Big Mountain Rd Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

3.6
FIETS
4.8 mi
DISTANCE
1,624 ft
GAINED
6.4 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Bruce Hamilton, La Quinta, CA, USA; Stacy Topping, Tacoma, WA, USA

INTRO

Big Mountain starts at the east shore of Whitefish Lake a couple of miles north of Whitefish. It’s just under five miles and about 1700 feet of elevation gain to ride to the end of the road at the ski resort. There are residential areas on the mountain and these go higher. You can ride a paved road through a very nice housing development and top out at over 5000 feet (the ski area parking lot is at about 4700 feet).
Average grade is 6.4%.  61% of the climb is at 5-10% grade and 10% is at 10-15%.  The steepest quarter-mile is 10.7%.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  This is a two lane road in good condition with a double yellow line and a narrow to moderate width shoulder. 

Traffic:  Light.

Parking:  Park on the side of the East Lakeshore Drive just east of the beginning of the climb on Big Mountain Road (MapStreet View). 
Provisions:  If the facilities are open, there are a couple of restaurants at Whitefish Mountain Resort at the finish of the climb.   There are also plenty of locations for food and beverages in Whitefish where the climb begins.  
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.
During the summer there are many fun things to do around Whitefish, including golf, mountain bike riding at Whitefish Mountain Resort, and water activities on Whitefish River and Lake.  Glacier National Park (PJAMM climb page) is only 27 miles from Whitefish - you can stay in Whitefish and climb Logan Pass East and/or Logan Pass West.

ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Challenging
3
Road
3
Traffic
4
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

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NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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Jul 24, 2023
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 4
traffic: 3
road: 3
Jul 24, 2023
scenery: 4
traffic: 3
road: 3
Pretty consistent climb, stays at 6-8% the whole way through so it's very easy to pace. The scenery is insane, you basically get a view into the whole entire valley. The road in the steepest sections has a huge shoulder which allows you to avoid some traffic. Decent is a little sketchy because of potholes being scattered about the road.
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL
Route Data
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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Big Mountain Road, Montana

Ride 4.8 miles gaining 1,640’ at 6.5% average grade.

Visit our Glacier National Park page

PJAMM’s Bruce Hamilton at the start of the climb.

Bruce’s climb summary:

Big Mountain starts at the east shore of Whitefish Lake a couple of miles north of Whitefish. It’s just under five miles and about 1700 feet of elevation gain to ride to the end of the road at the ski resort. There are residential areas on the mountain and these go higher. You can ride a paved road through a very nice housing development and top out at over 5000 feet (the ski area parking lot is at about 4700 feet).

Finish at the Village at Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort at the southern edge of Glacier National Park.

It’s a short climb by PJAMM standards but it’s not an easy one. While it does average 6.5% for the five miles, the first and last mile are lower grade and the middle three miles are a steady 8-9%. There are some residential areas near the bottom and the first mile or so has a bit more traffic and the grade is not too steep. Once you’re above the housing at the bottom of the mountain the road widens and there is a section of three miles or so that is wide and open with a six foot shoulder and lighter traffic. Only a couple of broken views of the Whitefish Lake on the way up but many nice views once you reach the last mile. The grade lessens as you approach the ski area and neighborhoods at the top and riding around near the top provides many beautiful views and photo opportunities.