Bicycling Magazine Vail, CO: Battle Mountain and Tennessee Pass 

These two climbs along U.S. Highway 24 are tough but doable, and most definitely enjoyable. Stop along the way and gawk at the mind-blowing views.


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Author: melaniestacy
Date: 9 Sep 2007 8:14:37 AM
Source: AllSport GPS on my phone
Activity: Bicycling
State: Colorado (CO)
Distance: 54.87 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 5246 ft
Total Loss: 5250 ft
Net Change: -3 ft
Difficulty: 7 / 10
Tags: Colorado, Red Cliff, Vail
Rating:   1 rating(s) Rate it

Ride this route in the fall and you’ll roll through you’ll roll through miles of golden trees lining the gorge to your right. The first climb up Battle Mountain is about 4 miles long and tops out at around 9200 feet. On the descent, you’ll cross the Eagle River and continue past Red Cliff and Camp Hale, but all you’ll really notice are the open fields and mountain peaks poking up in the distance.

The climb up Tennessee Pass is five miles, taking you to about 10,300 feet, but like Battle Mountain, it’s a steady grade and not too steep. Just before the summit, there is a little house on your right with a sign that reads “Water for cyclists.” Fill up from the Gatorade jug.

On top of Tennessee Pass, you can turn around and head home, or keep going towards Leadville for a more epic ride. The way back is the real treat, with views of the gorges zooming by in a hurry. Look for the waterfall to your left as you begin the return descent of Battle Mountain. Use caution descending: the shoulder is narrow and there may be rocks in the road. Also, be sure to bring warm clothes for the descent; it’s not a bad idea to ride late morning and leave time for the sun to melt any high-altitude road-side snow.

-Mapped by Melanie Wong

Position Format: Datum:
Tracks

Battle Mountain

Distance: 54.87 mi Points: 947
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
# Distance Instruction Distance to next
1 0.23 mi At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit onto Avon Rd Then go 0.11 mi
2 0.34 mi At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on Avon Rd Then go 0.22 mi
3 0.57 mi At the traffic circle, take the 3rd exit onto CO-6/US-6 Then go 1.07 mi
4 1.64 mi At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit and stay on CO-6/US-6 Then go 3.56 mi
5 5.19 mi Continue on US-24 Then go 44.57 mi
6 49.76 mi Continue on CO-6/US-6 Then go 0.30 mi
7 50.06 mi Turn left to stay on CO-6/US-6 Then go 0.01 mi
8 50.06 mi Turn right to stay on CO-6/US-6 Then go 3.23 mi
9 53.29 mi At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on CO-6/US-6 Then go 1.06 mi
10 54.35 mi At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto Avon Rd Then go 0.21 mi
11 54.56 mi At the traffic circle, take the 2nd exit and stay on Avon Rd Then go 0.07 mi
12 54.63 mi At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto E Beaver Creek Blvd

Points of Interest

Shop and Hop Gas Station

Location: 39.583829, -106.427779
Last chance to grab food, drinks and bathroom stops for awhile.

Red Cliff Bridge

Location: 39.507832, -106.376731
This is a cool-looking Green Bridge. Take the road to the left to go into the town of Red Cliff. There are some neat little restaurants and a bar called Mango's down there.

Water for Cyclists

Location: 39.436922, -106.326971
Look for the orange Gatorade cooler on the left side of the road.

View

Location: 39.549456, -106.399498
The views up Battle Mountain.

Summit

Location: 39.520893, -106.388984
Summitting Battle Mountain.

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