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Vacaville – The Diabolical Duo – Mix Canyon & Gates Canyon (Super Steep) Hill Climbing


Mix Canyon and Gates Canyon. Two truly insane climbs. The two toughest medium-length climbs I have ever ridden (and I have ridden a lot of steep climbs!). You would have to be slightly demented to attempt them.

Mix Canyon

Stats from John Summerson’s Climbing (By Bike) In California book for Mix Canyon:

  • Elevation Gain: 2178 ft
  • Length: 4.0 miles
  • Average Grade: 10.3%
  • Steepest Mile: 15.8%
  • Steepest 3 Miles: 11.8%
  • Steepest Mile in California at 15.8%. Second place goes to Old Priest Grade at 15.0%.
  • 3rd Steepest 1/2 Mile in California at 16.2%. First place goes to Marin Avenue (18.1%) and second place goes to Mattole Road South 2 (17.5%).
  • Additionally, a separate half mile stretch of Mix Canyon appears at the #6 spot in the toughest 1/2 mile climbing section category (15.4%)
  • Most Technical Descent in Northern California
  • Needless to say, Mix Canyon, by the stats, is an epic climb. Gates Canyon is no easier.

    Anyway, I started out at Alamo Creek Park Park in Vacaville. From here, I headed north on Alamo Dr, quickly turned left on Foothill Dr, then turned right right on Pleasants Valley Rd. Pleasants Valley is a pleasant, scenic road:

    From 2010-08-18 – Vacaville Cycling – Mix Canyon & Gates Canyon Climbing
    From 2010-08-18 – Vacaville Cycling – Mix Canyon & Gates Canyon Climbing

    After about 4 miles of rolling terrain along Pleasants Valley Rd, I hit the infamous Mix Canyon:

    From 2010-08-18 – Vacaville Cycling – Mix Canyon & Gates Canyon Climbing

    Initially, Mix is an easy, scenic ride through pleasant farms:

    From 2010-08-18 – Vacaville Cycling – Mix Canyon & Gates Canyon Climbing

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