Toughest Climbs on a Bicycle From Around the World

Climbing a hill on a bike is pure physical and a mental torture. One of our favourite parts of bicycle racing is watching the pros battle it out up really brutal climbs. After careful research, we have now selected some of the very hardest ascents around the world, so we scoured the globe to find the hardest and most epic climbs you can ride on two wheels. Plan a trip to one of these cycling hotspots and feel like a pro!

Toughest Climbs on a Bicycle From Around the World

This list is about them. After 7 years online, our readers voted the toughest climbs by bicycle in the world. 

Mount Washington Auto Road
Where: USA
Length: 7.6 mi (12.2 km)
Vertical gain: 1.408m (4,618ft)
Average gradient: 12%
Maximum gradient: 22%
Hazards: Wind, cold


Alto de Letras
Where: Colombia
Length: 78.9km (49 mi)
Vertical gain: 3.220m (10,564ft)
Maximum gradient: 11%
Average gradient: 4%
Hazards: Possibly the longest climb in the world. Tops out at 3.679m (12,070ft)


Hardknott Pass
Where: United Kingdom
Length: 2km (1,2 mi) from Brotherilkled
Maximum gradient: 33%
Average gradient: 15%
Vertical gain: 299m (980ft)
Hazards: Wind, rain, stray sheep and switchbacks. In the winter months as ice makes the bends treacherous.


Passo dello Stelvio
Where: Italy
Length: From Prato, 24.3 km (15 mi)
Maximum gradient: 14%
Average gradient: 7.4%
Elevation gain: 1.808m (5,931ft)
Hazards: Psychological torture with 48 hairpin bends. It is arguably the most mythical of the Giro's major climbs.


Dante’s view
Where: USA
Length: 64.8km (40,2 mi)
Maximum gradient: 13%
Average gradient: 4%
Vertical gain: 1.785m (5,856ft)
Hazards: Heat exhaustion and death


Khardung La
Where: India
Length: 39km (24,2 mi)
Average gradient: 5%
Vertical gain: 1.859m (6,099ft)
Hazards: Altitude sickness (topping out at 5.359m-17,582ft above the sea level) and army truck drivers


Mont Ventoux
Where: France
Length: From Bédoin, 21.4km (13,2 mi)
Maximum gradient: 11%
Average gradient: 7.6%
Vertical gain: 1.611m (5,285ft)
Hazards: At its peak wind speeds as high as 320 km/h (200 mph) have been recorded. Heat, duration


Paso de Los Libertadores
Where: Chile/Argentina
Length: 25km (15,5 mi)
Maximum gradient: 14%
Vertical gain: 1.600m (5,249ft)
Hazards: Altitude, trucks, cold



Strada Berbenno di Valtellina-Caldenno
Where: Italy
Length: 13.5km (8.3 mi)
Maximum gradient: 40%
Average gradient: 10.53%
Vertical: 1.422 m (4,665 ft)
Hazards: Cold and 40 hairpin turns.


Mauna Kea
Where: USA
Length: 19.3km (11,9mi)
Maximum gradient: 17%
Vertical gain: 2.146m (7,040ft)
Average gradient: 11%
Hazards: 4.207m (13,803ft) at the summit


Alto de l’Angliru 

Alto de l’Angliru
Where: Spain
Length: 12.2km (7,5 mi)
Maximum gradient: 23.6%
Average gradient: 10.2%
Vertical: 1.266 m (4,154 ft)
Hazards: Even some professional cyclists have refused to climb it


Muro di Sormano
Where: Italy
Length: 2km (1,2 mi)
Maximum gradient: 25%
Average gradient: 17%
Vertical: 1.266 m (4,154 ft)
Pic: Carlo Pagani