10 Best Walks in the Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains has a great variety of bush walks to suit everyone's fitness abilities | David Hill
The Blue Mountains has a great variety of bush walks to suit everyone's fitness abilities | David Hill

The Blue Mountains offers an almost endless array of great walks, suitable for all levels of fitness and experience. With the UNESCO world heritage listed Greater Blue Mountains Area being a million hectares of protected Parks to explore, there is a lifetime of explorations to enjoy on Sydney’s doorstep. 

So, where do you start when there are so many? To get you started, we’ve created a list of the 10 best walks in the Blue Mountains. (in no particular order, they are all worth doing!)

UPPER BLUE MOUNTAINS WALKS

The Upper Blue Mountains includes the townships of Blackheath, Katoomba, Leura and Wentworth Falls.

Prince Henry Cliff Walk

This 7km walk offers all the iconic views of the Blue Mountains. The green expanse of the Jamison Valley with its golden walls of sandstone, the ever-present Mount Solitary and the vast wilderness that extends southward are all easily visible from this popular Blue Mountains hike. Stretching from Katoomba to Leura, this walk can be accessed from multiple locations allowing for shorter walks, or completed in its entirety in 3 to 4 hours (one-way).

Grand Canyon Walk

The historic Grand Canyon walking loop was first established in 1907 and is one of the most popular walks in the Blue Mountains. The Grand Canyon Walk is a classic, and one of the more popular hikes in the Blue Mountains, exploring some of the areas most diverse and spectacular ecosystems from the scrubby and harsh dry sclerophyll forest to otherworldly cool-temperate rainforests. Located in Blackheath, this 6.5km loop track can be explored on your own using our free self-guided maps or for a heightened experience, book your own personal guided Grand Canyon Walk with a knowledgeable and experienced Blue Mountains Adventure Company guide.
 
Enjoy the lush greenery of this classic Blue Mountains walk |  <i>Andy Mein</i>
 

Golden Stairs to Ruined Castle

For a walk that gives the sense of being in the wilderness without being too far removed from Katoomba, this walk is a gem. This 6.6km ‘out-and-back’, at times, hard walk takes you to one of the most recognisable landmarks of the Jamison Valley – the Ruined Castle; a rock formation situated to the west of Mount Solitary. The climb to the top of the Ruined Castle is a tricky rock scramble however offers rewarding views across the Jamison Valley back towards Katoomba; and south across what seems like an endless green wilderness of the Southern Blue Mountains.

Fern Bower to Furber Steps (via Leura Forest)

Located in Katoomba, this is a great day walk that incorporates some areas less trafficked by the masses whilst still exploring the more frequented popular areas. The descent down the Fern Bower Track is steep at times but manageable with great steps and railings in place. The trail winds past beautiful waterfalls and through lush green rainforest to Leura Forest. At this peaceful rest area you can connect with either the Federal Pass or Dardanelles Pass for your onward journey beneath the Three Sisters. Shortly before reaching Scenic World you turn upwards on Furber Steps; and to create a circuit walk, you can connect with the Prince Henry Cliff Walk (see above) and return to your start point near Leura Cascades. 

For details on accessing this walk download our free map for Leura Forest and Leura Cascades.

The view of the spectacular Grose Valley from Govetts Leap |  <i>Greg Lees</i>
 

Lockleys Pylon to Govetts Leap (via Blue Gum Forest)

This Blue Mountains walk is a committing day walk or an overnight hike for the adventurous. The walk to Lockleys Pylon offers some of the most spectacular views of the Blue Mountains across the Grose Valley wilderness. The open heathland of the ridge tops closes in on your rugged descent into the Grose Valley as you enter the forests of the valley floor. The Blue Gum Forest, nestled in the depth of the valley, is one of the most renowned bushwalking sites in Australia as a result of its beauty and history as a catalyst for the Blue Mountains National Park being realised. Continuing past Acacia Flats campsite and on to Junction Rock you now begin your climb out of the valley towards Govetts Leap. In time, the serious climbing begins up the epic Rodrigues Pass, which at times clings to the sheer walls of the escarpment. Not to be missed by the adventurous.

National Pass and The Valley of the Waters

Built into the side of the cliff, National Pass is a spectacular walking track offering unrivalled views of the many natural wonders of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. Beyond the stepping stones at the top of the spectacular drop of Wentworth Falls, you will begin your descent on the historic Grand Stairway, built by hand in the early 1900’s. The National Pass begins its traverse mid-way up the towering escarpment from the base of the Stairway, and connects you with the Valley of the Waters. From here the walk begins its return ascent past numerous waterfalls including Empress Falls with its epic finish to this popular canyon adventure. At the top, at Conservation Hut, you’ll be greeted by yet more expansive views. If you began your walk from Wentworth Falls Picnic Area then you can complete your circuit by taking the Shortcut Track. (NOTE: National Pass is currently closed due to rockfall).
 
View from Mt Morilla on Day 2 of K2K |  <i>Lauren Storaker</i>
 

Kanangra to Katoomba (K2K)

This full-pack bushwalking expedition is one of the classic multi-day wilderness walks of the Southern Blue Mountains. The walk explores spectacular wilderness, following an unmarked path from Kanangra Walls to Katoomba. It is a challenging undertaking, with numerous significant ascents and descents but your effort will be well rewarded. In three days you will cross two National Parks, enjoying the best scenery of both. If you don't want to tackle this on your own come join us on a guided Kanangra to Katoomba expedition for the reassurance and a heightened experience.
 

LOWER BLUE MOUNTAINS WALKS

The Lower Blue Mountains includes the towns of Lawson, Woodford, Springwood, Blaxland and Glenbrook. Whilst most of the focus is on the upper Blue Mountains walks, the trails of the Lower Blue Mountains are equally worth exploring – and often quieter. Our suggestions include:

The Victory Track  / Sassafras Gully

This is a beautiful track that is commonly approached from Faulconbridge and concluded at Springwood. It is also an access point to the more adventurous walking routes along Glenbrook Creek and the ridges above. Lush and green, the walk meanders through a beautiful rainforest gully the like of which is usually seen beneath the escarpments of the upper Blue Mountains. There are numerous options for side trips and exit tracks up towards the Great Western Highway. In the warm summer months, the many shallow swimming holes are worth visiting.

Martin’s Lookout to the Lost World

A fantastic walk with a steep descent/ascent in both directions and fabulous views. The walk starts at Martin’s Lookout (vehicle access required or a 4-5 km walk to start of the track from Springwood Station). Descend from Martin’s Lookout along single track, steep in parts and some short rock scrambles to Glenbrook Creek which is a lovely stop; and even better on your return journey to rest before your final steep ascent back up to Martin’s Lookout. Cross Glenbrook Creek and follow an at-times indistinct path to connect with the Kings Link Track that leads away from the creek up to Bunyan Lookout. Some great rocks to scramble on near Bunyan Lookout before following path up the spur towards the Lost World Lookout. Fantastic views up and down the valley. A worthy lunch spot before returning to Martin’s Lookout via the same route.

Waterfall Circuit

A great circuit walk starting near Lawson Swimming Pool, and taking in a series of small but very pretty waterfalls. Some lovely spots to stop and cool off along the way. The walk is best done after some rain to enjoy the full effect of the beauty of the falls and surrounding rainforest areas.

If you'd like to try a walk in the Blue Mountains but prefer some experience local guidance, check out our range of guided Blue Mountains walks.

 

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We respectfully acknowledge the Darug, Darkinjung, Dharawal, Gundungurra, Wanaruah, and Wiradjuri language groups as the traditional custodians of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and thank them for sharing this beautiful land with us.

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