Cycling Emory Pass East
Ride 8.1 miles gaining 2,185’ at 4.9% average grade (5.6% climb only)
We start the climb in Kingston. The road descends past Kingston, so you could also start the climb in Hillsboro, if you want to add an extra 9 miles and about 600-700 feet of climbing. However, the scenery isn't too interesting between Kingston and Hillsboro so we decided to start in Kingston.
Kingston has a couple of houses, but it is mostly a ghost town. However, there is a campground where you can park and that is where we started from. There aren't any provisions in Kingston, or along the climb, so make sure to bring enough water.
The gradient isn't too steep and it's fairly uniform for the entire climb. There are two cattle guard grates near the beginning of the climb and other than those, the road condition is good throughout. There isn't any shoulder but the road is wide and traffic is light. The road is twisty with a few hairpin turns, which makes it nice for cycling.
The vegetation starts out as small trees and shrubs and as we climb higher we see more tall pine trees. However, there isn't a thick forest at the top, unfortunately, due to a large forest fire in 2013. The scars from that fire are still visible.
The day we rode there was also a forest fire buring in the same location, but since the area had burned before it wasn't a large fire. Apparently the recent fire had started from lightning strikes high on the mountain.
After we reach the pass there is a small road to a parking area and overlook, with nice views of
the road we climbed and the valley below. There are restrooms, but no water.