Mauna Loa, Island of Hawaii, USA is the longest bike climb in the world.
We are fortunate to have documented the Top 10 longest bike climbs in the world, located on three continents, in six different countries, with two of them being Hawaiian volcanoes. Below is a list, along with a brief summary of each of the world’s longest road bike climbs.
#1 OF 10
MAUNA LOA, HAWAII, USA
We have ridden this magnificent climb twice from Hilo (the southern and steeper route), and twice from Waikoloa (northern and longer route). Mauna Loa is one of the great bike climbs in the United States and the world. From the Waikoloa side, at just over 62 miles, Mauna Loa is the longest and one of the most epic bike climbs in the US and the world -- it will just flat out wear you down, but it is well worth the effort you’ll put into it. And, after riding the longest climb in the world, spend another day climbing Mauna Kea which is not only the world’s hardest climb by bike, but the eighth longest as well. These two volcanoes are just across Saddle Road from each other, and each are clearly visible from the flanks of the other.
Photo on taken from upper Mauna Loa Observatory Road.
Mauna Kea in the background.
#2 OF 10
El Crucero, Ecuador
Cycling El Crucero
Ride 91 kilometers gaining 3,800 meters at 3.4% average grade (5.2% climb only).
This is the second longest bike climb in the world.
This is a long climb through lush surroundings (like most Colombian bike climbs) and is the 6th most difficult bike climb in Colombia.
Lush surroundings along the entire route.
#3 OF 10
WULING PASS EAST, TAIWAN, USA
This is an extremely challenging road bike climb and the second longest in the world, behind Mauna Loa. At 87.4 kilometers (54.3 miles), gaining 3,459 meters (11,349’) to a peak of 3,158 meters (10,361’) at 3.6% average grade (a mile near the top averages 10% at around 8,500’ altitude), Wuling Pass is a beast of a climb.
We traveled to Asia in 2019, in part to climb the second longest bike climb in the world.
We LOVE Wuling Pass!!!!!
#4 OF 10
ALTO DE LETRAS, COLOMBIA
This beautiful climb is often incorrectly referred to as the longest bike climb in the world.
Climbed by PJAMM on September 12, 2017.
The top two adjectives to describe this climb would have to be beautiful and lush. The climb is also very, very long (the third longest in the world, behind Mauna Loa from the Kona side and Wuling Pass East). It is a bit of a trek to get to -- we fly first to Bogota (there are many nonstop inexpensive flights from the U.S. and even Europe [Heathrow has nonstop to Bogota], but most travel from Europe requires a layover), then drive 175 km/110 miles to Mariquita where the climb begins.
82 km later . . .
#5 OF 10
PUNTA CALLAN, PERU
Not only is this the 4th longest bike climb in the world, it is the 12th most difficult and finishes at extremely high altitude - 13,793’ (4204 meters).
#6 OF 10
LA MUERTE, ECUADOR
Fifth longest and third hardest bike climb in the world.
Ride 72.5 kilometers to 4,144 meters gaining 4,470 meters at 5.4% average grade.
This 44 mile climb has 12,242 feet of climbing. It’s no wonder la muerte translates to “the death” in English. The Strava page for La Muerte has fewer than 20 people having finished the whole segment...if that tells you anything.
#7 of 10
Cycling Conococha, Peru
Ride 44 miles gaining 11,000’ at 4.6% average grade.
This is a rugged climb that includes 12 miles of gravel (manageable on a road bike) that finishes above 13,000’.
#8 OF 10
TRAIL RIDGE, COLORADO, USA
Cycling Trail Ridge, CO:
43.9 miles (70.6 km) to 12,151’ (3,704m) gaining 7,770’ (2,367 m) at 3% average grade.
At 43.9 miles, Trail Ridge is the second longest bike climb in the United States (behind #1 US/#1 World Mauna Loa), and seventh longest in the world. Trail Ridge is also the highest continuous (i.e., not a dead end) paved road in the United States. Traversing Rocky Mountain National Park, this climb offers spectacular views along the giant switchbacks 20 miles below a summit that tops out at a whopping 12,000'.
#9 OF 10
MAUNA KEA, BIG ISLAND, HAWAII
The eighth longest and uncontested hardest bike climb in the world is Mauna Kea, Big Island, Hawaii. Mauna Kea has it all: length (42.5 miles), altitude (sea level to nearly 14,000’), and gradient (the last 10 miles are from 8,120’ to 13,779’ at 10.7% average grade).
We have climbed Mauna Kea 4 times - 2011, 2013, 2014, 2018.
#10 of 10
TEIDE FROM SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, CANARY ISLANDS, SPAIN
Teide from Santa Cruz de Tenerife is 63 kilometers/39 miles.
This climb stretches from Santa Cruz de Tenerife, to deep within the Parque Nacional del Teide on Spain’s Canary Island. At 39 miles, Teide is Europe’s longest bike climb.
BONUS - 11TH LONGEST AND MOST EPIC IN THE WORLD
DEATH ROAD, BOLIVIA
Cycling the Death Road:
#11 hardest bike climb in the world and the tenth longest.
The Death Road is our all-time favorite climb by road bike. We included the Death Ride in our 2017 South American Cycling Adventure (also included were Alto de Letras, Colombia, Atacama, Chile and Uturuncu, Bolivia). We spent three days on the Death Road and enjoyed every minute of it -- this is the cycling adventure of all time!
Atop the highest road in the world.
#15 - BONUS ROUND
HALEAKALA, MAUI, USA
Cycling Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaii
Aerial Sphere Photo:
Center - Haleakala Crater; center right - Summit and approach to summit
Start the climb at sea level and finish at 10,000’ 35.6 miles later!
We have ridden Haleakala four times from Paia, and once up Highway 37 from near the airport in Kahului. We recommend the Paia route as it is more scenic with less traffic. This climb is so difficult because it just wears you out: 36 miles of straight climbing and generally between 5-7% average grade (the steepest mile averages only 7.8%). There are some of the greatest hairpins in the US on this climb, most of which are unobstructed (we are on a volcano after all), and the eight starting at mile 25 rival the Horseshoe Meadows Hairpins in length -- the five longest average 1.25 miles each! The wind is almost always blowing along the big hairpins, causing you to ride into the wind suffering for one leg, then turn and are loving life for the next mile and a quarter with the wind at your back.