Average gradient: 4.3%
Elevation gain: 152m
Snaking its way up from Perrins Creek Road, The Crescent is one of many climbs that comes to an end at the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road. While the climb is reasonably short with a friendly average gradient, it does feature a couple of steeper ramps that shouldn’t be underestimated.
The Crescent climb starts at the intersection of Perrins Creek Road and The Crescent (also known as Sassafras Creek Road).
The Crescent climb ends at the intersection with the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road.
At a glance
- A wonderfully scenic short climb that is easy overall but has a few steeper ramps.
- The climbing is gentle from the 700m mark until the left-hand hairpin at 2.2km.
- The final kilometre of the climb is the most challenging section by far.
From the moment you turn onto The Crescent (aka Sassafras Creek Road) and start climbing at around 5% you’ll be surrounded by the lush ferns and native gums of the Dandenong Ranges National Park. The road winds its way gently from side to side as you work your way up the hill at a gradient that’s reasonably consistent for the first 700m.
At the 700m mark the road flattens off to around 2-3% and if you weren’t already, take this opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of this climb. At the 900m mark the road flattens off entirely before heading downhill ever so slightly as you head past Nobles Lane on your left.
Roughly 1km from the start of the climb the road heads upwards again, albeit at a friendly gradient of around 4%. This middle section is certainly the easiest part of the climb and if you’re looking to set a fast time, this is a good place to wind things up a bit.
After 1.6km the road’s almost entirely flat again but 200m you’ll be back climbing at around 3-4% for the next few hundred metres — a very manageable gradient. After 2.2km of climbing you’ll reach a sharp left-hand hairpin at which point the gradient increases to around 6% — a sign of things to come.
Once through the corner you’ll be back climbing at around 4% as the road winds its way left and right through the trees and ferns. After roughly 2.5km the road bends around to the left and you begin the steeper final kilometre of the climb. By this point you’ve left the majority of the lush ferns and native gums behind, and you’ll find yourself climbing past a number of houses at around 7-8%.
After 2.9km you’ll bend around to the right with the gradient hovering around the 8% mark. Roughly 100m later the road continues bending right and as you exit the corner the gradient kicks up again, to around 9-10%. This final section of the climb is noticeably steeper than the lower slopes and the final few hundred metres to the top can feel like a bit of drag.
That said, the road does flatten off slightly after 3.3km of climbing, to around 4-5%, and 200m later, 3.5km from the start of the climb, you’ll find yourself at the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road and the top of The Crescent climb.
The Crescent can be found in Sassafras in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, roughly 45km east of Melbourne. To get to the start of the climb from Melbourne, head out via Burwood Highway, or a combination of Canterbury Road and Boronia Road. While you could drive to the base of the climb, it’s far more enjoyable to include it in a multi-climb ride in the Dandenongs.
One option is to start in The Basin, climb the 1 in 20, descend Perrins Creek Road then turn right onto The Crescent/Sassfras Creek Road to start the climb. With the number of great Dandenongs climbs in the vicinity of The Crescent, there are any number of hilly ride possibilities that can feature The Crescent.
If you want to compare your effort up The Crescent to that of other riders, check out the Strava segment here.