Onion Valley Road is a very steep road located in Inyo County, in California, USA. The road heads west from the town of Independence, at an elevation of 1.200m (3,937ft) above the sea level. It’s 13 miles long ending at 2.805m (9,202ft) asl. This climb averages nearly 8% - it is a very challenging climb.
Located in the Eastern Sierra Mountains, the road is said to be the hardest climb in California. It’s a very tough climb. The surface of the road is asphalted. There are lots of switchbacks (9), and a dramatic section of them about halfway up the climb is the highlight, as it offers huge exposure and views over the Owens Valley. Historically, there has been a high level of bear activity in the Onion Valley area.
It’s one of the highest roads of California. The road is usually open from May to November, depending on snow conditions. Trailers are not recommended; tent trailers are permissible. The grade ramps up as you ascend, with the last ten miles averaging over 8 percent. Starting from the little town of Independence on US 395 in the middle of Owens Valley, the ascent is 21 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.605 meters. The average percentage is 7.64 %.
Pic: Sean No