Page Contributor(s): John Summerson, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) 2nd Ed.; Ties Arts, Bussum, Netherlands
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Cycling Devil’s Kitchen
Ride 1.9 miles gaining 1,084’ at 10.6% average grade.
This climb is short but brutal throughout,
with a quarter-mile at 15% and a half-mile at 13.5%.
Before heading to the Northeast on your cycling adventure, be sure to rely on our list of Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip, and use our interactive checklist to ensure you don't forget anything.
“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.)
Extremely steep grade.
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.
“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).
Photos are from Catskill Center.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First place to park is 0.6 miles from up from the start.
That’s a wrap!