Cycling Roque de los Muchachos from the north
Ride 17.7 miles gaining 7,465’ at 7.4% average grade (9.7% climb only)
This is the hardest route up to the highest point on the La Palma of the Canary Islands. The climb begins on the northern part of the island near the tiny hamlet of El Tablado
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.
This is a Top 50 World Climb and is the third most difficult bike climb in Spain and the hardest on the Canary Islands.
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