Cycling Pilot Mountain Pilot Knob Road

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Pilot Mountain - Pilot Knob Road

Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 9.2 %

Length: 2.93 km

Altitude start: 400 m

Altitude top: 672 m

Ascent: 272 m

Pilot Mountain rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 5774 (all)
Ranking United States: 299 (all)
Ranking Appalachian Mountains: 30(all)
Difficulty score: 46.58 what?

Pilot Mountain ratings

(4)  Overall

(5)  Road

(2.5)  Traffic

(5)  Amenities

(5)  Surroundings

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Pilot Mountain State Park, North Carolina. Seemingly short, this will be the steepest climb you will do in the state. Featured in the 3 Mountain Madness 100 Mile Bike ride each the spring.

The Pilot Mountain is situated in North Carolina. This climb belongs to the Appalachian Mountains. Starting from Pilot Knob Road, the Pilot Mountain ascent is 2.93 km long. Over this distance, you climb 272 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 9.2 %.

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Stories, information and comments from Pilot Mountain climbers
Story by Greg from Durham, NC, United States, submitted on 03/08/2014
Climbed up this scenic mountain on a surprisingly cool Sunday in early August. Started at about 9:30am to let some of the fog clear out, and passed only a handful of cars and *zero* other bikes- for the most part, had the road completely to myself. Traffic started coming a little more steadily by 11:00 or so, so it''s probably a good idea to hit it before 10:30 if possible. With regards to the climb, it''s got to be the best east of Mt. Mitchell and the serious Blue Ridge Parkway climbs. It may be short, but the early section is beastly and the kicks, especially near the end, will keep you working the whole way up. Coming down, keep your brakes close on the upper half, but once you get through the two or three tight switches, you can really open it up and enjoy the well-earned adrenaline of a nice descent. Make sure your sunglasses aren''t too dark on the way down- there are some shady patches, especially in the early descent. Overall, a lovely climb, with some great scenery and a handful of other hills nearby. If you''re feeling vigorous, tag on Hanging Rock beforehand.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Rich from durham, United States, submitted on 02/05/2014
Avoid this road on weekends after around 9-10 am. Lots of car traffic. Also don''t pass cars going downhill you will get a ticket.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Louis Newton from Lewisville, NC, United States, submitted on 25/05/2008
A beautifu monadnock knob, Pilot Mt. can be seen for miles. The parking lot near the pinnacle is located about 1200 feet above the piedmont plateau and 2200 feet above sea level. The approach to the climb begins about a mile from the park entrance. The steepest parts of the climb begin about a mile past the park entrance and kick up to over 16% for about a quarter of a mile. There are other sections that are 12-14% with a stretch of 6-8% grade about a half mile from the finish. The pitch kicks up one last time about 300 yards from the entrance to the parking lot. The newly constructed observation deck gives a great view of the piedmont from east to west. If the day is clear, the city of Winston-Salem can be seen 25 miles to the SE. Avoid warm weather holidays as there is quite a bit of motor traffic on the narrow winding road. Use great care on the descent as a couple of the switchbacks are quick tricky and have a tendency to move a rider into the oncoming traffic if overcooked. But, if you are a biker and are thinking of visiting the area, it is a great climb and there are several others with similar gradients and lengths nearby (Sauratown Mt. and Hanging Rock.)
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