Boone Climbs

Snake Mountain.

Snake Mountain

NCMap-doton-BooneThis section encompasses climbs around the greater Boone area. This includes Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, Jefferson, Linville, Todd, and many of the surrounding areas.

The table below has a description of the climb, Strava segment links, and website content links.

Disclaimer: Climb AT YOUR OWN RISK! Many of these will be difficult, strenuous, with dangerous descents. Do your own research and make sure you are prepared for the terrain. You are responsible for yourself!

Climb Description Links
Beaver Dam Rd This is a climb of over 5-miles, but it starts out very mild. A little more than midway through the climb, it gets a little steeper, and then a lot steeper at the very end with some sections above 10% grade. Strava, Boone Gran Fondo
Beech Mountain There are two main climbs, Beech Mountain Road and Beech Mountain Parkway that ride up opposite sides of the mountain into Beech Mountain Community. The Parkway climb is the tougher of the two and is the historic climb from the Tour Dupont. It is 5-miles in length and has grades above 10%. Beech Mountain Road is just shy of 5-miles and an easier climb, where the maximum grade is 8% and there are sections of 4-5%. Strava (Parkway), Strava (Road), Boone Gran Fondo
Buffalo Hump This is a steep road with an elevation profile similar to Snake Mountain, just not quite as tough. It starts off easy and gradually gets more difficult until it hits 13-14% Strava, Blue Ridge Brutal
Dewitt Barnett Rd This 1+ mile climb begins near Valle Crucis toward Boone. It starts out with a mild grade, and then has a steep ramp with a double digit grade that continues for quite some time. Even though it is short, this is a very challenging climb because of the steepness that seems to go on for a long while. Strava, Boone Gran Fondo

George’s Gap

This is a moderate climb that is covered by trees. It has grades that range from 5-10%, and a couple of switchbacks. Strava, Blood Sweat & Gears
Grandfather Mountain One of the toughest climbs imaginable, only open once a year as part of Bridge to Bridge. It is only two-miles, but extremely steep. The last 200 feet is a ramp with grades above 20%.

Strava, Bridge to Bridge

Hawksnest Another very steep climb that begins with Seven Devils. If you continue through some neighborhood roads, you’ll be climbing out of the saddle the entire time. Strava, Seven Devils + Hawksnest
Highway 181 N A very long climb of over 10 miles. Most of it is consistently at 8% until it levels off a bit near the top. The climb is mostly a highway with little scenery, which adds to the difficulty. Strava, Bridge to Bridge
Highway 221 S This highway follows the route of the Blue Ridge Parkway south from Blowing Rock and rides by Grandfather Mountain. It is a long stretch of road, about 12-miles that has a lot of up and down, but in the process gains about 700-800 elevation. Most of the climbs are moderate and there are a couple of scenic vistas. It’s a pleasant road to ride. Strava, Boone Gran Fondo
Linn Cove Viaduct A climb on the Blue Ridge Parkway that reaches the historic man-made suspension bridge. It is an engineering marvel, and a pretty tough climb for the Parkway. Strava, Bridge to Bridge, Linn Cove Viaduct
Mast Gap Short and somewhat steep. This little bump comes right at the end of the BSG ride, just when you think you’re done and ready to eat. Strava, Blood Sweat & Gears, Boone Gran Fondo
Mount Jefferson A scenic climb up this mountain that is in between Jefferson and West Jefferson. Much of it is covered in clouds, but it yields some remarkable lookouts near the top. It is a tough climb, ranging from 7-11% grades. Strava, Blue Ridge Brutal
Schull’s Mill Road A pleasant, moderate climb that takes you from Highway 105 to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is one of my favorite climbs because of the scenery. Most of it is covered in foliage with a few clearings. It ranges from 4-8% with a few false flats. Strava, Blood Sweat & Gears, Bridge to Bridge, Boone Gran Fondo
Seven Devils A short and steep climb from Highway 105 not far from Banner Elk to the residential town of Seven Devils. There are a couple switchbacks, and most of the climb is above 8% grade. Strava, Seven Devils + Hawksnest
Snake Mountain This climb has an easy beginning and one of the toughest endings in the area. It has a couple steep section, one of which is called "The Wall" because it is straight and steep. The steepest section is a point of debate, but from my readings it was around 16%. Strava, Blood Sweat & Gears
Todd Railroad Grade A moderate climb that follows the old Todd railroad route. There are a couple short climbs on 194, and the climb continues if you turn onto 3-Top Rd. These are mostly in the 6-8% grade range. Lower Section Strava, Upper Section Strava, Blue Ridge Brutal
White Oak Rd This is a short mile+ climb that ends near Highway 105 in Boone. You gain over 500 feet in the mile, and the grade is mostly high, above 10%. This is a challenging climb and can be combined with Dewitt from Valle Crucis for some painful riding. Strava, Boone Gran Fondo
Winkler / Russ Cornett Rd This climb leaves from near downtown Boone by Watauga High School. There is a lot of up and down with mild and difficult sections, plus a couple flats. The toughest areas are in the 8-9% range, and there is a lot of climbing at 3-4%. Overall you gain 600+ feet of elevation. Strava, Boone Gran Fondo

Map images: Seth Anthony / CC-BY-SA-3.0


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