March, 2021

28MarAll DayThe Dams ChallengeA challenging ride to the dams in the Perth escarpmentPerthState:WADiscipline:RoadTerrain:Mixed,UndulatingDistance:121-160 km,160+ km,41-80 kmType Ride:Century,Gran-fondo,Recreational

Ride Details

A personal challenge to ride the Dams Challenge around the hills of Perth!

The 3 and 5 Dams Challenge is known as Perth’s most challenging and rewarding event for serious cyclists throughout Australia. It is also known as one of the 50 best rides in the world and for a good reason! 

The  3 Dams Challenge is made up of three events or courses; these being the 5 dams,  the 3 dams and the newer 2 dams route. All three courses offer tough climbing and thrilling descents. In previous years the 3 Dams Challenge has gone up Greenmount and then into Mundaring Weir. The route now is staying to the Southeast dams region of the Foothills ie south of Rollystone and Canning Mills area.

2 dams. 54km with 700m elevation gain.

3 dams. 130km with 1600m elevation gain.

5 dams. 205km with 2400m elevation gain. 

The Dams Challenge starts at Champion Lakes in the south-east suburb of Armadale at the base of the Perth Hills. Armadale is about 40 km away from the CBD and 30 km from the airport access via car. The train is a great option,  and you can get to the start by getting off at Kelmscott station and riding the 3km to Champion Lakes. Just make sure you check the timetable for the Armadale train service on a Sunday.

The 3 and 5 dams riders head south on the flatlands turning up into the hills to tackle the Serpentine, Wungong, and Churchman Brook dams. The 5 dams riders will then continue on to do the Serpentine pipe-head and Canning Dam.  The 2 dams riders meanwhile leave on Albany Highway turning off to do the Churchman Brook Dam and the Canning Dam before returning down Albany Highway and back to the start at Champion Lakes. Easy!

On completing the ride, each rider receives a participation medal. Something that you can wear with pride as completing this ride is a major achievement!

This event is timed but it isn’t a race. It’s a personal challenge!

You register for this event as an individual but can pair up as a team on the day.

The Dams Challenge 2020 is in early April, in the fall or autumn season, the temperature should be mild and dry with a cool start.

This event is held in the eastern suburbs of Perth where the Hills are, ie 20km from the CBD and 10km east of the Airport. It is a beautiful part of Perth to visit, and there are some nice cideries and wineries to visit on your way home!

You’ll find other cycling events, like the Dams Challenge, in our online Cycling Event Calendar.


A personal challenge to ride the Dams Challenge around the hills of Perth!


28 March - 28 March

1 thought on “The Dams Challenge”

  1. the Dams, the local challenge with a bit of history. The first time i did this, back before stava existed, yes there was a time, the route started in south Perth and travelled up the main exit out of Perth and then through the dams and back. The event moved over to Curtin University to start from with the basic the same route, up out of Greenmount and through the hills to Armadale, then the slog west to the freeway path and back north to the start. this last 35km was always hard as all the hard work had been done and the mind has already crossed the line. staying alert was difficult.
    The event has re-located over to Champions lakes, near Armadale. This gives very good access to the hills and the dams. This has been interesting in that the dams to the north like Mundaring weir are not access any more, this i can live with. However my real concern is the reluctance of BWA to protect riders by reducing the amount of exposure on Albany hwy between the two turn offs of Serpentine dam and Canning dam. This is a distance of 25km whilst in a 110 km zone with a small 12 inch shoulder on the left hand side of a rippled fog line. It would have been better to return riders via Jarrahdale and on Nettleton rd. there by reducing the exposure by around 20km’s. just putting it out there.
    This is a classic event in the West for those who like a climb or two.

    My 2016 3 dams:
    my 2015 3 dams:

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