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.
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.