Scott Summit South
This is an exceptional climb – twisting and turning as it runs parallel with Tangle Blue Creek, and further up the climb, Scott Mountain Creek. We are variously bounded by huge pine trees and rock mountains sloping steeply down to the roadway. The “average” grade is 7.3%, but the climb does kick up to 12% for an extended mile during the climb, before easing back down to the aforementioned 7%. There are sharp turns on steep pitches, so caution is mandatory on the descent. The roadway is in very good condition and traffic is light. As with many of the climbs in this remote section of northern California, we touch Klamath National Forest on this one (the National Forest begins just to the south of the Scott Mountain Summit).
While this is technically a state highway upon which traffic can travel by at a good clip, there is light traffic in this part of the world. This is a great climb, particularly as an out-and-back from Callahan.
Scott Summit North
Ranked just a tad lower in difficulty than Scott Mountain South, the northern approach to the summit is “only” 5.6% for 6.8 miles. The climb begins at the bridge over the East Fork Scott River and is a fairly consistent 6% over the next 6.8 miles to the summit. There is not much shade on this side of the summit, so be prepared for a hot sun beating down on you if you tackle this climb during the summer. The roadway surface is good and there is mild traffic along this climb. The road quality is good but not great. As noted above, try this as an out-and-back from Callahan at 25 miles and 4,320’ of climbing.