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Skyline Climber (AR) - Friday Option

  • 04/05/2024
  • 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
  • Eastham Park, Luray Ave, Front Royal, VA 22630


Registration is closed

This is being offered on Friday and on Saturday for those who can attend one or the other. More can come on a Saturday but Friday will have less traffic in the National Park.

Grab your climbing gear! The Skyline Climber Adventure Ride starts in Front Royal at the northern terminus of Skyline Drive and climbs up about 3000 feet to Hogback Peak with multiple vistas along the way for catching your breath and putting out the fire in your legs. 

It starts at Eastham Park on the Shenandoah River and soon enters the Shenandoah National Park. From the park entrance you undertake the 34th most difficult climb in Virginia, according to PJAMM Cycling. A 20.4 mile long section with an average gradient of 2.6%, a total elevation gain of 3,852' and a FIETS score of 2.2. PJAMM gives this climb a difficulty rating of 2 out of 5 mountains (moderate).

The climb is actually 4 climbs, separated by some downhills (that make the total elevation gain on the day 5,200').

Climb 1 is Dickey Hill. Goes form the Shenandoah Nat'l Park Entrance to near the top of Dickey Hill. A hill sounds like a nice way to start, but this is no ordinary hill. It is the toughest climb of the day; rated as a Category 1 climb, it is 6.1 miles / 5% average / 10.6% max grade for 1633 feet of elevation gain.

Climb 2 is Here's Johnny! After the hill, a mountain sounds tough but Carson Mountain is a late night joke of a mountain. A simple Category 3, 2.4 miles at 4.7% for 651' of gain, and the max grade of the day at 12%.

Climb 3 is the Rapper's Delight. Straight Outta Compton Gap to the North and South Marshall Mountains (will the real Marshall Mountain please stand up?). Rated as a Category 3 for its 740' feet of climbing at 4% for 3.5 miles.

Climb 4 is the Pig Pen. Little Hogback and Hogback peaks for 2.9 miles at 4.8% and 810' rate this as a Cat 3 as well.

Then we turn around for the quick return to Eastham Park, but before we hit Eastham.

Climb 5 is I thought we were on the way down!. Back up to the Gap between the Marshall Mountains, a Cat 4 climb 2.2 miles @ 4.2% and 510' of elevation.

Climb 6 is the Speedbump. After speeding 1400' down the mountains for 8 miles we've got Dickey Hill to help slow us down and warm us back up. 1.7 miles at 4.3% / 440' make this last one another Cat 4. 

Rest Stops: There are a number of lookouts along the way to stop and rest, however there are no shops or water. We will plan to stage a cooler (and maybe a vehicle) with drinks/snacks/supplies at the Compton Gap Parking Lot at mile 11.9 of the ride. 

This route is mostly in Shenandoah National Park. Entrance fee per bicycle is $15.00 or FREE for veterans.

RideWithGPS Route is here. 

This ride takes a little bit of logistics (carpooling, staging, motelling/camping?) so register early to let the Ride Leader know you plan to attend. Ride Leader is John Tyrrell . Date of the event may be adjusted as weather forecasts roll-in. 

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Posted by JCT. Requested by Khalil K. Originally created by Chris Higgins in 2022.

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