Eldorado Canyon  Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

5
FIETS
8.6 mi
DISTANCE
2,703 ft
GAINED
5.9 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Ron Hawks, Las Vegas, NV; Luke Hise, Phoenix, AZ; Erich Pawelka, Vienna, Austria

INTRO

"A very isolated ascent, Eldorado Canyon located southeast of Las Vegas rises up from the Colorado River canyon through dazzling and stark desert terrain. There used to be a boat dock at the end of the drainage where you start the ascent. A flash flood wiped it out (along with 8 people unfortunately) back in the 1970s and it was never rebuilt. The first section of climbing is over moderate slope. After 0.2 miles turn left to continue to climb over more shallow grade which tends to gradually steepen. Interesting desert views of rugged mountains ahead of you appear on this stretch. After just under 2.5 miles the road begins to enter a canyon and you will notice hoodoos in the drainage to your left..." (This quote is presented with the approval of John Summerson, from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 199.)

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ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Challenging
3
Road
4.5
Traffic
3
Scenery

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Apr 17, 2024
difficulty: Moderate
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 3
Apr 17, 2024
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 3
I parked in the parking area right off US 95 where State 165 starts. From there it's apx 9.5 miles up to the top with about an avg 4% grade. Views are ok during this part but get much better after the top. Then it's all downhill to Nelson's Landing where there are awesome views of the starking contrast of the Mohave Desert and the Blue waters of the Colorado River. Head back up for apx 8.5 miles of avg. grade of 5.8% with some 7s and 9s mixed in. Notable photo op stops, natural rock towers, Nelson Ghost Town tourist trap and the Colorado River. I encountered a lot of wind on my descents. In some cases, pedaling to keep my speed up. Strong winds can be common in this region of NV. I would consider doing this ride again. It has some good gains and is not all that far from Vegas. It's a good ride to do in the cooler months. I would not recommend this in the summer months though. There were some gravel trucks, & tourists going to the ghost town, not much between town and the landing.
Apr 20, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 3
traffic: 5
road: 3
Apr 20, 2021
scenery: 3
traffic: 5
road: 3
Road: Some minor washboard effect on the decent and minimal to non existent shoulder. On the ascent, the road is fine. Traffic: The only traffic will be people going to the boat ramp on the Colorado River, folks paying a visit to the "ghost town", or big trucks coming to/from an active quarry. Trucks were respectful and I felt safe. Maybe a total of 6 cars? Scenery: The approach to the river is classic desert Red Rocks esque mountains abutting the water. The ghost town is a collection of wrecked vehicles, planes, boats, autos, and machinery. If you ever wanted to see an A-10 Warthog buried nose down in the desert, you have come to the right place.
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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Eldorado Canyon

Ride 8.6 miles gaining 2,634’ at 5.7% average grade

Climb begins at the Colorado River

Climb Summary (by Ron Hawks)

Eldorado Canyon is a very isolated climb in southern Nevada.  The climb starts at what used to be a boat dock to the Colorado River but is no longer in service due to the 2012-2015 drought.  From the beginning, the grade is around 6% and is fairly consistent the entire climb.  Although the road has very little traffic, the condition for the first several miles is a little rough but definitely rideable.  As we approach the Eldorado Mining Area, which provides tours of this very unique town in the middle of nowhere, the grade eases only to hit double digits for 1/2 mile as you climb towards the town of Nelson (pop. 37) at mile 7.  The quality of the road improves as we approach Nelson and the grades return to the 6% to 7% range until we reach the obvious, but unmarked, summit.

Start by riding up and away from the Colorado River.

IMG_1530.JPG   

  EldoradoCanyon7.JPG 

Nelson Ghost Town at mile 5.2

Nelson Ghost Town -

Photo top left - riding away from Nelson; photos top right and bottom - Nelson Ghost Town.

This is a very cool (figuratively, not literally!)  climb with great views but has limited resources so be prepared before you go with food and water.  Although we did this in the Spring, it can be very hot in the canyons and spring or winter trips are advisable.