Bear Mountain Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

1.9
FIETS
4.5 mi
DISTANCE
1,227 ft
GAINED
5.2 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

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

INTRO

Bear Mountain is the most popular bike climb in New York State. This fantastic Southeastern New York climb by bike offers great views (glimpses) of the Hudson River and Bear Mountain Bridge as we near the finish. At the top is a picnic area, Perkins Memorial Tower, and views of the New York City skyline - only on a clear day.
This is a mild climb averaging 5.2% that never reaches double digits but does have a couple segments at 8% for about a quarter-mile.  48% (2.1 miles) is at 0-5% and 51% (2.3 miles) 5-10%.  The steepest quarter mile averages 8.3% and steepest mile 6.4%. 

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

Traffic:  Low speed limit and mild traffic. 

Parking:  Either park at the lower Bear Mountain State Park parking lot (Map) at a half-mile up the climb and ride down to the start to begin the ride, or park across Highway 202 near the start of the climb (Map; Street View). 
There are provisions at the State Park area one-half mile from the start. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
Consider the two mile out-and-back hike to Anthony's Nose that follows the Appalachian Trail and begins just across the Bear Mountain Bridge from our climb.  AllTrails Map, Street View - from here there are excellent views of Bear Mountain, the Hudson River and Bear Mountain Bridge. 

The Bear Mountain area has many accommodation options, including hotels and vacation rentals.

ROUTE MAP

MEMBER RATING

Difficulty: Moderate
4
Road
4
Traffic
4
Scenery

CURRENT WEATHER

NEARBY CLIMBS (0) RADIAL PROXIMITY

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Jun 10, 2021
difficulty: Moderate
scenery: 4
traffic: 4
road: 4
Jun 10, 2021
scenery: 4
traffic: 4
road: 4
Now this is the quintessential New York City bro climb. Its really the only accessible thing near the city that's over 1000ft, so everyone goes here. You can take the Metro North for a shorter ride, or ride here and back to the city if you're up for a century. This climb is consistent 5%, perfect for a 20-30minute consistent effort with a small 8% "ramp" near the top just to make sure you paced it properly. Its not too crowded with cars, unless you show up on a federal holiday since it is a park after all.
ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - aerial view of Bear Mountain Bridge during fall, surrounded by bright fall foliage

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York

Ride 4.5 miles, 1,230’ at 5.2%

Bear Mountain Bridge, as seen from Perkins Memorial Drive mountain summit.  

Bear Mountain is in the Catskill subrange of the Appalachians Mountain Range. The climb begins by riding up Seven Lakes Drive from its intersection with Route 202.  At mile 2.2 we veer right onto Perkins Memorial Drive for the last half of the climb.  Perkins Memorial Drive is a scenic ride to the summit of Bear Mountain, which, along with the Perkins Memorial Tower, was constructed between 1932-1934.

Before heading out to climb Bear Mountain, 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.

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, Perkins Memorial at top of climb, wooden bench at climb's summit, Bear Mountain Bridge as seen from above, sign for Bear Mt. State Park, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Photos clockwise from top left: Perkins Memorial at top of climb; view west from mile 3.2;

 Bear Mountain Bridge; bench at the summit, and climb’s start (center photo).

This glorious bike climb is located in Bear Mountain State Park, New York (5,205 acres, est. 1913), on the west side of the Hudson River and offers exceptional views of the Hudson Highlands.  Bear Mountain is one of New York’s best-known peaks, and in addition to being a cyclist attraction, the mountain is also a popular area for hikers.  The oldest section of the Appalachian Trail is on Bear Mountain (Bear Mountain).  The park has plenty to do for those less interested in cycling and hiking as well, including: “a large play field, shaded picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, Trailside Museums and Zoo, cross-country ski trails,” a Merry-Go-Round featuring hand carved native animals, and even an outdoor ice rink (open from late October through mid-March).  The Perkins Memorial Tower (open from April through late November) sits atop the mountain and gives visitors incredible views of not only Bear Mountain State Park, but also the adjacent Harriman State Park and Hudson Highlands (Bear Mountain SP).

