Folsom Bike's Top Outlying Climbs

The summer is finally here and that means it’s time to set out on your climbing adventures and find some new roads. Our top local climbs have conquered in both our Volume 1 and Volume 2 editions and now it is time to venture further afield for some classic climbs and lesser known hidden gems. 

Starkes Grade, Sly Park - 6.75 miles, 4% 

Difficulty rating - 7/10


A well known gander through the winding wooden roads to Sly Park - this is a great test of leg and mental strength. After a brief spell through an open meadow quickly fades into a deep forest which does not let up all the way to the top of the climbs. 


 

This peaceful road is a great option for 30 minute efforts and also makes for a great descent. 

Morgan Territory Road, Clayton - 4.6 miles, 5%

Difficulty rating - 5/10


Overshadowed, both literally and figuratively, by the looming Mount Diablo, Morgan Territory Road is a superb up-and-down jaunt with great views. The climb is punctuated by two steeper sections through lush forest and the descent after you have crested the top is one of the best in the area. 


If you are looking for a big day of climbing then couple this climb with a trip up the famous Mount Diablo. It will certainly be a ride to remember. Note; it’s best to wait for a cool day for this epic. 

Donner Pass Road, Truckee - 3.1 miles, 6%

Difficulty Rating - 6/10


Donner Pass Road is one of the most iconic climbs in all of Northern California and certainly one for your bucket list. Despite being quite short in length, the stunning views and lung-busting altitude make this a climb to remember. 


Topping out at 7,047ft, Donner Pass Road feels significantly tougher than it looks on paper. Check the weather forecast and pencil this one in to your calendar. It will be one of your most memorable rides of the year. 

Big Hill Road, Columbia - 3.2 miles, 7%

Difficulty Rating - 8/10


This one truly is a hidden gem as is much of the riding in the Columbia/Sonora area for us Sacramento folk. The aptly named Big Hill Road is an unrelenting 3.2 mile slog that does not waiver too far from it’s 7% average. 


- Joshua Mott