Mt. Greylock South Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

2.9
FIETS
8.9 mi
DISTANCE
2,279 ft
GAINED
4.5 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): John Summerson, The Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike), 2nd Edition; Fran Armentano, North Granby, CT

INTRO

This 8.9 mile bike climb is located in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, USA. The average gradient is 4.5% and there is a total elevation gain of 2,279 ft, finishing at 3,376 ft.

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See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
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ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Challenging
5
Road
4.5
Traffic
4.5
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

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MEMBER REVIEWS & COMMENTS

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Apr 21, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 5
Apr 21, 2021
scenery: 4
traffic: 5
road: 5
The descent was freezing as I was not prepared - needed winter gloves and light jacket next time I ride so late in season
Mar 18, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 5
traffic: 4
road: 5
Mar 18, 2021
scenery: 5
traffic: 4
road: 5
Was doable for a relatively new rider. Can't beat that trip down the mountain after such great views!
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - PJAMM Cyclists stand with bikes in front of the Veteran's Memorial Tower

Cycling Mt. Greylock South (Lanesborough)

Ride 8.9 miles gaining 2,279’ at 4.5% average grade.

“The south side of Mount Greylock is a bit longer but quite a bit less steep than its north side.  A few solid ramps early on are interspersed with long stretches of shallow climbing over its middle core.  At mile 8.7 you reach the junction of the north side approach on your left but keep straight.  Towards the top you will again find a bit more solid grade and long views on clear days.  The climb soon ends as the road ends near the top of the mountain.”  (This quote is provided with the approval of John Summerson from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) in the Northeast, pg. 71)

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts - bike leaning against historic sign for The Rockwell Road to Greylock, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

We ride on Rockwell Road from the ride’s start to the turn to the summit at mile 8.1.

What a beautiful ride. We love Mt. Greylock, from either the north of south.  

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts - Photo left: PJAMM App; Photo right:  Rockwell Road mile 4.8;

Photo left: PJAMM App; Photo right:  Rockwell Road mile 4.8.

There is the perception (misconception?) that the north side is by far the harder approach to Mt. Greylock.  In my opinion, this is not altogether true.  When visiting the east coast for our fall color tour I invited my friend Sarah who is attending Smith College nearby.  She had just started cycling, but is a strong cyclist.  I suggested we ride up the north approach but she had been told that Greylock from the north is much harder than from the south.  We decided to ride from the south in October, 2020.  Sarah had no difficulty with the south side and I don’t think she would have had any trouble riding from the north, either.

Comparative stats for the two climbs:

  • Greylock North:  
  • 9 miles, 5.7% average grade, gaining 2,772’
  • Steepest: ¼ mile = 12.2%; ½ mile = 10.9%; mile = 10.2%
  • Greylock South:
  • 8.9 miles, 4.5% average grade, gaining 2,279’
  • Steepest: ¼ mile = 11.9%; ½ mile = 11.1%; mile = 9.9%

Note on Greylock South average grade:  The Fiets index that we use to rank climbs does not account for descents or flat sections of a climb.  There is a 2.5 mile -0.2% segment of Greylock South (mile 3.3 to 5.8) that drives the average grade down.  If you remove the flat section, the remaining 6.4 miles average 5.9%.

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts - photo collage, bike parked at the Mt. Greylock visitor center PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Visitor Center at mile 0.9.

The southern approach to Mt. Greylock is the more scenic route and also has the Mt. Greylock Visitor Center at mile 0.9 of the ride.  On this route we also pass several streams running down from the hillside and some nice scenic observation points.

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts - photo collage, blue skies, bright green fields, and fall foliage on the first third of the Mt. Greylock South climb, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

First third of the climb.

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts - photo collage, bike parked along various spots along the middle third of the climb, two lane well paved road covered in dense fall foliage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Middle section of the climb.

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts - photo collage, pike parked at various locations on the final third of the climb, higher elevation overlooking fall foliage from above, PJAMM Adventure app, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Final section of the climb to the turn to the summit at mile 8. 

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts - photo collage, views of fall foliage from above, informational sign, at Adams Overlook almost at ride summit, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Adams Overlook 6/10’s of a mile from the top.

MT. GREYLOCK SUMMIT

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts - Veterans Memorial Tower at ride's summit at sunset

The Veterans World War I Memorial Tower was approved by the Massachusetts state legislature in 1930 and built 1931-1932 with an operating beacon that could be seen for 70 miles.

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - photo collage, bikes leaning against railing overlooking views from summit, bikes in front of Veterans Memorial Tower, and plaque at top of climb, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - markers for the Appalachian Trail atop Mt. Greylock

The Appalachian Trail crosses the top of Mt. Greylock.

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - topographical model of area atop Mt. Greylock, informative inscription and plaques

There is a topographical model of the area at the top with informative inscription and plaques.

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - informational signs at the Mt. Greylock Veterans Memorial

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - informative plaques displayed at the Mt. Greylock Veterans Memorial

The Memorial Tower also has informative plaques displayed on it.

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - photo collage, Bascom Lodge at climb's summit, cyclists standing in front of Lodge, informational plaque and sign, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Bascom Lodge at the summit

MT. GREYLOCK FROM THE AIR

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - aerial drone view of Mt. Greylock during fall, bright New England Fall Foliage, Appalachian Trail in middle and Rockwell Road on right

Appalachian Trail middle, Rockwell Road right.

Appalachian trail appears in the second half of the clip

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts - aerial drone views of Veterans Memorial Tower atop climb's summit, fall foliage

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - aerial drone view of Veterans Memorial Tower, fall foliage

MT. GREYLOCK NORTH

At 9 miles, gaining 2,772’, at 5.7% average grade, Mt. Greylock North is the most difficult bike climb in Massachusetts. The steepest quarter mile is 12.2% and one mile averages 10.2%.

Cycling Mt. Greylock South, Massachusetts  - photo collage, views of one-lane roadway shrouded in brightly colored fall foliage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner