Distance: 5.3 km
Average Gradient: 7%
Elevation gain: 387 meters
Here is a link to the Strava segment here:
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.
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!
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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 www.cfa.vic.gov.au or call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.