Mt. Hamilton Road An Engineering Marvel

As I was riding up Mt. Hamilton last week, I checked out the number of feet climbed per mile in the last several miles. Amazingly, the road climbs almost exactly 300 feet per mile. I say amazing because the road was built in the day of horse, mule, and wagon, finished in 1876.

As you may know, the road was built for the express purpose of providing access to Lick Observatory, which started operations in 1889. Santa Clara County built the road for $70,000. Such a deal.

Check out these links to see what the road looked like when built. It would be a hard ride even with a mountain bike!

Smith Creek construction site

Road near summit?

Color post card – muddy

Mt. Hamilton Road when built. Bring your mountain bike.

Mt. Hamilton Road when built. Bring your mountain bike.

 

Mt. Hamilton Road today. Carbon-fiber approved.

Mt. Hamilton Road today. Carbon-fiber approved.

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