THE GOAT'S PATH
CLIMB CATEGORY - HC
Length of climb - 36.7km
Summit elevation - 1,332M
Start elevation - 29M
Elevation gain - 1,304M
Gradient (avg) - 5%
This is probably the most spectacular climb in the area. With 36 kilometres of steady gradient, the climb tops out at 1,358 meters above sea level.
This is the old road from the coast to Granada city, locally named La Carretera de la Cabra or The Goat's Path. In the past, the road was used by mule drivers taking fish from the coast to the markets in Granada city, taking almost two days and traversing the mountain at night to avoid the daytime sun.
We start the climb from the tropical climate of the seaside town of Almunecar. By-passing avocado plantations and rising steadily through the small towns of Otivar and Jete, we eventually climb to alpine level and proceed on to the barren plains of the Vega of Granada and the famous El Suspiro del Morro pass.
The full climb is 36km in length, but the main section of the climb starts after 16km. The climb averages a gradient of 5%, with some short downhills scattered throughout the climb to allow for some recovery on this long ascent. The road flattens after 25km for three kilometers before the last push up to the summit.
The last couple kilometers are slightly steeper but not all that much harder than the rest of the climb. Beautiful views back down into the valley are a welcome companion on this road, with tight bends and switchbacks providing nice variation in what the rider sees as they cycle up the Sierra de Tejeda.