Monitor Pass West  Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

6.3
FIETS
8.2 mi
DISTANCE
2,648 ft
GAINED
6.1 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

Cycling Monitor Pass West - this is the first leg of the annual Markleeville - Death Ride (15,000' / 120 miles). There are sweeping high sierra views once you climb out of the canyon at the start of the ascent. The road is closed for the Death Ride, but there are hundreds of cyclists around you at this point of the ride (and will be for both Monitor passes and Ebbetts East; things begin to thin on Pass Four, Ebbetts West).
6.1% average grade (6.5% if descent eliminated) - 35% of the climb is at 0-5% grade and 47% at 5-10%.  The steepest quarter-mile is 11.7% and steepest mile 9.8%. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  Excellent condition two lane highway with no shoulder.  

Traffic:  Mild.  Traffic travels at 45-50 mph generally and we feel safe on this climb. 

Parking:  At the start (Map; Street View) or Markleeville, five miles north (Map).
Provisions:  There are not provisions on the climb, although there is a market and restaurants in Markleeville five miles north. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
We have always stayed in Markleeville for the climbs in the area (PJAMM Climb page: Markleeville - Death Ride). The annual Death Ride is a wildly popular bike climbing event which you should consider trying if you enjoy climbing by bike - beware though, it is an extremely difficult event - Official Website

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Monitor Pass East - aerial drone photo of long straight stretch of road looking west from the pass

Cycling Monitor Pass, home of the Death Ride - an epic Sierra Nevada bike climb.

Photo - Aerial view west from location directly above Monitor Pass markers.

California Top 10 Most Epic Climb 

Cycling Monitor Pass East and West - PJAMM cyclists at finish of Death Ride holding up 5 fingers for 5 passes - skeleton

Visit our Death Ride page for detailed information on each route and climb in this ride.

Cycling Monitor Pass East and West - PJAMM cyclists at finish of Death Ride holding up 5 fingers for 5 passes - skeleton  

Monitor Pass East and West are 2 of the Death Ride’s 5 climbs.

  This is the first of the five death ride passes and starts about 7.5 miles southeast of the start of the Death Ride (Turtle Rock County Park). The climb is challenging, particularly around the 1.5-3.5 mark (8.8% average grade) and miles 4.65-5.6 (7.9%).

Cycling Monitor Pass West - beginning of climb - Death Ride - cyclists and Monitor East and West road sign 

Start

Ride 8.2 miles gaining 2,729’ to elevation 8,335’ at 6.1% average grade. This is the traditional First Climb of the annual Markleeville, Alpine County Death Ride.

   

Biking up Monitor Pass West - Death Ride cyclists climbing lower section

Death Riders strung out going up Monitor West.

  There are sweeping high sierra views once you climb out of the canyon at the start of the ascent. The road is closed for the Death Ride, but there are hundreds of cyclists around you at this point of the ride (and will be for both Monitor passes and Ebbetts East (things begin to thin on Pass Four (Ebbetts West).

Climbing Monitor Pass West by bike - panorama view of mountains and forest

On our way up Monitor West during the 2015 Death Ride.  

 

Finishing Monitor West.

There are two summit signs at the top of the climb.

MARKLEEVILLE BIKE CLIMBS + DEATH RIDE

Photo - from upper left clockwise:

Ebbetts Pass East; Monitor Pass West; Ebbetts Pass West. and Monitor Pass East.

That’s a wrap!!