This is the less traveled and less known of the Sonora Pass climbs. However, this hidden climbing jewel has some serious pop to it - perhaps even more difficult (if you just consider the climb segments and eliminate the .6 to .7 of flat along the ascent). The first and last miles of this climb exceed 10% (see elevation grid, below) and there are 5 8+% segments along this bruiser.
This climb can be done as an out and back from Kennedy Meadows (the beginning of U.S. Top 100 Climb #46, Sonora Pass West). As with Sonora Pass West, the views along this route are very scenic and worth the torture of the climb. Unlike the southeastern Sierra climbs, there is no long shallow entry to Sonora West or East - you are challenged immediately and the tone of that introduction continues throughout the climb.
This climb is fairly distant from other Top 100's with the nearest climbs being #77 Monitor East 40 miles north and the Owens Valley climbs starting with Pine Creek 110 miles south. The Pacific Coast Trail crosses the summit of Sonora Pass East/West.
Traffic and Roadway report: The roadway surface is excellent throughout this ride and although there is minimal shoulder, traffic is light and this seems to be a safe ride.