FULL CLIMB STATS
This is a fairly isolated bike climb that begins along the Columbia River at a fruit packing plant 170 miles east of Seattle in north central Washington. We are quickly out of the commercial area and into the rolling hillside with no visual obstructions (or shade) - nothing but pastureland, hills and some occasional pine trees along the way. Although not the most beautiful climb around, it is a great workout and bike ride.
"McNeil Canyon is a very solid climb in central Washington near scenic Lake Chelan that takes you out of the mighty Columbia River gorge. Fairly steep to start, a flat soon greets you. Solid climbing then resumes for over a mile before easing again and becoming variable..." (This quote is presented with the approval of John Summerson, from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 225.)
The grade on this climb is 7.5% with next to no descent. 30% of the climb (1.8 miles) is at 0-5% grade, 41% (2.4 miles) is at 5-10%, 26% (1.6 miles) is at 10-15%, and 1.8% (0.1 mile) at 15-20% grade. The steepest quarter-mile of the climb is 13.5% and steepest continuous mile 11.3%.
Use the “Routes in Area” button in the menu to see what other climbs are in the area.
Roadway: 2 lane road in excellent condition and a shoulder to ride in most of the climb.
Provisions: None on the route, but there are plenty of spots to get food and beverages in Chelan 5 miles northwest (Map to Chelan from start)
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.
Along with Mission Ridge and Badger Mountain Road, this is one of three Top 10 Washington climbs within 40 miles of the each other. McNeil Canyon Road is the fifth hardest bike climb in the state of Washington.
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Apr 20, 2021
In the pre-Covid era, this climb was included in the Chelan Century Challenge.
Apr 8, 2021
I did this climb on 7th April 2021 (along with Badger Mountain- see entry). I parked at the Beebe PUD park, located on the west side of US 97, immediately south of the Beebe Bridge, and directly across from the beginning of McNeil Canyon road. There's ample parking there and bathrooms (park hours 08:30-20:00 as of the time of this writing). The Lone Pine store is located 6 miles south of the parking, and has great sandwiches plus some produce, and good coffee (Blue Star from Twisp). Not open on Sunday as of April 2021, but pre-Covid, it was open 7 days a week, so good to call first. The climb pretty unrelenting (you can see the profile). The main issue is wind. I had a decent tailwind to start (which really doesn't help much given the steepness). But, by the time I reached the summit, it had become very strong, gusty and unpredictable. I had to pedal down many of the 12-16% grades, and thought I might get blown over a couple times.