Devils Kitchen Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

3.5
FIETS
1.9 mi
DISTANCE
1,084 ft
GAINED
10.6 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): John Summerson, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) 2nd Ed.; Ties Arts, Bussum, Netherlands

INTRO

“Devils Kitchen is one of the steepest climbs in the Northeast and the entire United States. Even though incredibly steep, the grade is stair step up the hill in places with very short, shallow sections to give you a chance to catch your breath (perhaps). Be ready early on as you encounter double digit grade as soon as you head up the hill, leaving the town behind. Quickly a shallow section follows but the slope ramps right back to double digit quickly. This pattern repeats itself as you gain altitude, with the steepest sections generally getting steeper the higher you climb, eventually hitting 20%+ grade in two different places."  (This quote is provided with the approval of John Summerson from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) in the Northeast, pg. 132.)
Before the grade eases 100 yards from the finish, this is an absolutely punishing bike climb.  The average grade is 10.6% with 0.9 miles (48.7%) at 10-15%, and 0.3 miles (15% of the climb) in the 15-20% gradient range.  My Garmin topped out at 21% during one of two trips up Devils Kitchen.  The steepest quarter-mile is 15%. 

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway:  Narrow and in good condition.  

Traffic:  Mild and travelling respectfully and slowly. 

Parking:  Not easy to find.  Once we parked at the top and rode to the start to begin the climb. On our second trip we found a rare parking spot part on the right 0.6 miles up the route - Map; Street View.   There is also a space for several cars to park at the 0.9 mile mark.  
Bring gearing to suit your ability and fitness level.  I was 63 the last time I climbed Devil's kitchen and in fair shape - I used a compact chainring and did have to use my 38t a couple times - well, truth be told and the 42t, but that was while taking photos of the 21% grade showing on my Garmin bike computer. 
This is one of the great climbs in New York's Catskill Mountains - See Routes in Area for other great Catskill bike climbs within a 25 mile straight line radius from Devils Kitchen. 

ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Strenuous
2.5
Road
4
Traffic
2.5
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

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Mar 25, 2021
difficulty: Challenging
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 2
Mar 25, 2021
scenery: 3
traffic: 4
road: 2
Another very steep area climb, Devils Kitchen is somewhat stair step in nature which can help you up the hill (maybe). It leads you out of town and is a tough descent. At the top you can continue to climb on Platte Clove Rd (up and down and more shallow) and then you can turn right on Josh Road for more solid grade and an dead end finish.
Mar 20, 2021
difficulty: Strenuous
scenery: 2
traffic: 4
road: 3
Mar 20, 2021
scenery: 2
traffic: 4
road: 3
Long and steep, especially at the end of a 75 mile race!! I wouldn't call it scenic, but it is a challenging climb!
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - sign reads "Seasonal Limited Use Highway No Maintenance Nov 15 - Apr 15"

Cycling Devil’s Kitchen

Ride 1.9 miles gaining 1,084’ at 10.6% average grade.

Cycling Devil's Kitchen, Platte Clove Road, New York - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, cyclists riding on wet, one-lane narrow country roadway surrounded by dense greenery and fog, road sign for Becker Road, road sign reading "Limited Use Highway No Maintenance November 15 - April 15"

This climb is short but brutal throughout,  

with a quarter-mile at 15% and a half-mile at 13.5%.

The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) in the Northeast.

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - beginning of climb at Becker Road

Climb start

“Devils Kitchen is one of the steepest climbs in the Northeast and the entire United States.  Even though incredibly steep, the grade is stair step up the hill in places with very short, shallow sections to give you a chance to catch your breath (perhaps).  Be ready early on as you encounter double digit grade as soon as you head up the hill, leaving the town behind.  Quickly a shallow section follows but the slope ramps right back to double digit quickly.  This pattern repeats itself as you gain altitude, with the steepest sections generally getting steeper the higher you climb, eventually hitting 20%+ grade in two different places.  

