Juniper Pass West Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

Juniper Pass West

CO, USA

Overlaps the first segment of the Mt. Evans climb.

Page Contributor(s): Christoper Jacobs, Byers CO; Steve Jones, Olympia, WA, USA

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Climb Summary


Cycling Juniper Pass West - crystal clear reflection on Echo Lake showing blue sky with fluffy white clouds, mountain range, and spiky evergreen trees

Cycling Juniper Pass - Echo Lake.

 Ride 16 miles to elevation 11,156’ gaining 3,764’’ at 4.3% average grade.

Cycling Juniper Pass West - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, sign for Idaho Springs and Colorado Highway 103 South, cyclists climbing up hillside next to sign for Echo Mountain, sign for Arapaho National Forest, John Johnson wearing PJAMM Cycling jersey standing with bike in front of Echo lake

Both sides of the Juniper Pass climb are entirely within Colorado’s Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests which are jointly managed by the National Forest Service. Arapaho National Forest, established in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt and named for the Arapaho Native American tribe consists of 723,000 acres, and Roosevelt National Forest, established in 1902 by President Roosevelt (originally named Medicine Bow Forest Reserve and renamed to honor President Theodore Roosevelt in 1932) consists of 813,000 acres.

Cycling Juniper Pass West - gentle curves along two-lane roadway lined with dense forestation, road sign reading Falling Rock

This climb begins in Idaho Springs (pop. 1,746, 2016; elevation 7,526), less than 25 miles from Denver.  Our route is along Highway 103 (Chicago Creek Road, Mt. Evans Scenic Byway).  Highway 103 west from Idaho Springs overlaps the extraordinary Mt. Evans bike climb (the highest paved road in North America) for the first 13 miles.  Instead of turning right onto Mt. Evans Road at mile 13, continue straight on Highway 103 and travel another three miles to Juniper Pass.

Cycling Juniper Pass West - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, sign for National Forest Mount Evans Welcome Station

Views of the first 13 miles from Idaho Springs to Echo Lake.

Cycling Juniper Pass West - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, Welcome sign for Mt. Evans, North America's Highest Auto road, reflection in Echo Lake of mountains, clouds, evergreens, road sign for Bergen Park and Mt. Evans

Stay left at mile 13 for the final three miles to the finish of this climb, or . . .

turn right to travel another 14 miles to Mount Evans, the highest paved cycling finish in North America.

Climb report by PJAMM’s Steve Jones, Olympia, WA:

The west side of Juniper Pass (11,130 ft.) is an enjoyable (but less strenuous) alternative to its neighbor, Mt. Evans.  Both climbs share a starting point in Idaho Springs, CO (7,524 ft.), as well as the first 13 miles to Echo Lake (10,597 ft.).  At Echo Lake, continue on State Route 103 for an additional 2.7 miles to the unmarked high point at 11,130 feet.  The grade is moderate and the pavement smooth.

Cycling Juniper Pass West - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, two-lane paved roadway winding up mountainside with cyclist climbing, near dense evergreen forestation

Views along the last three miles.

Steepest ½ mile begins at mile 7.2 (7.3%).

Cycling Juniper Pass West - selfie of cyclist wearing PJAMM Cycling jersey next to road sign for Squaw Pass Summit

Thank you Steve!