Mountain Directory: A Guide For Truckers, RV And Motorhome Drivers

Introducing the Mountain Directory Ebooks!

Mountain Directory EBooks:

From the author, RW:

When customers find out that I’m from Kansas, they often say, “Kansas?  What can you tell me about mountain passes if you’re from Kansas?”  But after they hear my story, they cut me a little slack.  (By the way, did you know that there was once a researcher with too much government grant money who determined that Kansas actually is flatter than a pancake?)

When I was a kid in the early 60’s my parents owned a 16 foot Mobil Scout travel trailer.  We pulled that trailer all over the western United States and Canada with a 1962 Chevy with a 283 cubic inch engine and a three speed on the column.  So I learned to love mountains and I learned to love traveling the wide open spaces of our great land.  With that small trailer and the reliable Chevy, we never had any problems climbing or descending grades.

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In an attempt to make mountain driving a little safer for truckers and RV’ers, R&R Publishing Inc. has been collecting and Mountain Directorypublishing information about mountain passes and steep grades since 1993. The Mountain Directory Ebooks give the locations and descriptions of over 700 mountain passes and steep grades in 22 states. The Mountain Directory ebooks tell you where the steep grades are, how long they are, how steep (%) they are, whether the road is two lane, three lane, or four lane, if there are escape ramps, switchbacks, sharp curves, speed limits, etc. With this information, one can know ahead of time what a pass is like and make an informed decision about whether to go over or around. If you decide to go over, perhaps the cool morning hours would ease the strain on the engine and transmission during the climb. Unhooking the towed vehicle would make the climb and the descent easier. Knowing what lies ahead is half the battle.

The printed versions of the Mountain Directory books had almost 240 pages of text and color relief maps. All 240 pages are in the downloadable versions of the Mountain Directory ebooks. Nothing is missing. In the printed versions, mountain pass locations were marked with a yellow triangle on the color relief maps.  In the ebook versions, you can click on the yellow triangles and the text appears that describes that location.

Mountain Directory Ebooks

Mountain DirectoryDuring the last few years we have heard many stories about very expensive repairs to drive train components. Sometimes rigs are lost entirely. A highway patrol officer in Oregon told us that in the summer an average of one motorhome per week burns to the ground while trying to climb Cabbage Hill on I-84 east of Pendleton. If a fire starts, the nearest fire department is likely to be many miles away. By the time they arrive, there is nothing left to do but hose down the ashes.

Many people are under the impression that the grades in the eastern mountains are not as serious as the grades in the western mountains. Apparently this is because the elevations are not as high in the eastern states. But elevation alone is not the problem–it is the change in elevation that makes a grade potentially hazardous. If all other factors are equal, a grade that descends from 4000′ to 1000′ over 10 miles is no different than a grade that descends from 10000′ to 7000′ over 10 miles. Either way you have a 3000′ change in elevation spread over 10 miles. (This example would result in an average grade of almost 6% for 10 miles.)


Mountain Directory Ebooks

Mountain DirectoryA large percentage of the grades in the western states are in the 6% range. A large percentage of the grades in the eastern states are 8, 9, or 10% and sometimes even more. The eastern grades are often shorter but this is not always so. A quick glance through the eastern book will reveal over 50 grades that are between 7 and 10% and from 4 to 7 miles long. There are others that are even more challenging. The road to the top of Whiteface Mountain in New York is 8 to 10% for 8 miles. There would be no need for truckers to use this road but RVs are allowed. Near Cumberland, Maryland there is a hill on I-68 that is posted as 6% for 13 miles. In North Carolina highway 181 crosses the Blue Ridge Parkway and the southbound descent is 11 miles of grade that varies from 6 to 10%. Much of it is 8 to 9%. These grades are just as hazardous as the grades in the western states.


Travel with safety – safety from knowledge and information about navigating through the Mountain Grades and Terrain.