Tour Summary

Photo Gallery

5 Days

Elevation Gain
35,000-41,547 feet

2024 Dates


2023: Mon-Fri

2023 Price
Climbing Camp Only: $695.00 includes Full Ride Support, Route Slips, Lunch, SAG

Dinner & Breakfast on your own

Book your own Hotel (see Lodging below)
Cycling Camps
Santa Monica Mtns
Classic Tahoe
Classic California

Trail Run Camps
Trail Run Camps
Santa Monica Mtns

Highlights Article
Toughest CA Climbs
Mount Whitney
Mammoth Lakes
Ancient Bristlecone Pines

Lodging Options
Bishop (Sun, Mon, Tue)
Bishop Creekside Inn
Comfort Inn Bishop
Holiday Inn Express

Lone Pine (Wed, Thr)
Best Western Frontier
Comfort Inn Lone Pine

Inyo National Forest
Bishop Creek Canyon
Nearby Campgrounds

Bishop Dining

Start / Finish
Bishop, CA
Lone Pine, CA
Reno - 4 hr drive

Las Vegas - 5 hr

Burbank, CA - 4.5 hr
LAX, CA - 5+ hrs
Rich, thank you so much for an incredible "cycling escape" this week!! It's been an unforgettable trip and I'll forever be grateful for the role Cycling Escapes played in my dream to knock out the top 10 climbs in California!

I knocked out Palomar and Baldy on the way up and have Sherman Pass and Shirley Meadows on deck tomorrow. That will be all 10 from Summerson's first edition book!!

- George P, San Diego
* 2021

Rich, I enjoyed the trip, accomodations and the stellar support. You and Erica do a great job. The climbing was challenging as I expected. Bruce and I are looking at the Oregon and Idaho trips you run for future tours to attend. You have a great business.
- Mark D, San Diego
* 2021

Rich, Thanks for an excellent week of riding, and thanks for saving my first day with the ride back to the car. I look forward to riding on another of your events soon.
- David T. NY
* 2021

Rich, thanks for a great Camp. As I have come to expect, your trip plan, your routes, and your ride support were the best. Once again you have exceeded my expectations! I have now completed 9 Cycling Escapes trips! See you next year.
- Bruce T, Chicago
* 2017

This was another great week!
- Ann B, Vancouver
* 2017, 2016, 2014

Rich, thanks for your guidance & hard work during this epic climbing camp.
- Duncan, Vancouver
* 2017

Have used Cycling Escapes for 3 camps and have found them always looking to make a better trip than the last one and they have!! Look forward to my next trip to meet great people and fun adventures.
- Bob W, AZ
* 2010, '11, '12

We had an excellent trip. The routes were challenging, flexible and have amazing views. Everyone received lots of personalized attention and accomplished their goals. Highest recommendation possible for the trip, company and guide. The quality could not have been better - well worth the time, effort and every single penny!
- Lynn S, CA
* May 2011

This was my first time with Cycling escapes and it was a blast! I highly reccomend this to anyone that wants to improve thier climbing skills, don't be intimidated you can go at your own pace and choose the amount of climbing for each day. The staff were the best. Excellent tips and suggestions, the ride support was also great! I will def be back.
- P.C., Napa CA
* 2012

Cycling Climbing Camps

Classic Climbs of the California Sierras

5 Days • 285 Miles • 41,547' Elevation Gain • $695.00

You don't have to travel to Italy or France to find big climbs with fantastic scenery! The Southern Sierras tower above the California desert and their craggy peaks hide some of the longest and steepest climbs in North America. On this 5 day Cycling Camp we climb all the classic passes around Bishop, Big Pine, Independence and Lone Pine.

The climbs on this California Cycling Camp range from 8-22 miles with grades averaging 6-8% and sections of 9-17%. Each day we offer up one main climb with an optional second climb if you haven't had enough. Don't let the mileage fool you! These are big climbs.

