New Hampshire and Maine Mountain Climbs
Mount Washington, Gorham, NH
Mt. Washington is the biggest climb in the Northeast. The auto road is mostly paved and rises more than 4720 feet in over 7.5 miles, almost a 12 percent average grade. There is also a 22 percent grade section when you near the top!
The climb is truly rising in a monotonical way, with hardly any flat or downhill parts on the way up to catch your breath. There are some extended sections that have well-groomed gravel surfaces that were no problem for my 23-mm tires.
Only two times each year (four times if you include practice rides), bikes are allowed on this private auto road, and that’s only for the Newton Revenge Race (in July) and for the Mt Washington Bicycle Hill Climb (in August). You need to take the provided auto transportation downhill. At the top, the weather can get downright nasty, even in mid-summer.
I remember that one year, it was in the mid-60s at the base, and 38 and extremely windy when we neared the top, and it even snowed at night! There also were years that the race was entirely canceled which also happened to the Six Gaps Hill Climb in Vermont several times.
For some extra vertical (probably the most vertical that’s achievable east of the Mississippi), start out in the town of Gorham. Doing so will add some 800 feet of extra vertical which makes for some monotonic 5495-foot gain. That’s over one mile straight up!