Sherman Pass is a challenging climb in a remote region of the southern Sierra Nevada mountain range in the Sequoia National Forest. As can be seen from the elevation profile below, unlike the Central Sierra climbs (Owens Valley), the strong pitches are more evenly distributed throughout the ride (e.g., the violet [8-12%] segments appear intermittently from beginning to end). The views throughout the ride are initially of distant mountainous terrain as we are surrounded by an arid landscape which gives way to a more alpine setting as we reach the 9-10 miles mark. Sherman Pass has been victim to forest fires that have destroyed much of the forest we would otherwise enjoy through the climb, yet this is a wonderful and challenging ride that is a must on any California climbing bucket list. Beware that the heat during the summer can be stifling (the temperatures when we first climbed Sherman in August, 2011 hit 106 at the bottom of the climb).
Traffic and Roadway report: The roadway surface is rough, but major potholes and cracks had been patched within a week of our climb in August, 2014. Descend with caution as there is gravel/dirt/sand in locations which create a real hazard for the unwary. The road is narrow with no shoulder, bike lane or center line, although the very few vehicles you will encounter along the way generally travel at low speed.
Finish + Link to Google Streetview of finish
Hover cursor over segment slices, below, for exact grade of a particular segment. Map route (bottom) colors correlate with elevation legend colors.
Photos are in order from top of climb to bottom. Thanks much to PJAMM collaborator cyclist and author Ron Hawks for his photo contributions to this page.
Start(click and drag map; double click to move forward)
Note: Click on “View full route" (top left) which opens the Sherman Pass 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.
Background photo - U.S. #5 Pikes Peak CO.