Background photo - U.S. #5 Pikes Peak CO.

Hover cursor over segment slices, below, for exact  grade of a particular segment.

Each elevation segment is ~ 1/5 mile.

 Note:  Click on “View full route" (top left) which opens the Glacier Lodge Road 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.



Cycling and Climbing the Sierras

Glacier Lodge Road, Owens Valley,CA


  • Distance:                                           9.6 miles

  • Beginning elevation:                         4,029'

  • Ending elevation:                              7,804'

  • Elevation gained:                              3,647'

  • Average Grade:                                6.8%

  • Fiets Index:                                       9.5

  • Location:  Climb begins .8 miles up Glacier Lodge Road from the intersection of Hwy 395 and  W. Crocker Road (which becomes Glacier Lodge Rd) in Big Pine, CA  216 miles south of Reno International Airport, 255 miles north of LAX and  390 miles southeast of San Francisco International Airport (37.16608, -118.30093 latitude/longitude).  

Ride Description

 This is one of the 9 Top 100 U.S. climbs in the Owens Valley - the mecca of road bike climbing in the United States and perhaps the world.  Other Top 100 U.S. Climbs in the area are #6 Onion Valley, #7 Horseshoe Meadow, #9 White Mountain, #13 Whitney Portal, #24 South Lake, #28 Rock Creek, #29 Lake Sabrina, and #64 Pine Creek.  

The start to mile 2.5 is gradual, at an average 5.5%, but the grade rises thereafter - 7.3% for the next mile, 9.2% for miles 3.5-5.5, with an overall average of 7.2% from miles 2.5 to the finish 7.1 miles later.  Like many of the Owens Valley climbs, the first several miles are through a lower desert-like setting with scrub brush and barren land with the eastern Sierra Nevada Rance slowly approaching.  At the 5 mile mark we begin to climb through a shallow canyon for several miles.  At the 6.5 mile mark we begin to see pine trees and by mile 8 are squarely in a Sierra Nevada alpine forest setting.  Beware of the heat during the summer months which averages 92 (June), 98 (July) and 96 (August). 

     Traffic and Roadway report:  The roadway surface is good throughout this ride and the traffic is very light.