Cycling Mombacho Volcano -- One of the steepest climbs in the world!
We have documented all 10 of the world’s steepest miles -- and we’ve lived to tell about it 👍😅. Below are the Top Ten 1 Mile and Top Five 2 Kilometer Steepest Road Bike Climbs in the World. Note that the gradient is so extreme that the quarter-mile difference between one mile and two kilometers dramatically rearranges the order of the World Steepest List.
THE WORLD’S STEEPEST PAVED MILE
Scanuppia averages 18% for 4.5 miles (7.24 kilometers).
45%! We have never encountered a sign with a gradient this high.
Scanuppia edges out Rdom Pass, Saudi Arabia for the coveted #1 World’s Steepest Mile trophy by 0.7%, at 26.7% versus 26%. While we have climbed Scanuppia twice without incident, we must forewarn of the “No Bikes” sign near the start of the climb.
That’s what a 30%+ grade looks like . . . 😓
THE WORLD’S SECOND STEEPEST PAVED MILE
RDOM PASS, SAUDI ARABIA
Rdom Pass is home to the steepest two kilometer cycling segment (24.3%), and the second steepest mile (26%) and kilometer (26.7%) in the world.
THE WORLD’S THIRD STEEPEST PAVED MILE
POZZA SAN GLISENTE, ITALY
This is the hardest bike climb in Italy (#7 world) and the third steepest mile in the world at 24.7%
THE WORLD’S FOURTH STEEPEST PAVED MILE
MOMBACHO VOLCANO, NICARAGUA
Sadly, it was raining on the day we climbed Mombacho.
Steepest mile is 24.8%.
The average grade for the full 3.8 miles from Nic 18 to the top is 14.21%, but the 2.5 miles beginning at mile 1.2 averages 18.1%, the steepest paved portion of road in the world for that distance that we thus far located. At the top of Mombacho is an incredibly beautiful Nature Preserve that is well worth the trip to visit if you are in Nicaragua.
As a general rule, “No biceleta” really means “No biceleta.”
However, see our Climb Page for the work-around.
THE WORLD’S FIFTH STEEPEST PAVED MILE
Cycling Nebelhorn - 23.6% average grade for one mile.
Several brief segments of the Nebelhorn climb exceed 30%, and there is a full quarter-mile at 26%, half-mile at 25%, and one mile that averages 23.5% grade. What else could we expect, the thing starts at the bottom of a championship ski jumping facility!
THE WORLD’S SIXTH STEEPEST PAVED MILE
PICO ARIEIRO, MADEIRA ISLAND, PORTUGAL
Pico Ariero has a one mile segment at its start that is 22.5%.
At 5,965 feet, Pico Ariero is Madeira's third highest peak.
THE WORLD’S SEVENTH STEEPEST PAVED MILE
Well this looks pleasant . . .
. . . this was NOT . . .
Photos do not do this Bad Boy justice: one mile at 22.3%
Yes -- I walked a couple of times on this one . . . 😢
THE WORLD’S EIGHTH STEEPEST MILE
ALPE FUORI, ITALY
Cycling Alpe Fuori -- one mile at 20.1%.
This beautiful but challenging climb looks a lot like this: paved, then gravel, then paved, then gravel, all the way to the top. The gravel is manageable in some sections on a road bike, but we did have to walk portions. We wouldn’t recommend anybody go to the summit with a road bike. ‘Cross necessary’ is what we think.
THE WORLD’S NINTH STEEPEST MILE
PAUL DA SERRA, PORTUGAL
Paul da Serra is the third hardest bike climb in Portugal, a World Top 100 climb, and home to the ninth steepest paved (with some cobbles) road in the world at 21.8%.
THE WORLD’S TENTH STEEPEST MILE
BANIAMR AQUABAH, SAUDI ARABIA
Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia
Ride 5.9 miles gaining 5,014’ at 16.3% average grade.
Baniamr’s steepest mile warrants a #10 ranking at 21.5%.