Average Gradient: 6%
Elevation Gain: 128 metres
Here is a link to the Strava segment here:
Apart from being an incredibly challenging climb. This climb is worth going out of your way to do as it takes you past two of the Dandenong’s best scenic lookouts. At the base of this climb is the Kallorama Lookout. Which can be accessed by the car park on the intersection of Five Ways on the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road (see image below). This lookout offers spectacular views over the Silvan Reservoir, surrounding foothills and the Yarra Ranges off in the distance. It is easily one of the best lookouts in the Dandenong Ranges, and worth getting your camera out for a shot or three.
Opposite the lookout is a Tea house (see image below), and the climb I’m looking at today is directly behind this on Ridge Road. This is quite a popular climb which takes you all the way up to Sky High. The highest point in the Dandenong Ranges. This climb is steep right from the outset, averaging 14% over the first 500 metres. This may sound daunting, however the road surface is quite good and it’s easy to find a good rhythm.
This is a residential street. However the houses blend beautifully into the environment and it will feel like you’re climbing through a forest. When you pass Falls Road to the left hand side of the road, you can enjoy a brief respite as the road flattens for around 300 metres. The road will start to head skywards again as you pass the Mount Dandenong Arboretum to the left side of the road. As you leave suburbia and enter the heart of the Mount Dandenong National Park. You may find yourself in the pain cave as most do.
You’ll love it!
The next 800 metres undulates with several pinches in excess of 10% until you pass the exit for Sky High (a one-way only road). Continue up Ridge Road for 400 metres where you will enjoy a brief descent. Then turn right onto Observatory Road. Whilst this final pinch is only 300 metres long. It’s one of those climbs that you’re always tired by the time you hit it. This small stretch of road has dished out a lot of pain and it is always a relief once you reach the gates to Sky High. It is always a remarkable experience as you ride up to the lookout looking over metropolitan Melbourne.
Cycling up to Sky High is one of the greatest experiences that you can do in the Dandenong Ranges and well worth a detour. There’s a Café up top which serves a mean Coffee and a view to a kill.