2023 Route
Avg Grade
Max Grade
Max Elev
Arrive in Bishop, CA
Rock Creek/ Pine Creek (opt)
South Lake / Sabrina Lake
Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest
Horseshoe Meadows / Whitney Portal
Onion Valley Rd
Depart Friday @ Noon

(Scroll Down for Route Profiles and Descriptions)

onion valley This California Cycling Camp includes all our great SAG support during the ride, a lunch stop, route slips and van support if you need it. Our support trailer is fully stocked with snacks and drinks, GU's, Bars, Gels, all brands of Energy Drinks, Fruits, etc. All the same support we offer on our week long Tours.

Check out Toughest Climbs in California
Read about these Classic Climbs at
The Complete Guide to Climbing by Bike
Check out: Santa Monica Mountains Cycling Camp

Choose your own basecamp for the week. Treat yourself to a nice hotel or camp at one of the many surrounding campgrounds. See the hotel and camping links on the sidebar to plan your week. The camp starts in Bishop and ends 59 miles south in Lone Pine. We ride 3 days from Bishop and 2 from Lone Pine. So you can easily stay 3 nights in Bishop and 2 in Lone Pine.

If you are arriving from out of state, we recommend flying into either Reno, Las Vegas or Burbank, renting a car for the week, and driving to Bishop. Reno is a little over 4 hours away and the more scenic drive.

Bishop Climbs

Cycling Camp map 1

Lone Pine Climbs

Cycling Camp map 2

Cycling Camp Day 1 - Rock Creek / Pine Creek

Cycling Camp Day 1

Riding from Bishop, on the first day we climb the highest paved pass in California, Rock Creek Rd. It tops out at Mosquito Flats at 10,250'. You'll probably feel the elevation on this one! If you ride just this climb for the day the elevation gain is 6,700'. Most riders stop right there, but if you throw in the optional 2nd climb, Pine Creek, the total for the day is 9,200'. These are also the first two climbs in the "Everest Challenge" race that was popular for years.

66-81 miles / 6,700-9,200 ft. elevation gain

california cycling camp route 1

Cycling Camp Day 2 - South Lake / Sabrina Lake

Cycling Camp Day 2

Today we ride up to South Lake (7,939') and Sabrina Lake (9,200'). The ride starts just 3 miles west of Bishop and is only 46 miles round trip, but with 6,800' of elevation gain. The views at both lakes are stunning. It's like being in the Alps. Don't forget your camera!

46 miles / 6,800 ft. elevation gain

california cycling camp route 2

Day 3 - White Mountain (Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest)

Cycling Camp Day 3

Day 3 could be considered one of the hardest climbs anywhere. White Mountain has long streches of 8-12% and then hits you with 13% after 18 miles of climbing. This is the only day we ride east of the Sierras. At the summit of White Mountain is the Bristlecone Pine forest, home to the oldest living trees on earth. The first climb gives you 6,300' in elevation gain, but that's earned riding some very steep pitches.

If you need more after summiting White Mountain, add in Death Valley Road, for a total of 8,300'. That's an Epic day.

46-68 miles / 6,300-8,300 ft. elevation gain

california cycling camp route 3

Day 4 - Horsehoe Meadows / Whitney Portal

Cycling Camp Day 4

Today is the biggest day. The Horseshoe Meadows climb by itself is 22 miles with 6,400' of elevation gain topping out at 9,850'. If you have the legs after 4 days of climbing, add in Whitney Portal, which has a solid mile of 11%, for a total gain of 10,200'. That's two ridiculously Epic days in a row.

45-63 miles / 6,400-10,200 ft. elevation gain

california cycling camp route 4

California Cycling Camp Day 5 - Onion Valley Rd

Cycling Camp Day 5

Day 5 we ride Onion Valley Road. With it's many switchbacks, this climb will remind you of the climbs in europe. It's only 13 miles to the summit, and 5,300'.

After summiting it's all downhill back to the finish, and a wrap for our Classic Climbs of the Sierras week. Congratulations.

26 miles / 3,800 ft. elevation gain

california cycling camp route 5

Check out our Santa Monica Cycling Camps. Got the legs for back to back Camps?

Cycling Escapes operates under permit on the Inyo National Forest.

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