Be on the lookout for the rock wall on the right which announces the steepest grade on the hill.  It is short and as you glide to the right (views left) and then to the left the pedaling gets a little easier.  Quickly however, you are back up to more challenging riding.  Keep pushing the pedals if you can as the worst is over at this point as the last section is over moderate grade which tends to decrease as you ride generally west.  The listed climb ends at a pullout on the left as the slope descends slightly beyond.

You can continue to ascend but much of the remainder of Platte Clove Road is over mostly shallow and up and down terrain…Devils Kitchen is a challenging descent as well.” (This quote is provided with the approval of John Summerson from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) in the Northeast, pg. 132.)

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - bike parked in heavy foliage along roadside with steep grade

Extremely steep grade.

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - PJAMM adventure app showing climb grade and profile

PJAMM Adventure App

Rarely do you see a profile as cruel as this (purple = 20%)

Another great climb in the Catskills, Devil’s Kitchen is the name of the area where this great bike climb ends.  The name Devil’s Kitchen is said to originate from a grouping of boulders at the bottom of the gorge near the site, that are said to be the kitchenware of the devil.  This area is also considered by many who camp there to be eerie at night and is included in Sean Mosley’s book of Haunted Places in New York.  Hiking and ice climbing are also popular activities in the 208 acre Platte Clove Preserve that we ride through on this ascent.

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - views within the 208 acre Platte Clove Preserve

“Located in the northeastern Catskills, the Catskill Center's Platte Clove Preserve comprises 208 acres with beautiful waterfalls and trails at the head of the rugged and scenic Platte Clove in the Town of Hunter, Greene County.  The preserve remains a pristine wilderness area open for the quiet enjoyment of our members and the public.  Each year at the preserve's small red cabin we host several artists during the summer season for our Artist in Residence program,”  (Platte Clove Preserve).

Cycling Devil's Kitchen, Platte Clove Road, New York - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, blue black for Catskill Center Overlook Trail, Platte Clove Road sign with waterfall behind it, red cabin building in forested land, fall foliage with sign for "Waterfall Trail"

Photos are from Catskill Center.

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - photo collage, bike parked at various viewpoints along climb, fall foliage, one-lane road, cyclist standing on narrow stone retaining wall along edge of road, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Climb Summary by Ties Arts of Bussum, Netherlands from his 2016 US Climb Trip:

This was our first climb of the day. We knew the reputation of steepness and toughness.

Cycling Devil's Kitchen, Platte Clove Road, New York - cyclist climbing up steep, wet, one-lane roadway surrounded by craggy rock wall on the side, mist and wet greenery

Steepest grade begins at the rock wall on your right.


This climb, with a 10.9% average gradient, requires a ‘can do” mentality.  Hard work with sections of 13-20% will certainly challenge you to find your rhythm. There is only one real hairpin on the route, so it is steep going straight through the woods going up and up and up.

Cycling Devil's Kitchen, Platte Clove Road, New York - cyclist riding on wet, one-lane roadway surrounded by tall green trees

The entire climb is through the woods, though a short section is open and shows how unique and magnificent the Catskill mountains are.

The reputation of Devil’s Kitchen is fair, and definitely a must-ride if you are going to the Catskills mountains.

There is no parking at the start of the climb and very limited parking along the climb route.  There is a place to park at the top which requires you drive up, ride down then ride back up.  Just a heads up.  

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - photo collage, bike parked in front of gate surrounded by fall foliage, bike parked at informational signs at climb's finish, fall foliage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Climb’s Finish.

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - cyclist climbing down hillside to retrieve lost drone

A tree came out of nowhere and took out our drone . . .

PJAMM SAR drone recovery . . .

Parking:  There are next to no parking spots on this 1.9 mile climb.  You can park at the top (end) of the climb or a precious few single to double spaces along the way.  

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - red van parked in single pull-out spot on roadside

First place to park is 0.6 miles from up from the start.

Devil's Kitchen - Platte Clove Road - cyclists in PJAMM Cycling gear standing with bikes along roadside surrounded by fall colors

That’s a wrap!