This climb begins in Santa Cruza de la Palma on the Canary Island of La Palma. This is the third most difficult bike climb in Spain and the hardest on the Canary Islands.
Roque de Los Muchacho means “Rock of the Boys” and is a rocky mound at the highest point on the Island of La Palma. Also at the top of this climb are several observatories, with some of the largest telescopes in the world, constructed there because the altitude and dry climate provide for excellent observing conditions.
Steepest Gradients by Distance
This is a Top 50 World Climb and the most difficult climb in the Canarias Islands and is situated on the westernmost Canary Island of La Palma. We have confirmed with several Strava members who have ridden this climb that it can be done on a road bike:
Viðar Þorsteinsson Yes paved the whole way. Very nice climb. Just start off easy it is looong.
Samuel Rogger Yes it is. I did it on a road bike too. But it can get very cold on the top.
Nick Whitley Hi john the road is tarmac all the way up to the observation telescopes at the top , as you can see its about 3 hours steady climbing to the top . It's well worth doing as you are normally above the clouds at the top . Road bike is fine.
Second best location for observatories in Northern Hemisphere behind Mauna Kea
DangerousRoads.org writes of this magnificent climb:
“Roque de los Muchachos is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.423 m (7,949 ft) above the sea level, located on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain. It’s one of the highest mountain passes of Spain.
The road to the summit is called Carretera al Roque de los Muchachos. Fog, clouds and snow make the road dangerous. The road is 3.8km long starting in the LP-4 road. It’s asphalted and was built for access to the telescopes of an astronomical observatory near the summit. The road is really steep, with sections up to 12.0%.This immense climb is one of the best places in the world for stargazing. It is a drive-to summit, with a developed asphalt road right to the top, a parking lot right on the summit and an information booth right there. The drive is definitely worth it. There are many excellent photo opportunities. Don't forget your camera with lots of film/memory and fully charged batteries! The Roque de los Muchachos boasts one of the clearest skies on the planet thanks to the climatic conditions and its unique physical characteristics.” DangerousRoads.org