Cycling and Climbing Utah

 Powder Mountain

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

Ride Description 

Bring your climbing legs for this very challenging climb.  The ride begins with a modest 5.2% average grade for the first two miles, and ends with 4 miles of 12.1% average grade  (mile 3-4 is at 13.8%).   As is dramatically evident from the elevation grid above, the violet  and purple (8-15% colors) are prominent continuously through the final two-thirds of the climb - this is a very unusual elevation profile as we rarely see 4 continuous miles of such steep gradient.  While Powder Mountain does not have the spectacular views as many of the other Top 100’s, is a highly recommended climb due to its extreme challenge and high Fiets Index score.  The start point is only an hour from the Salt Lake City International Airport and can be climbed in the same day as #31 Little Cottonwood Canyon (74 miles south),  #39 Big Cottonwood Canyon 70 miles south, or Guardsman (#14) and Empire Passes (#42) which begin at the same location and are 101  miles south of the beginning of the Powder Mountain climb.

The climb begins at the northern end of Eden, Utah and ends in the middle of Powder Mountain ski/board area, although it is not obvious at the end that you are in a ski zone - the finish during the non-winter seasons is a giant dirt flat spot (parking lot during the winter).  This climb can also be made a bit more difficult by turning right just before the dirt parking lot at mile 6.1 and riding another 1.2 miles, gaining 608’ at 7.8% (Strava Segment named Powder King! ).  We may adjust our Top 100 list to bump Powder Mountain up from its traditional route to the Powder King! route which would jump Powder Mountain from a respectable #23 on the Top 100 List to a tie for #10 with Waopoli in HI.  Powder King Ride With GPS Map.  Photo of beginning of Powder King! bonus segment.  

Roadway-Traffic-Descent Report:  The roadway is very good and there is minimal traffic on this climb.  The descent is one of the fastest you will ever experience.  The author had a close call with high speed front wheel shimmy for the first time ever while descending this mountain - close call.

 Note:  Click on “View full route" (top left) which opens the Powder Mountain 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.

Hover cursor over segment slices (right) for exact grade of a particular segment.

Start(click and drag map; double click to advance

Each elevation segment is 1/4 mile


  • Distance:                                6.1 miles                         

  • Beginning elevation:            5,076'

  • Ending elevation:                 8,245'

  • Elevation gained:                 3,154'

  • Average Grade:                   10.5%

  • Fiets Index:                           10.5
  • Location:  Climb begins at the intersection of Hwy 158 (N. Wolf Creek Road) and Willowbrook Lane, Eden, Utah,(41.32072, -111.82961 latitude/longitude) 21 miles northeast of Ogden, UT and   58 miles north of Salt Lake City International Airport.