Yarnell Pass

Yarnell Pass

Yarnell Pass Profile

Yarnell Pass, up and back from Congress, AZ to Yarnell, AZ. The pass is roughly 8.5 miles from the intersection of Hwys 71 and 89, to the outskirts of Yarnell. 1,900 feet of climbing, with a steady 4-6% grade most of the way.

One of the famous climbs of RAAM

During the Race Across America a week ago, I had the opportunity to ride up Yarnell Pass, which is just outside Congress, AZ, the site of RAAM Time Station #6. I rode shortly after Team Barrow had come through, and their rider Kyle was zooming up the road.

It was exciting to be on the same course as the race, and in fact I was passed by a few of the teams along the way.

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The beginning of the climb, just outside Congress.

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If you look closely in this shot, you can see the road grade angling up the side of the mountains. Yarnell is one of those few passes where you can see most of the entire climb. Makes it a bit daunting, for sure.

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Scene a 1/3rd the way up.

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Scene half way up. Looks a lot like the last shot (and at times, this climb does seem endless, with each curve looking like the last.) That’s one of the racers that has just passed me.

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A rider from the two-man Viking Warriors team gives me a thumbs up as he passes by. The riders weren’t going all that much faster than me, but then again, I hadn’t just ridden 390 miles either.

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I believe this is Jeanine Spence from Team GOALED. She yells out “Bullshifters!” as she passes by and spies my jersey.

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Photo after she passes by. We’re 2/3rds the way up the climb.

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Nearing the top of the climb, and looking back towards the lower deserts.

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Scene at the top. Jim said it’d probably take me an hour to do the climb. I made it in 1 hr and 6 mins, including stopping for photos. I wasn’t going very fast, mostly 6 mph and thereabouts. I just set at steady pace and ground my way to the top. The climb is a steady 4-6% grade, with a bit of 8-10% near the top. Nothing difficult, except for the heat – and except for the racers who had come a long way from San Diego.


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