#42 on the Top 100 list, this climb travels up towards Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and is within 30 miles of 2 other Top 100 climbs, Mineral King Rd (#29) and Hwy 198 (#34). this Climb shares its first 6 miles with #19 Whitaker Forest. For the adventurous among us, Whitaker Forest is preferred, but it is very remote and should not be attempted without a clear understanding of the route and confidence cycling in remote areas).
Hwy 21-245-180-198 takes us into Kings Canyon National Park ($10 required for bicycle entry as of July, 2015) and Sequoia National Forest). The climb is challenging, as this climbs spot in the U.S. Top 50 Climbs will attest. The roadway, while not offering a bike lane or shoulder to speak of, seems safe, both on the narrow section of County Road (J-21) for 6 miles and on State Highways the remainder of the route.
Roadway/Traffic: The first 6 miles are on a narrow county road with very little traffic. The remaining 22 miles are on very well-paved and maintained roads. Highway 245 has minimal shoulder but has low traffic. Highways 180 and 198 are more well traveled but we always felt safe on this route.
Background photo - U.S. #5 Pikes Peak CO.
Start (click and drag map; double click to move forward)
Note: Click on “View full route" (top left) which opens the Hwy 21-245-180-198 RideWithGPS page. Hover over the distance line at the spot you would like to begin a sub- segment for this climb. Click your mouse on the start point and drag the vertical graphing line the distance you wish to obtain sub-detail from, then release the mouse at the end point. This will give you the following sub-detail for the selected segment in the “Metrics” window top right of the page: (a) distance, (b) elevation gained and lost, (c) max grade, (d) average grade (e) that segment's climb category – e.g. Cat 1, HC, etc., and (f) FIETS score for the segment.
Each elevation segment is ~ 1/5 mile.