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Top Further Afield Climbs Vol.2

Northern California is not exactly bereft of great road climbs and we’ve conjured up a bevy of great further-afield climbs that are well worth the trip. Let us know which of these you’ve tackled and which you hope to take on in the future!

Mattole Road, Petrolia - 7.1 Miles, 6.2% Average Gradient - 8/10 Toughness

Definitely a hidden gem - Mattole Road is way up in the Redwoods, near the Avenue of the Giants. Climbing from Honeydew Bridge, the road quickly zig zags out of the misty valley and up into the trees. Kudos to anyone who makes the trek to take on this great climb. You will not be disappointed. 

Check out the segment on Strava HERE 

Fairfax - Bolinas Road, Bolinas - 4 Miles, 7.1% - 8/10 Toughness

This is possibly the most twisting road on the list and also the most unrelenting. The gradient does not really let up the whole way. The narrow, tree-covered road is very reminiscent of climbs used in the Tour and the Giro and on a quiet day it can be serene and beautiful. If you continue up Ridgecrest Blvd beyond the top of the climb, you will see great sweeping views of the ocean and Bolinas, where you started, below. This is the first of two climbs on this list - 240 miles apart - that Peter Stetina holds the KoM for. 

Check out the segment on Strava HERE

Wards Ferry North, Sonora - 2.75 Miles, 7.8% - 9/10 Toughness

Another great climb on a quiet road, Wards Ferry North packs a steep punch with great valley views. This climb is very consistent in gradient, especially over the first half, with plenty of sections above 12% in the corners. A loop of this area from Sonora or Jamestown makes for a great winter adventure. 

Check out the segment on Strava HERE

Rhyolite Lane, Yuba Pass - 2.5 Miles, 7% - 6/10 Toughness

For a more alpine feel, head to Yuba Pass for this medium-length climb with great views down the Yuba Canyon. At the top of the climb, Fuller Lake makes for a great picnic spot before continuing north into the wilderness. Although paved, this climb can be incorporated into a rugged gravel loop up towards Grouse Ridge or Bowman Lake. 

Check out the segment on Strava HERE

Stateline Fire Lookout, Kings Beach - 1.5 Miles, 7.2% 5/10 Toughness

What this climb lacks in length it makes up for in steepness. An early section above 15% in gradient flattens to the turn before another steep ramp up to the lookout. Here, you can enjoy great views of Lake Tahoe as well and some bemused looks from hikers and tourists. 

Check out the segment on Strava HERE


- Josh Mott