Page Contributor(s): John Summerson, The Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike), 2nd Edition
Steepest Gradient (%)
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Cycling Caesars Head, South Carolina.
Ride 6.5 miles gaining 2,059’ at 5.9% average grade.
This climb is into Caesars Head State Park to its visitor center. We are surrounded by trees the entire climb, so we have no distant views. However, particularly during the fall, the scenery on the climb can be exceptional.
“Caesars Head (Route 276) is a surprisingly tough ascent in western South Carolina up to a scenic state park. On weekends you will see a good number of area riders on this hill. Fairly shallow to start, the grade soon gets steeper and stays that way for the majority of the hill. The route is mostly through thick woods and over a narrow road as well. The maximum grade is contained within a tight turn to the right. From there to the top the grade is variable but mostly solid and you may encounter a bit of traffic on good weather weekends as well. The last 2 miles are over very steady grade and within a tunnel of trees and the State Park parking lot on the left just before climb top may be a welcome site. The listed climb ends at the upper end of the State Park Visitors Center parking lot. At the top take the short walk to perhaps the most scenic overlook in the Southeast.” (This quote is provided with the approval of John Summerson from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) in the Southeast, pg. 103.)
The steepest half mile on this climb is 9%.
The climb begins at the junction of Routes 8 and 276. We ride on Geer Highway (State Route 276) the entire climb. The roadway surface throughout the climb is excellent. There is no shoulder to ride in, but on the day we cycled this route, the moderate traffic we encountered drove at a cautious rate and gave us reasonable space.
Caesar Head Visitor Center is at the end of this climb.