RAGBRAI LI Day Passes are still available!

Try the Stone City Hills on way to Animosa on Day 7?

Hard core riders should definitely consider the slight detour through Stone City between Viola and Fairview on the way to Anamosa on Day 7. There is an amazing downhill to the bottom of the valley and then an intense uphill to get to Anamosa. The bonus is a great stopping place at the stone City General Store (Pub and Bar). The General Store is located right on the Wapsi River. there will be water etc. provided by locals for anyone making this attempt. Note: This is not for sissies or beginning riders!

19 Replies

mikeyia, March 22, 2012 at 5:03 pm

I’m intrigued. Will there be signs posted on where to turn? All paved roads?


rfconnor, March 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Check it out on Google Earth. When you leave Viola, Stone City is the first left turn after the cemetary. There is a sign post indicating “Stone City”.


bruceday, March 23, 2012 at 6:55 am

Thanks for the tip. I may do it. On Google maps there is shown a gravel road continuing along the river from Stone City to Anamosa, as well as the road north from Stone City that connects to Ridge Road. Is the gravel road along the river decent enough to ride….looks to be, and its about 1 1/2 miles to Anamosa. I’ll likely be riding 700 x 28’s.


Blumblebees, March 23, 2012 at 7:17 am

Yeah I’ll be skipping that. LOL I’m a hill walker. But hey at least I’m moving!


rfconnor, March 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm

The gravel road is private, I believe for the Stone City quarry. If you take Fairview Road Co34 from Viola, make the left to Stone City, you get to the bottom of an amazingly steep hill. You wind around to the right, cross the bridge over the Wapsipinicon (Wapsi) River and the General Store is on the right (a good and safe stopping point. Head up the hill – 80%+ riders will walk their bikes – and at the top go right into Anamosa. Yes, it is about 1.5 miles. The down and then the up are serious challenges.


Michrider !!!, March 24, 2012 at 7:52 am

Since this day (6) is so short, this might be an option. Or…., I might just enjoy a bit mor Kurb time!!!! Thanks for offering options!!!


ZiZohn, March 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Someone tell me if I’m wrong, but if I remember correctly, we did Stone City Hills a couple of times in the early ’90’s. They did present a challenge to the riders. I think we came down a big hill and then had to make a very sharp right turn at the bottom to go towards Stone City. Riders were missing the turn and going into the “bramble bushes”. They ended up putting people at the top telling all to slow down, and also bales of hay at the bottom to slow the riders as they left the roadway. After going through Stone City, we then had a challenging climb back out. There was usually a bunch of walkers on that hill.


rfconnor, March 25, 2012 at 6:47 am

ZiZohn, that does seem to describe the road through Stone City. It is all hard-top surface but is seriously challenging on both the downhill and uphill.


jwsknk, March 26, 2012 at 1:21 pm

seems like we have been to Stone City a couple different ways. I know i’ve climbed up out of there to Amamosa a couple of times, XIX & XXII. Maybe the other was off route from the north.


Papa T, March 26, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Is it possible that these “end towns” viola and Fairview will not have any alcohol and Stone City Will?


rfconnor, March 26, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Viola is basically a small group of homes and no stores at all. Fairview is where Co 34 comes to a T….left to Anamosa. Again, there are no stores or bars. There is a supper club on the way to Anamosa.If you go right, there is a BP service station with a store. They likely have beer and wine there. The General Store in Stone City is a full service bar/restaurant. It normally opens at 11:00 AM but may create earlier hours for Ragbrai.


rfconnor, March 26, 2012 at 8:17 pm

There are no stores of any kind in Viola, just some homes. Fairview is about a mile uo the road at the end of Co 34 where it comes to a T. Go right and you find a BP gas station with a store, which likely has beer etc. Go left at the T to Anamosa. There is a supper club down the road a short distance. The General Store in Stone City is a full service bar/restaurant with a big parking lot. They normally open at 11:00 AM but may have earlier hours for Ragbrai.


jwsknk, March 27, 2012 at 6:58 am

Viola, Fairview or the supper club sound like great places for a volunteer fire deprt to set up a beer jail…um, “garden” I mean. Could be a hugh fundraiser for them.


Roy, March 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm

“seriously challenging” intrigues me even more than a good bar spot. Any other hills you can compare it to from recent rides? Potter and the one near Boone are the only ones that come to my mind for reference.

Shorter but steeper?


jwsknk, March 27, 2012 at 3:22 pm

try to compare on Geobike, Stone City 200 ft climb in a mile, Potters 350 in 1 1/2 miles or so, Twister about 300 in 1 about 1/2 miles.


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