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I am trying to find the steepest hill and toughest climb in the Seattle/King County area. The two that I find are the steepest are the top of Dravus, going up into Magnolia from Interbay, and up 4th Ave N in Queen Anne.

As for climbs, the only long climbs I can think of are Ames Lake near Carnation.

Any other recommendations.

Thanks.
 

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Steep climbs

Take a look at this link: http://www.meinnovations.com/Rides.htm it has Length, Elevation and Grade. I know there are a ton of streets in Seattle that are 18% and above, but rarely do they go for more than a block or two. Here is a link to the 20 steepest streets in Seattle: http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/transportation/steepest.htm For some reason, Dravus is not on there even though I know it is 18%, must mean there are a lot more streets that are 18%! Yikes.
 

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Don't know the name of the road, but it's at the southern end of South Center, passes a Claim Jumper, and heads west up a steep-ass hill. It's been a few years, but I'm pretty sure the sign warns above 20%.
 

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lemonlime said:
Don't know the name of the road, but it's at the southern end of South Center, passes a Claim Jumper, and heads west up a steep-ass hill. It's been a few years, but I'm pretty sure the sign warns above 20%.
I believe that is 182nd, at least at the bottom of the hill. Yes this is a brute. I would recommend only riding it in the early morning on a weekend as the road is heavily used by people going up the hill to Des Moines and to the Airport.
 

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Vashon

Man Sunrise lodge is only 3%! Sure felt steeper than that when I suffered up it this past summer. I made the mistake of riding with a guy that is a former Cat 1 rider. Needless to say, he dropped me after about three miles.

Anyway there are three very steep hills over on Vashon Island on a road called Burma road. Don't do it when it is wet, because it will live up to the road it was named after. Basically when you get off the ferry from west Seattle, climb the hill on the main road, go past the blinking light and make a right onto Burma road. It is a twisting hilly road that in the summer has views of both mountains and sound. Just find a map of Vashon, as long as you stay off the highway, you can't go wrong.

The hills are steepest in reverse (that is heading back towards the ferry). I do a loop through town and come back, so I can do Burma twice. Most people have to walk it the first few times- it is steeper than the Interlake Park road, and there are three hills are like that. While the hills are relatively short- do thirty miles on Vashon and your legs will burn. On the Island you are either climbing or going down- no flat and very few cars (even on weekends). It is amazing how a ferry ride keeps the city away.............MTT
 

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There are some STEEP climbs on the Summits of Bothell (S.O.B- and it truly is) ride that happens each year at the end of August. I'm too lazy to consult a map to tell you exactly where it is, but the first hill, about 2 miles into the ride, is a killer, > 18%. This ride also includes 3 16% grades and 2 14% in 35 miles. It's a fun ride.

If you're interested, let me know and I'll check the map to tell you where these climbs are. The first is close to the UW Bothell campus, where the ride begins.
 

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I'd love a map of it and could host it on my web server. I was looking for it but Bothell took the PDF off their web server. I live on Bothell so it's convenient. =) There are a number of steep hills here, but none of them are very long.
 

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MTT said:
Man Sunrise lodge is only 3%! Sure felt steeper than that when I suffered up it this past summer. I made the mistake of riding with a guy that is a former Cat 1 rider. Needless to say, he dropped me after about three miles.

Anyway there are three very steep hills over on Vashon Island on a road called Burma road. Don't do it when it is wet, because it will live up to the road it was named after. Basically when you get off the ferry from west Seattle, climb the hill on the main road, go past the blinking light and make a right onto Burma road. It is a twisting hilly road that in the summer has views of both mountains and sound. Just find a map of Vashon, as long as you stay off the highway, you can't go wrong.

The hills are steepest in reverse (that is heading back towards the ferry). I do a loop through town and come back, so I can do Burma twice. Most people have to walk it the first few times- it is steeper than the Interlake Park road, and there are three hills are like that. While the hills are relatively short- do thirty miles on Vashon and your legs will burn. On the Island you are either climbing or going down- no flat and very few cars (even on weekends). It is amazing how a ferry ride keeps the city away.............MTT
Sunrise is actually steeper than 3%. 3% is measured from the entrance to the Lodge, which includes quite a bit that is not real climbing.

The real sunrise climb starts right after you cross the white river bridge (where the turnoff is for the white river campground road) and ends at the hairpin at the Sunrise lookout. I have measured the section from the bridge to the lodge which includes only 300 more feet of climbing over 2 miles and it is 4.67%. The section from the bridge to the lookout is at least 6%, and probably in the mid 6% range:)
 

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Not much to choose from

I lived in Seattle for two years and didn't find any real climbs. All the climbs are short and steep. That zoo climb is straight up but over in like 10 minutes. Most locals seems to do 2-3 laps of it to make it an actual climbing workout. Kinda sad. And good luck finding a climb that doesn't include a crappy bike lane and lots of stop lights. Can you tell I'm bitter?

The best climb I found up there was Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island. I realize that's pretty far from Seattle, but at least their is some respectable elevation gain.

I resorted to fixed gear riding around Mercer Island for most of my rides, just to make it interesting. But, again, several laps are required to make it worth while. Very sad.

Bitterness!
 

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DASS said:
I lived in Seattle for two years and didn't find any real climbs. All the climbs are short and steep. That zoo climb is straight up but over in like 10 minutes. Most locals seems to do 2-3 laps of it to make it an actual climbing workout.
You didn't go all the way to the top, or did a different hill. It's short but not that short. 1.5 hour ride there from my house makes for a decent warmup.
 

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ames lake

I ride alot with a friend out of Ames Lake, road and mountain. The two hardest hills (we call them efforts) I can think of in that next of the woods is Tolt (Tolt Hill Road I think) and Union Hill (Union Hill Road) though not overly long or tough I always hate the road from 202 up ames Lake Road as its always the ***** at the end if we take 202 and not N Snoqualmie.

If you're looking for hills isn't there a way almost to the summit of the pass staying off 90?
 

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Yes there is part of the old highway left. I know how to get there from landmarks, but I don't know the name of the roads. Google Maps is a good resource to help find it.

In spite of what the guy said about the Seattle area being bad for climbs, I think he is mistaken, but entitled to his opinion. I wonder what he would think of the Belgium "climbs." they use in the classics. I think the Seattle area could have a killer classic race using local climbs and there are a couple very mean short but steep cobled climbs in Old Tacoma. Sure California has much better climbs overall, but Hurricane Ridge, Mt. Constitution, Sunrise from the White River Campground Road to the lookout are all excellent climbs. Chinook/Cayuse from the south side ridden as one climb is very good as well. Now if only some of those forest service roads were paved, now we would be talking
 
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