Baxter Grade, Auburn - 1.4 miles, 7% Average
Difficulty rating - 3/10
A local favorite; Baxter Grade is a staple for any rider in the Auburn area. The small road begins in a nondescript fashion after you turn off Wise Road.
It’s a couple of hundred yards before the Strava segment begins, along with the pain. The road clings to the hillside as it snakes up towards the summit.
This is a great climb to repeat as the descent is also one of the best in the area with well-cambered turns arcing through the treeline.
Enjoy sprawling views at the top towards the Sutter Buttes 50 miles away.
Glenview, Auburn - 0.6 miles, 9% Average
Difficulty rating - 4/10
Avoid the busy traffic of Indian Hill Road and head up the hidden gem that is Glenview. Take the turn off Newcastle Road and prepare yourself for some steep grades.
A 90° left-hand turn takes you to the bottom of the climb and from here it’s going to be a brief trip to a world pain.
Glenview is front-loaded in terms of effort with the road maxing out at around 16% for the first 200 yards. You are through the worst of it once you clear the tree line and the road straightens out before spitting you out onto Indian Hill Road towards Auburn.
Luneman Rd, Rescue - 1.5 miles, 8% Average
Difficulty rating - 5/10
Hidden away off Deer Valley Road is one of the fastest descents and steepest climbs in the area. Heading onto Jurgens Road you will quickly shoot down a fast and slightly dangerous descent, (take care crossing the one-lane bridge) before the road briefly turns to gravel.
After 50 yards you will come to a stream crossing. Depending on what time of the year it is this can be a heart-pounding waist-deep slog through quite fast flowing water (not recommended) or an ankle-deep stroll that confident cyclists could probably ride through.
After you’ve dried your feet the fun really starts. This climb starts off steep out of the gate before relinquishing near the top. A particularly aggressively graded switchback marks the middle point of the climb.
From here the road continues to rise - albeit at a more pleasant pitch - all the to Lotus Road, which, if you on the hunt for adventure, can lead you to our next climb...
Bayne Road, Coloma - 1.4 miles, 13% Average
Difficulty rating - 7/10
One of the toughest climbs in the area - which aptly draws comparisons with Iowa Hill near Colfax - Bayne Road is a wall. The tranquil beginnings of the climb soon give way to an unrelentingly brutal pitch of 18 to 20%.
There is no hiding on Bayne as the road never drops below 10%. The only relief is the fabulous view of the South Fork of the American rivers flowing below.
The road eventually curves away from the valley side and into a thick forest. At this point, the end is near. Unfortunately, if you are heading this way, only climbs will meet you as Georgetown or Placerville await.
- Josh Mott
Still curious about climbing challenges in the area? Check out our 5 favorite local climbs list HERE.