Elevation Gain: 2917′
Catchphrase: “Pointless Sufferfest”
This is Hood River’s hardest hillclimb. It winds up a curvy forest road to 3250′ Kingsley Reservoir, hangout of ATV riders and shuttle-crazy mountain bikers. Do not forget your granny gear, because you’ll want it.
It’s worth taking some sort of clinometer with you, so you can put numbers to this horror. It starts easy enough, with some 6-7% climbs interspersed with rolling flats. And then the misery begins, with the clino never dropping below 10% for a good long while. A couple of corners will give you the dizzying reading of 18-20% grade. It’s relentless. It hurts. It’s fun.
Start somewhere in Hood River. Climb up 13th Street, and take a right on Belmont. Follow Belmont to Country Club Road, and take a left. When Country Club T-ends, take a right. Follow Country Club left, right, and left again past the Hood River Golf Course and Country Club. At the Oak Grove stop sign, curve right following the “Kingsley Resevoir” sign. At the next V in the road, go left, following Kingsley Road. Until this point, the climb is up a rolling double-lane lovely paved road.
From here on, it’s a beaten-up forest road of potholes and blacktop. It’s actually a pretty nice road, but you won’t notice due to the grade.
Ride up until the pavement ends at the Kingsley parking lot. Ride back down, or better yet, drive a mountain biker’s pickup down, because the descent is too steep to be fun.
Enjoy. It’s actually quite rewarding.