Sierra Road Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Sierra Road

CA, USA

Steepest climb in Silicon Valley-San Jose area.

Explore this Climb

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LOCAL WEATHER

Start
Finish

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Climb Summary


Cycling Sierra Road, the steepest bike climb in the San Jose area.

Ride 3.7 miles to 2,037’ gaining 1,841’ at 9.5% average grade.

Aerial drone photo of Sierra Road (seen right-center) and Calaveras Reservoir (seen upper left).

Sierra Road is a beast -- it’s one of the steepest climbs in Santa Clara County.  The climb hits you right at the start at 10.2% for the first half mile to the sharp left hand turn.  

Riding bike up Sierra Road  - view of start and road - PJAMM Cycling cyclist on bike

 Climb start.

Riding bike up Sierra Road  - view of start and road - PJAMM Cycling cyclist on bike

Looking down at the first ¼ miles @ 12%.

     Climbing Sierra Road by bike - turkey in roadway

Yes, this climb is “fowl” -- I did slow for the turkey crossing however . . . 

Cycling Sierra Road - cyclists riding up road framed by oak trees with San Jose and Silicon Valley behind hime.  

A lot of scenic pasture and grazing livestock on Sierra Road.

This is the last of three major climb segments of the popular but brutal Devil Mountain Double, hitting you at mile 160 of that ride -- ouch!  There are excellent views of the Silicon Valley to the west as we ascend and there is a nice open-space lookout view area at the top.  

Cycling Sierra Road - cyclists riding up road framed by oak trees with San Jose and Silicon Valley behind hime.

Just finishing the steepest ½ mile segment.

Photo at mile 1.8 - steepest ½ mile segment begins mile 1.3.

Roadway Surface and Traffic: The roadway is in excellent condition and there is very little traffic on the roadway as it enters open space area around mile 1.5.

Bike ride of Sierra Road - aerial drone photo of road and fields

Just completing steepest segment - San Jose in background (¼ mile @ 13.4%).

 

Wide open space on the second half of the climb.

Bike ride up Sierra Road San Jose, roadway, trees, steep drop - aerial drone photo

 

Last quarter mile to the top -- San Jose in background.

Hiking trail at the finish.

Bicycle ride Sierra Road - Sierra Vista Open Space Reserve sign - Mt Hamilton and Lick observatory in background

Sierra Open Space Preserve parking lot and sign at top of climb.

Mt. Hamilton’s Lick Observatory -- background left of sign.

AMGEN TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

Sierra Road was the most consistently-included climb during the early years of the Tour of California, having been included five straight years from 2007 through 2011.  However, the Tour has not returned to this difficult though brief climb since 2011.

  • 2007 Stage 3:
  • Queen stage - Stockton > San Jose;
  • 103 miles, 8,039’;
  • Stage winner Jens Voigt (GER).
  • 2008 Stage 3:
  • Queen stage - Modesto > San Jose;
  • 103 miles, 8,039’;
  • Robert Gesink (NED).
  • 2009 Stage 3:
  • 2010 Stage 4:
  • 2011 Stage 4 - Mountain-top finish:
  • Livermore - San Jose;
  • 81 miles, 8,337’;
  • Chris Horner (USA).

Mountain-top finish 2011.

Sunset - view of sun setting to the west from Sierra Road.

That’s a wrap!