Unknown CoastHumboldt County, California 1 of 10
When you think of Humboldt County, you likely think of something other than world-class cycling (something, shall we say, greener). With clean Pacific Northwest air, endless redwoods and brutal hills, the North Coast roads will thrill even the most veteran cyclist. Don't miss what the locals call "The Wall"—a one mile climb that boasts an impressive 18 to 22 percent grade. After you've caught your breath, head to one of the local award-winning craft breweries to recover.
Gibraltar RoadSanta Barbara, California 2 of 10
As one of the most iconic climbs in Southern California, Gibraltar Road has cracked some of the world's toughest cyclists in the Tour of California. At six miles long with 2,600 feet of elevation gain, the grades range from 7.5 percent up to an impressive 15 percent. The road is in decent condition most of the way up, but has degraded slightly at the top. However, do not let this deter you; you'll be rewarded with the best views Santa Barbara has to offer.
Going-to-the-Sun RoadGlacier National Park, Montana 3 of 10
It's one of the more popular roads in Glacier National Park during the summer months, but the Going-to-the-Sun Road is especially scenic in the spring. There's a sweet spot when the roads are free of snow and ice yet still closed to vehicular traffic—perfect for heading up the 50-mile route over Logan Pass. It's a doable route for cyclists of moderate ability levels, with a section that gains 3,300 feet of elevation in just over 10 miles. Enjoy being flanked by evergreen trees and leftover snow as you look out over the ravine below.
White Rim TrailCanyonlands National Park, Utah 4 of 10
At 100 miles in length and boasting almost 6,000 feet of climbing, the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park is a ride all mountain bikers should tackle at least once. You'll circle the Island Mesa while being bordered by the Colorado and Green Rivers on either side. If you're ambitious, the route can be done in one day, but many choose to stay overnight—just make sure you have the required permits.
Katy TrailKaty Trail, Missouri 5 of 10
At 237 miles in length and stretching from Clinton to Machens, Missouri, the Katy Trail is the country's longest Rails-to-Trails route, following the former Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad. Half the trail follows Lewis and Clark's route along the Missouri River, and the rest is a relatively flat ride through scenic farmland. With 26 trailheads and lots of small towns along the path, you'll be sure to find a quaint little homestyle restaurant or B&B to rest and recover before your next day of riding.
Mount Washington Auto RoadMount Washington, New Hampshire 6 of 10
Climbers: We're looking at you for this one. The Mount Washington Hill Climb is perhaps one of the toughest climbs in the world. The event takes place on the famous Mount Washington Auto Road, a 7.6-mile toll road with 4,618 feet of elevation gain. If you do the math, that's an average gradient of 11.6 percent—a surefire quad scorcher. Be sure to pace yourself, though; the last 150 feet jacks up to a brutal 22 percent gradient.
American River Bike TrailFolsom, California 7 of 10
The American River Bike Trail is a 32-mile bike trail that connects Discovery Park in Sacramento with Beal's Point on the southern end of Folsom Lake. It includes two completely paved and protected lanes with maps, bathrooms and exit points to stop and grab some grub. No matter if you're out for a Sunday cruise or looking to log some car-free miles, the iconic American River Bike Trail is about as good as it gets.
LeadvilleLake County, Colorado 8 of 10
Leadville has become somewhat of a pilgrimage for mountain bikers since the mid-1990s. A former mining town, Leadville is home to the Leadville Trail 100 MTB—an ultra-popular, long-distance mountain bike race that sells out year after year. The race features a 50-mile out and back course with over 11,000 feet of elevation gain. If you're a serious mountain biker, Leadville is the ultimate destination to test your skills.
Mount EvansClear Creek County, Colorado 9 of 10
Think you're ready to conquer the highest paved road in North America? Topping out at a lung-testing 14,127 feet above sea level, the Mount Evans climb is not for the novice cyclist. The route is nearly 30 miles in length and features over 7,000 feet of climbing from base to summit. If you can handle the elevation and relentless winding climb, be sure to add Mount Evans to your cycling bucket list. Just imagine how fun the descent will be after you catch your breath!