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


  • Distance:                                          15.7 miles

  • Beginning elevation:                         2,590'

  • Ending elevation:                             7,576'

  • Average Grade:                                6.4%

  • Fiets Index:                                       10.53
  • Location:  Climb begins at the intersection of Highway 395 and Nine Mile Canyon Road,  19 miles north of Kernville, 25 miles northwest of Ridgecrest, CA and 158 miles northeast of LAX  ( 35.84214, -117.87575 latitude/longitude).  

Photos in order from bottom to top of climb. Thanks to Ron Hawks for his photo contributions to this page. 


 Note:  Click on “View full route" (top left) which opens the Nine Mile Canyon 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.

Hover cursor over segment slices (left) for exact  grade of a particular segment. Map route (bottom) colors correlate with elevation legend colors.

Climbing and Cycling the Sierras

Nine Mile Canyon Road, CA

Start(click and drag map; double click to move forward)

Ride Description

The Nine Mile Canyon Road climb begins a bit west of Death Valley, and the temperatures during the summer can be stifling.  The average high temperature during July and August exceeds 100 degrees.  The scenery through the first 10 miles is high desert, stark and barren.   Miles 2-4 are 8.1%, mile 5 averages 8.9% while miles 8.2-9.2 spike to 10% average (very tough in 100 degree weather).  During the summer months, and even in cooler weather, this is a very challenging climb.

Traffic and Roadway report:  The roadway surface is good throughout the ride with two lanes divided by a center line for the first 10 miles.  There is minimal traffic along this route and the roadway has a safe feel to it.