Hwy 260 Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

10.8 mi
2,887 ft
5 %



This is a HOT place - average high temperatures in June to August range from 99-102 degrees, so be prepared for that.  Although, if you're traveling to Arizona in the summer, chances are you're coming prepared.  We recommend this climb in the winter or spring, however.

"A long and shallow ascent, Route 260 begins within the desert and ends among Pondersoa Pines at altitude.  Never steep, you will encounter multiple descednts along the way as you ride east.  At the junction with Route 87 turn north for 0.8 miles to the unmarked top." (This quote is presented with the approval of John Summerson, from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 126.)
Average grade is 5% (5.9% climb only).  The bulk of the climb is under 10% grade - 34% is at 0-5% and 49% is at 5-10%.  The steepest quarter-mile is 11.1% and steepest mile is 7.9%.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  Two lane highway in good condition with a shoulder to ride in most of the way.

Traffic:  Mild, but traveling at highway speeds - this is not a climb for the traffic averse. 

Parking:  Just off a side road before the start of the climb - MapStreet View
Provisions:  None on this fairly remote climb.  There is a Dollar Store two miles before the start of the climb in Camp Verde - Map.

Weather:  It can be stifling hot in Arizona's Sonoran Desert so be sure to consult the PJAMM "Full Forecast" feature to assess what clothing and provisions to bring for the climb. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
This is a nice climb to do if you are staying in Sedona as it is only 35 miles away.  It is also just off I-17 between Sedona/Flagstaff and Phoenix, so consider stopping to do this one if you are traveling nearby.  

Use the “Routes in Area” button on the menu bar to see other bike climbs in this area. 



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Climb Summary

This is a HOT place - average high temperatures in June to August range from 99-102 degrees, so be prepared for that - although, who’s not prepared for the summer heat in Arizona?  We recommend this climb in the winter or spring, however.

The scenery directly around us as we climb is nothing special - typical Arizona high desert, absent the saguaro cactus.  What makes this climb worthwhile is its distant views to the north of the red mesas in and around Sedona.  As with the Hwy 89A climb  (30 miles west), we have some fairly unique and incredible unobstructed, albeit distant, views of very dramatic and unique rock formations to our left as we ascend Hwy 240, as well as lighter mesa formations in the foreground.


Looking towards Sedona

​There are three climbing segments to this one - a very brief steep pitch in the first mile, although the bulk of the first 2 miles is very mild.  Miles 2-4 average a healthy 5.8%, followed by 1.3 miles of essentially flat riding and ending with 7% average grade over the last 3 miles.  The view at the top of the climb back towards Sedona is excellent. 

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View from the top

Roadway surface and traffic: The roadway is excellent and there is a 4' paved shoulder with rumble strips for most of the climb.  Traffic does pass at highway speeds, but that is mitigated substantially by our 4' shoulder buffer zone.

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