The first king, Gaspar, is neither the longest climb nor the steepest, but he is no pushover either. Starting next to I-15 in Hatch Park, his first ½ mile is a mild 2% or 3% warm-up. His next ¾ of mile get really interesting as he kicks up to double digit grades that max out at 14%. Gaspar then gives you a 3% grade breather before subjecting you to more double digit grades to the summit.
The second king, Melchior, is the shortest of the kings, but overlook him at your own risk. Fully half of Melchior is at grades over 16% with sections of it at 20%. His roads are so steep that if the plows don’t get to them early enough in a snowstorm, they can’t plow them because they become too dangerous.
Melchior’s takes off from near the base of Gaspar with a gentleness that belies his true ugliness. Abruptly you will turn right and be on 10% or greater grades that don’t let up until you reach his top. Unfortunately you won’t be able to rest on your laurels because even though the king has been defeated, you have an important choice to make; climing up Eaglewood to the finish area or going down Lacey Way to take on the 3rd King.
Those who conquer Melchior and want to call it a day will jump over to the middle section of the Third King, Balthasar, ride past Eaglewood Golf Course Club House to the finish area at the Wild Rose Trailhead Park.