Top (hard) bike climbs in Arizona

By August 18, 2015Bike

Ride Arizona 3

Arizona is an awesome place for road and mountain biking for both the professional and the amateur. The possible rides are endless! With the help of Arizona Bike Rides, we’ve assembled the the top hard bike climbs in Arizona. Try one out if you dare!


1. Mt. Lemmon Road (Tucson)

Mt Lemmon 2 crop

Difficulty: Hard
Average time: 4:30:00
Ride Mileage: 41 to 60 miles
Climbing Elevation: 6,879 ft
Type of ride: Climb
Road/Mountain: Road

Mt LemmonCycling up the Mt Lemmon Hwy in Tucson, Arizona is an epic ride and will rival some of the best climbs across the country. You start off at about 2,557 ft surrounded by saguaro cactus and mesquite trees and climb as high as 8,198 ft to pine tree vegetation and cool air.

The road is in great shape with a bike lane for most of the ride. On the way down there is no need for a bike lane because you will be keeping up with traffic. If you love to climb and descend this is the ride for you!

See the map here.


2. Mt. Graham Hill Climb (Safford)

Photo by: Alan Stark / flickr

Photo by: Alan Stark / flickr

Difficulty: Hard
Average time: 2:30:00
Ride mileage: 21 to 40 miles
Climbing Elevation: 6,181
Type of ride: Climb
Road/Mountain: Road

Photo by: Aengus Anderson / flickr.com

Photo by: Aengus Anderson / flickr.com

The Mt Graham hill climb is one of the top 15 toughest climbs in the US according to the book A Guide To Cycling Climbing & The Most Difficult Climbs in the U.S. You climb 5,981 feet in 20 miles. Ouch!

Mount Graham is about an hour east of Tucson on I-10 just south of Safford, Arizona.

See the map here.


3. Kitt Peak (Tuscon)

Difficulty: Hard
Average time: 1:20:00
Ride mileage: 21 to 40 miles
Climbing elevation: 4,163 ft
Type of ride: Climb
Road/Mountain: Road

Kitt peakKitt Peak is home to one of the world’s largest observatories. The 12-mile Kitt Peak bike climb is an out and back for a total of 24 miles.

Kit Peak is west of Tucson, Arizona and will challenge riders of all levels.

The 360 degree views at the top of this sacred Native American mountain are well worth the climb.

See the map here.

For more awesome rides in Arizona, visit ArizonaBikeRides.com!


We can’t wait to try these Arizona rides! When you’re tackling these intense climbs, make sure you have your Swiftwick socks for ultimate comfort. Shop local and find a Swiftwick dealer near you in Arizona!

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