• Distance 5 km
  • Elevation gain 310m
  • Difficulty
  • Epic rating

Fleet Moss is one of the Yorkshire Dales’ most famous cycling climbs, and holds the prize for being the highest road in the county. It’s worth doing for that reason along – and once you’re at the top you feel on top of the world.

It’s an interesting to note that it wasn’t included in the 2014 Tour de France stage or the 2019 World Road Race route – presumably because it’s considered too steep, narrow and dangerous.

Note: for Fleet Moss from Hubberholme, read this.

All metrics in this article are approximate.

Highlights

Conquering Yorkshire’s highest road!

Cyclist on Fleet Moss climbThe spectacular road up Fleet Moss
Nearing the top of the first steep section of FLeet Moss, Yorkshire DalesThe gruelling first section
Steep gradients on the Fleet Moss climb, Yorkshire DalesExpect some leg-burning gradients!

Fleet Moss ride log

You leave Hawes, heading south and pass the home of Wensleydale Cheese, before crossing the river in Gayle. Soon after the climb begins – and you’re hit in the face by a not so subtle ramp up for a short double digit lung-buster.

The climb then levels out and you suddenly see, stretching ahead of you, with barren moorland either side, a long road galloping off into the distance. You can see it turns a corner before hitting an unnerving looking climb up and over a hill.

As you approach the “hill” you realise it’s more similar to a wall than a hill. In this desolate landscape, there’s nowhere to hide – both physically and metaphorically speaking. You slog up, switching down through the gears. There’s a flattish section and then, after a left-hander, another steep kick up to the top. You’re now at the top of the highest road in Yorkshire. Congratulations!

Looking up the road up Fleet Moss, Yorkshire Dales Etape du Dales routeNo room to hide!
Looking down on cyclist climbing Fleet MossWild moorland
Steep section of Fleet Moss road, Yorkshire DalesSteep gradients and an imperfect road surface
Climbing Fleet Moss by bicycle, Yorkshire DalesYorkshire Dales: not keen on hairpins!
Nearing the top of Fleet Moss, Yorkshire DalesBefore the final push to the top
Cyclist at the top of Fleet MossAt the top of Fleet Moss

Café stops

Hawes, at the start of the climb, has loads of refuelling options. There’s nothing at the top of the climb – and nothing for a while to come since from here you’re heading into the middle of nowhere!

 

Accommodation

Hawes is the obvious place to base yourself to do this climb. There are lots of accommodation options here and in the neighbouring towns and villages.

Check out the Accommodation section of our guide to cycling Yorkshire Dales for lots more information.

 

Tips

Read our tips for cycling in the Yorkshire Dales before you set out.

A compact chain-set is a very good idea for this climb.

Watch out for sheep and tractors.

The climb is very wild and exposed.

Once you’ve left Hawes, you’re heading into the depths of the Yorkshire Dales and won’t find too many shops and cafes – though there are quite a few village pubs.

Want more?

Don’t miss our main guide to the Yorkshire Dales, which has links to all our rides and information on where to stay, when to visit and bike hire. You can find links to more of our route guides in the Articles section below. Happy riding!

Clare Dewey

Clare Dewey is a road cyclist with a passion for travel. She set up epicroadrides.com to help make it easy for road cyclists to explore new places by bike.

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