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, views along the first half-mile of the climb including sign for Bear Mt. State Park, thick foliage, signs for winding roads, panoramic views of hillsides, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

First 6/10ths of a mile of the climb to the lower State Park parking lot.

The grade for the entire climb is generally a consistent 4-7%, with the steepest quarter-mile beginning at mile 2.8 (8.3%).

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, bike parked in front of road closure sign, bike parked against tree overlooking panoramic views of dense foliage covered hillsides, a deer crossing the street, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Second segment: lower parking lot to Perkins Memorial Drive (mile 2.4 to the finish at mile 4.5).

“The biggest climb in the New York City area and one of the most popular in the state, Bear Mountain carries a solid grade up to very good views of the Hudson River valley.  The route begins over moderate grade as you enter woods.  Just over one half mile in, you encounter a traffic circle where the grade eases.  Quickly a switchback to the left introduces more stout slope.  Soon the route becomes stair step and views appear to your left.  At mile 2.4, bear to the right to continue uphill over more solid grade.  After a mile within the trees, views appear again to the left.  Towards the top the road heads inland and the climb ends at a parking area at the very top of the mountain with long views.” (This quote is provided with the approval of John Summerson from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike) in the Northeast, pg. 151.)

BEAR MOUNTAIN SUMMIT

The summit of Bear Mountain is accessible by a paved road, has several roadside viewpoints, a picnic area, and an observatory at the Perkins Memorial Tower.

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - aerial view of Perkins Memorial at the top of the climb

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - aerial view of Perkins Memorial Tower, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Perkins Memorial Tower: Named for George Perkins, founder of Palisades Interstate Park Commision.

Tower served as a fire tower from 1934 to 1950’s.

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, Perkins Memorial as seen from above, bike parked in rocks overlooking hillside, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Amazing views of the Hudson River, Bear Mountain Bridge, and . . .

on an exceptionally clear day . . .

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - New York City skyline can be seen in the distance behind rolling hills covered in foliage, bike on hillside overlooking views, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

New York City can be seen in the distance!

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - cyclist atop rock formation looking out over views below, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - bike parked next to large grey rock with red heart painted on it on roadside

BEAR MOUNTAIN IN THE FALL

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, views of Bear Mountain in the fall foliage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

First half of the climb -- to Perkins Memorial Drive.

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, views of Bear Mountain in the fall foliage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Second half of the climb -- Perkins Memorial Drive to the top.

GRAN FONDO NEW YORK

The Bear Mountain bike climb is 50 miles north of New York City and is featured as the northern tip of the Gran Fondo New York (Course; GFNY: 100 miles, 8,500’).

Bike climb Bear Mountain - gran fondo ny; cyclist pointing at map

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - Gran Fondo New York jerseys, climb gradient, bike handlebars with GFNY bib number, moto marshall riding in road during GFNY

Summary of ride from Ties Arts of the Netherlands, from his 2017 US climb trip:

cycling Bear Mountain - gfny - cyclist on road

The climb is not steep, but neither is it easy, with a 5%+ average grade. It has magnificent views over the Hudson River and Highlands.

bike ride Bear Mountain - gfny, sign,


The is a unique climb in the Hudson Highlands of  New York State. It is a climb included in the popular annual
Gran Fondo New York. On the top near the Perkins Memorial Tower there is a food/drink opportunity during the Gran Fondo. It is an amazing view on top of Bear Mountain, especially when all the riders are wearing the same green Gran Fondo jersey.

BEAR MOUNTAIN BRIDGE

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, Bear Mountain Bridge, american flag atop hillside, aerial views of river, bridge, and hillsides, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Views of Bear Mountain Bridge from Bear Mountain Summit, the bridge itself and

Anthony’s Nose (across the river from Bear Mountain, middle two photos).

Cycling Bear Mountain, New York - photo collage, View Northeast from mile 4; Drone image of Perkins Memorial Tower and Hudson River; PJAMM cycling logo in corner

Left Photo: View Northeast from mile 4;

Right Photo: Drone image of Perkins Memorial Tower and Hudson River.

That’s a wrap!