Up Moraine Avenue, the road take you in through the Beaver Meadows Entrance, past the national park’s head quarters. After entering the park, riders get a short flat before the first climb, about 3.5 miles from the curve at Upper Beaver Meadows to the top of Deer Ridge Junction. Riders get to recuperate a bit between the junction and the turn to Hidden Valley. From here it is a relentless climb for as long as you might like. The ride from town to Rock Cut, just above 12,000 feet, is almost 22 miles at an average grade of 4 percent. While USA Pro Challenge rider Kiel Reijnen of United Healthcare finished the climb in 1:48:27, don’t be surprised if it takes twice that time for you or me.
At this point you can turn, you can continue to the Alpine Visitor Center another few miles west, or turn it into a day-long epic by riding all the way to Grand Lake and back, a 90-plus mile round rip.