaining wall on mountainside, waiting to be fed trash from passing cars

Baboons gather at a pull out about two-thirds of the way up the mountain . . .

. . . cars drive up and drop trash for them - so, I guess that’s why they hang out here.

Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - canyon views show jagged mountains in distance, scrub brush, blue sky

View down the canyon we climbed to get near the top, where this photo was taken.

Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - last few miles of the climb, many tunnels pointed out

PJAMM Cycling water bottle sits on mountainside looking down at roadway carved in mountains far below

Cycling Al Bahah Pass, Saudi Arabia - PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson stands with bike along roadway, looking back at the final climb section from top of climb

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