Nebo Loop Rd South Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

13.8 mi
3,860 ft
4.9 %


Page Contributor(s): Bruce Hamilton, La Quinta, CA, USA.


The Nebo Loop North climb begins at the southern edge of Payson, Utah about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City. Payson was established in 1850 and named by Brigham Young himself. This is a peaceful climb along a US Scenic Byway. 
"Used in the difficult Tour of Utah, the south side of Nebo Loop Road is a solid and scenic climb up the massive slopes of Mount Nebo in central Utah. Shallow to start, the grade soon picks up as the road begins to switchback up the hill. Excellent views are present back down to climb start in places. Just over 5 miles into the ascent is a big turn to the right with increased grade for a stretch and views..." (This quote is presented with the approval of John Summerson, from his book, 50 Climbs (by Bike) in Utah, pg. 118.)
Average grade is 4.8% (6.1% climb only).  The gradient swing on this climb is substantial - 14% is descent, 34% is at 0-5% grade, 42% is at 5-10%, 10% is at 10-15%, and a small fraction is at 15-20%.  The steepest quarter-mile is 11.1% and steepest mile 9.4%.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  This is a two lane paved Forest Road 015 that is in fair to rough shape.

Traffic:  Mild.

Parking:  Up the climb about 7/10ths of a mile on the right side of the road (MapStreet View). 
Provisions:  None on the climb - closest food and beverages are in Nephi, five miles west (Map). 
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.
Consider this climb with Nebo Loop Road North - 64 miles gaining 9,340' (Map). 

Use the “Routes in Area” button on the menu bar to see other bike climbs in this area. 



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Cycling Nebo Loop Road, Payson, Utah,  North and South.

Climb summary by PJAMM friend and contributor Bruce Hamilton:

The Nebo Loop North climb begins at the southern edge of Payson, Utah about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City.  Payson was established in 1850 and named by Brigham Young himself.

The Payson Scottish Festival has been held annually in Payson since 1984 so July is a good time to ride Nebo if you are interested in enjoying things around Payson other than the Nebo Loop climb.  However, beware that July is also historically the hottest month in Payson.


We begin climbing almost immediately. The Nebo northern climb begins almost immediately from the start with low brush greenery surrounding us.  As we climb, the landscape transitions to evergreen trees and higher there are many groves of aspens.

Lower section of the climb.

Fields of grass and wonderful mountain views.

Moooooo . . . vvvvve.

Upper section of the climb.

This ride is hot and dry in summer and there is no water – come prepared. There are a few small 8-9% jumps but this is generally a long and consistently gradual climb. By the 16 mile mark we’ve done most of the climbing and the last miles consist of rollers (last 8 miles average 2.1%) as we ride across a high plateau.

The aspen trees and yellow flowers are beautiful and there are many open views of higher mountains beyond. This would be a great ride to do in autumn when the leaves are changing.

Upper section of the climb.

There was remarkably little traffic – almost nobody out there and only saw a few cars per hour. Road surface is generally good and the downhill has only a few hairpins that require some braking. This is a long but not difficult climb and highly recommended for the scenery and solitude.

To ride Nebo Loop Road South, ride down from the summit 14 miles to Hwy 132 then ride back up the mountain.  The full Nebo “Loop” (out-and-back) route from Payson is about 73 miles with nearly 6,000’ of climbing.

Thank you Bruce!!

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