Mt. Rose West  Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

8.1 mi
2,476 ft
5.8 %


Page Contributor(s): John Summerson, The Ultimate Guide to Climbing (by Bike) 2nd Ed.


This is a nice bike climb beginning at Lake Tahoe, but expect for more traffic than scenery. 
This is a good climb along a fairly consistent grade that averages 5.8%.  67% (5.4 miles) is at grade 5-10%.  The steepest quarter-mile is 8.1% and steepest mile is 7.1%.  

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  A two lane highway that is in excellent condition.

Traffic:  Moderate to heavy - this is a primary route from Lake Tahoe to Reno. 

Parking:  We have parked at Preston Field just east of the roundabout where the climb begins on the several times we have done this climb - MapStreet View.
This is the only pass in the Sierras that remains open during the winter, thus you can do this ride throughout the year - sadly, we have been able to do it often in the winter between 2015-2020 due to the drought in the western US.  Consult the PJAMM "Full Forecast" feature for the time you expect to arrive at the finish to assess what clothing to bring on your ride.
This is one of many climbs in the Lake Tahoe area.  Consult PJAMM's Lake Tahoe climb page for bike climbs around Lake Tahoe.  This climb is also done as a nice out and back with Mt. Rose East - 48 miles gaining 6,705' (Map). 



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Cycling Mt. Rose from Incline Village (west; Lake Tahoe) -aerial panoramic photo shows Lake Tahoe, the road from Lake Tahoe, Mt. Rose Summit, and the road from Reno, snow capped mountains, blue sky
Cycling Mt. Rose from Incline Village (west; Lake Tahoe)

Ride 8.1 miles gaining 2,476’ at 5.8% average grade.

The summit is the highest pass open year round in California and is on busy State Highway 431 which connects Reno and Lake Tahoe (Incline Village).  

Climbing Mt. Rose from Incline Village is not quite as harrowing as from the east, but it is a close second.  This is a busy roadway and traffic whizzes by at 60+ mph.  We suggest you do this climb on an early weekend morning.

Cycling Mt. Rose from Incline Village (west; Lake Tahoe) - photo collage, climb start, aerial view of Roundabout at Highway 431, sign reads Road May be Icy, pine trees, alpine setting
Start the climb at the Roundabout at Highway 431 near Incline Village.

“The west side of Mount Rose is a smooth ascent over a solid grade up from scenic Lake Tahoe in western Nevada.  There are excellent views of the lake in a few places on the way up.  The road also carries a bit of traffic most days heading back and forth to reno so stay alert as you ascend.  There can be a bit of congestion on its lower slopes along with the majority of its traffic.  Soon the houses and most signs of civilization recede and you are riding through pine forest.  The grade is solid and steady throughout several sweeping turns.  Near the top there is a short descent but climbing soon resumes over solid grade.  The hill soon ends at signed Rose Summit in a scenic setting with views down into the valley in spots.  The summit also includes a rest area and hiking possibilities on top.  It is a very fast and sweeping descent as well; just be alert down low for turning traffic.”  (This quote is provided with the approval of John Summerson from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 192.)

Cycling Mt. Rose from Incline Village (west; Lake Tahoe) -Highway 431 leading to Mt. Rose summit from the east
Top Photo:  Mt.Rose Summit and Highway 431 from the west (left) and east (right).

Bottom Photo:  Top of Mt. Rose Ski Resort.

Cycling Mt. Rose from Incline Village (west; Lake Tahoe) - sign for 7% grade, National Forest Sign, bike leaning against road sign for Bike Route, two-lane highway alpine road, pine trees

Ride east on Highway 431 from Incline Village to Mt. Rose Summit.

Cycling Mt. Rose from Incline Village (west; Lake Tahoe) - bike parked against stone wall at Lake Tahoe scenic overlook

Lake Tahoe Scenic Overlook is at mile 3.5.

Cycling Mt. Rose from Incline Village (west; Lake Tahoe) - bike parked in center of highway roadway, runaway truck ramp, sign for Junction of highway 28

Runaway Truck Ramp: a good sign of a steep road.

Cycling Mt. Rose from Incline Village (west; Lake Tahoe) - bike parked next to elevation sign for 8,000'

900’ to go . . .

Cycling Mt. Rose from Incline Village (west; Lake Tahoe) - signs for Mt. Rose Summit, PJAMM Cyclist stands with bike next to NPS Sign for Mount Rose Summit Plaza, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forests

Climb summit.