Guadalupe Mountain  Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

2.7
FIETS
9.7 mi
DISTANCE
1,869 ft
GAINED
3.4 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Dan Razum, Campbell, CA, USA

INTRO

"This climb along Route 180 is isolated and towards the highest point in Texas. It begins over rolling uphill terrain and the road contains some high speed traffic at times. After ~6 miles the tallest mountain in Texas comes into clear view and after a small descent the grade steepens for several miles as you approach the summit. After this steeper section the grade eases near a pass and at mile 8.9 turn left up toward the Guadalupe Mountains National Park Visitor Center where the climb ends shortly at the top of a small parking lot." (This quote is presented with the approval of John Summerson, from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 210.)
3.4% average grade (4% climb only).  The majority (66%) of this climb is at 0-5% grade.  The steepest quarter-mile is 8% and steepest mile 7%. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  For the first nine miles, ride on three lane Highway 62.  There are two lanes of travel and a wide shoulder on the climb side of the roadway with a rumble strip separating the slow lane from the shoulder.  The roadway is in good condition.  The final 0.6 miles up to the climb finish is on a two lane roadway with center stripe in good condition.

Traffic:  Mild to mild-moderate on Highway 62.  Traffic, including big rigs, pass at highway speeds and this climb is not for the traffic averse, but the wide shoulder and rumble strip do give you reasonable security. 

Parking:  There are a couple of spots on the side of the road or just off Highway 62 on Highway 54 to park (MapStreet View). 
Provisions:  None on the climb - nearest food and water are in El Paso, 80 miles west of the start of the climb (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.
Stop at mile 4.6 for the views at El Capitan Lookout (Google Map + Reviews).  See also Things to do in Guadalupe Mountains National Park. 

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Guadalupe Mountains, roadway, plains and canyon

Cycling Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Ride 9.7 miles to 5,830’ gaining 1,782’ at 3.2%

Visit our Guadalupe Mountains National Park page.

We ride along but only enter the national park  at mile 8.2.  Guadalupe Mountain National Park was established in 1972 and consists of 86,367 acres and is in the Guadalupe Mountains, home to Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in all of Texas.

This is a fairly remote climb (not even a full Strava segment for it)  in east central Texas, 105 miles  east of El Paso and the US border with Mexico.

Thank you to Dan Razum, Campbell, CA, USA for the following summary and all of the photographs for this climb.

The climb starts along route 62/180, at the intersection with route 54. Route 62/180 is a 3 lane highway and
traffic moves at highway speeds.  Luckily, there isn't a lot of traffic and there is a generous wide shoulder
so the ride felt safe.  However, it's always good to be alert when riding on highways and a flashing rear
light is recommended.  There are "rumble strip" grooves at the edge of the shoulder, next to the roadway, to
alert motorists if they stray onto the shoulder but the grooves are very rough to ride over on a bike, so we
kept well on the shoulder to avoid the grooves.  There is some debris and gravel on the shoulder, but not too
much, we had no problems riding on the shoulder the entire way. The roadway and shoulder are both in good condition.

Bike climb Guadalupe Mountains National Park, roadway sign, hwy 62 and 180 

Start of the climb.

Bike climb Guadalupe Mountains - roadway and rumble strips

Wide shoulder with rumble strip border.


The climb starts out fairly shallow as we ride towards the Guadalupe Peak. After a couple of miles the road gets
steeper as we start climbing to the base of the Guadalupe Mountains.  Guadalupe Peak is an imposing view but we
don’t actually climb the peak, instead we circle around it as the road climbs up to a high plateau which is the
base of the mountains. Since we are climbing from a valley to a plateau, this is a "one sided" climb. In other
words, when we reach the top there isn't much descent on the other side, but rather rolling terrain for many
miles, without a large drop in elevation.

Climbing Guadalupe Mountains National Park by bike - Guadalupe Peak - highest point in Texas

Guadalupe Peak as seen at 3.5 miles

Tallest point in Texas


Midway through the steeper section of the climb there is a picnic area with nice views of the valley below.  
There is a second picnic area near the top, but without any views. After we reach the top of route 62 we turn
left to the Visitor Center and we can ride a little further to the Pine Springs Campground.  There is water
available at the campground parking lot, as well as ample parking.

Road to the Visitor Center; .7 miles from finish of climb.


The scenery along the ride is enjoyable and the light traffic and wide shoulder help make the ride feel safe,
despite being a highway.

Bicycle ride Guadalupe Mountains National Park - road, mountain, rock formations

Great views of mountain formations along this bicycle ride.