This climb is a rarity for Top 100 U.S. Climbs as it travels from one town (La Luz, population 1,697 in 2010)) and ends in another town/village (Cloudcroft, population 697 in 2013) 14.2 miles and 3,943' up the mountain. Th climb enters Lincoln National Forest at mile 1 and stays there for the remainder of the climb.
An excellent summary of this climb is found at Day 15 of Steve Garufi's Bike Across America 2011 which includes photos, a climb summary and this very important warning: "And then I reached the tunnel. Let me say up front: This is a tunnel for cyclists to be prepared for! I strongly recommend bicycle lights while in the tunnel, especially if you don't have the protection of a SAG wagon or friendly vehicle following directly behind you. In retrospect, I didn't have lights. The length of the tunnel was about 0.2 miles, and I rode fast enough that I didn't have an encounter of a car trying to pass me. But if traffic is heavy, this would be a dangerous section for cyclists." We tracked the tunnel via satellite map image to miles 5.3 to 5.41 of the climb at 5.7% over that stretch so we are certain it felt like .2 miles to Steve as he hussled through that tunnel (those of you that have ridden Mt. Baldy know to fear the tunnel). Steve and his crew created a Facebook page for this climb - Cyclists who've biked from Alamogordo.
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 82 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 (below) for exact grade of a particular segment. Map route (bottom) colors correlate with elevation legend colors.