Bowen Mountain

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Bowen Mountain
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Start location: Bowen Mountain
Length: 2.72.7 km
2,700 metres
1.678 miles
km (1.7 mi)
Average gradient: 8.98.9 %%
Elevation gain: 244244 m
800.525 ft
m (800 ft)
Maximum elevation: 422422 m
1,384.514 ft
m (1384 ft)
Category: 3
Road surface: Sealed
Strava segment: Link

Bowen Mountain is one of the most challenging climbs in the Hawkesbury Region, being about on par with Bellbird Hill. Bowen Mountain is a township of about 1500 people in the foothills of the Blue Mountains and the only direct way up to the town is Bowen Mountain Road. Although the Strava segment only shows 2.7 km, the approach to the climb is generally from North Richmond and an ascent of over 220 meters prior to the climb proper starting.

Climb location[edit]

Bowen Mountain is a short distance from Richmond, in the Hawkesbury region on the North Western fringe of Sydney, Australia. Access is generally from either Kurrajong, about 5 km North East of Bowen Mountain or via Gross Vale to the East. Approaching from North Richmond, either approach can be attempted. If approaching from the Blue Mountains, the direct route is via Kurrajong.

Start of the climb[edit]

The climb starts at the intersection of Gross Vale Rd and Bowen Mountain Rd. If approaching from Kurrajong, turn right into Bowen Mountain Rd. If approaching from Gross Vale, turn left into Bowen Mountain Rd.

End of the climb[edit]

The climb ends at the intersection of Wattle St and Lieutenant Bowen Rd. At approximately 75% distance, at the lower end of the Bowen Mountain township, Bowen Mountain Rd veers left as a side street. The climb itself continues on the main road, which is Wattle St from that point onward.

At a glance[edit]

  • The first 500 meters has gradients approaching 10%.
  • From 500 meters to approximately 1.1 km, the gradient is only 1-3%.
  • From 1.1 km to the end of the climb, the gradient is generally greater that 10% with peaks approaching 20%

Description of the climb[edit]

The beginning of the climb has a moderate ramp of close to 10%. The gradient eases off after the intersection with Westbury Rd (approximately 500m in) and the easy section of the climb is complemented by a nice view of the foothills of the Blue Mountains to the immediate North West. After another relatively easy 500m, it is time to save the breath and focus as the road sharply rises and from that point onwards. From this point, the average gradient is approximately 10%. The last 600m of the climb is the steepest and most challenging, with ramps up to 19%.


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Adjoining climbs/nearby climbs[edit]

Typically, many riders will approach Bowen Mountain through North Richmond. From North Richmond, Bowen Mountain may be approached through Gross Vale via Gross Vale Rd or through Kurrajong via Bells Line of Road and Gross Vale Rd. Big Bowen (North Richmond to Bowen Mountain via Grose Vale):

Upon reaching the top of the climb at Lieutenent Bowen Rd, many people continue to the highest point of Bowen Mountain but turning right and continuing for an additional 800 meters (approximate gradient of 3%).

Alternate start or finish points[edit]

The Bowen Mountain climb itself can be started at the intersection of Westbury Rd and Gross Vale Rd which lies approximately 500 meters on the Kurrajong side of Bowen Mountain Rd. There are alternate, albeit indirect, routes on the side roads ascending Bowen Moutnain that have components mapped on Strava, with varying road surfaces.

The descent[edit]

The road surface is of reasonable quality, however there is no excess width when cars desire to pass. The shoulder on many corners on the descent is of average to poor quality. Take due care when descending and maintain the lane leading into corners to ensure save passage and exit from the corners. At the end of the descent is a tee intersection with little vision to the left (Kurrajong side) and the rider should not approach the intersection with speed. If continuing to North Richmond, the route through Gross Vale is relatively rough but only has occaisional traffic. Returning to North Richmond through Kurrajong involves riding down Bells Line of Road which has a reasonable shoulder but considerably more traffic.