Satans Elbow

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Distance: 5.3 km
Average Gradient: 7%
Elevation gain: 387 meters
Traffic:Light traffic
Surface: Sealed
Category: 2

Here is a link to the Strava segment here:

Turning onto Jones Avenue

Satans Elbow runs parallel to one of the biggest icons of the Dandenong’s; the Devils Elbow. This climb offers an alternative way to get up to the top of One Tree Hill.  Avoiding the traffic of the main tourist road and is made up of 6 separate roads.  There are some incredibly steep gradients hitting 24% along the way.  It is one of the hardest climbs to do in the Dandenong’s.

The climbs of Satans Elbow:

  • Janiesleigh Road
  • Jones Avenue
  • Olivette Avenue
  • Hughes Street
  • Churchill Drive
  • One Tree Hill Road


Satans Elbow commences on Janiesleigh Road which is opposite from the entrance to the 1,000 steps.

Start of the climb

The first section of the climb zig-zags its way up Janiesleigh – Jones – Olivette and up to Hughes Street.  This combination of climbs has been used in several of the Dirty Dozen events and was nicknamed “The Devil’s Mayhem”.  This section is 1.3 km in length averaging over 9%. From here you turn left onto Hughes Street and the first part is truly brutal.  With one of the steepest pinches in the Dandenong’s.  The first 200 metres of Hughes averages 17%.

Good luck getting up it!

Steep part of Hughes Street

The remainder of Hughes is undulating.  Continuing up and up all the way to the Mount Dandenong Tourist Road.  Here you’ll enjoy a short period of respite as you come to the tourist road. Use caution when crossing the road as this is a very busy intersection.


The road across from Hughes is called Churchill Drive, and for the next 1.1 km averages close to 10%.   This section of road has one of the best surfaces in the Dandenong’s,.  With a fairly consistent gradient is a pure pleasure to ride.  After all the tough climbing it takes to get to this point, I’m not sure if your legs will agree.

Churchill Drive

There is a short descent before you turn right onto One Tree Hill Road.  From here there is a further 1.1 km of undulating climbing with an average gradient of 5%.

One Tree Hill Road

With quite a few flattened out sections and short descents the 7% average for this climb is highly deceptive.  2/3 of this climb will be spent climbing gradients of 10+%.  This is made tougher with quite a few undulation changes along the way.  This is a climb where pacing yourself is paramount to getting up in one piece.  If you cook yourself along the way I can guarantee this one will hurt getting to the top.  The great thing with this climb is that it avoids the main tourist road.  And an excellent short-cut if you enjoy a ride free of traffic.

The u-turn at the Devil’s Elbow

Plan your ride

  • Toilets available in Upper Ferntree Gully at the train station
  • Cafe’s in Upper Ferntree Gully
  • With six seperate streets to climb you maybe worried about getting lost.  Just keep following the road that goes upwards

Best times to ride

Monday – Friday:

Avoid peak hour traffic and ride between 9:00 am – 3:00 pm


The Dandenong’s attracts a large number of tourist traffic over the weekend.  It is best to schedule your rides early in the morning.

Public transport

Train services available to “Upper Ferntree Gully” train station.  From the train station there is an easy 500 metre climb to the official start of the Devil’s Elbow climb.  Click here for Public Transport Victoria for train timetable.

During fire season

The Dandenong Ranges are in a fire district. Anyone entering parks and forests during the bushfire season needs to stay aware of forecast weather conditions. Check the Fire Danger Rating and for days of Total Fire Ban at or call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.

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3 thoughts on “Satans Elbow

    Karl Billeter said:
    January 14, 2016 at 9:36 am

    Definitely my preferred way up there apart from the magpie at the start of Janiesleigh Rd during swooping season 🙂

    Ethan said:
    January 14, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    One of my favorite’s!

    Brendan responded:
    January 14, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    Say what Ethan 🙂
    Karl it sure is a rewarding one to get to the top

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