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Good difficult day walk in Blue Mountains?

London, United...
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Good difficult day walk in Blue Mountains?

Hello again,

Can anyone recommend a good hard day walk to do in the Blue Mountains? I don't want the usual tourist walk, but something difficult that can be done in a day (I don't want to bring tents from the UK, obviously) - preferably with good views.

If I did this it would be with a couple of friends, and we would be coming around March or so (hopefully before daylight savings ends so we can get more daylight hours). We are very fit (we have walked up some of the large peaks in the UK) and would take necessary precautions re food, clothing, and so on.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Good difficult day walk in Blue Mountains?

I haven't done any of the walks mentioned in this link, but they may be of interest to you.

Make sure you inform the NP&W of when and where you going - …nsw.gov.au/NationalParks/parkWalking.aspx…

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Good difficult day walk in Blue Mountains?

A very difficult full day's walk is The Golden Stairs to Mount Solitary - it's a good 8-9 hour walk, and is said to be one of the most difficult in the Blue Mountains (for a day walk):

wildwalks.com/bushwalking-and-hiking-in-nsw/…

I have not done this walk myself, but have heard good things about it. However, I strongly DO NOT recommend doing this walk unless you:

• have 3 or more people walking it together;

• have notified someone (e.g. National Parks & Wildlife Service, or police) that you are doing the walk;

• have adequate clothing, food and protection, maps, etc.

I would not do this walk except during daylight savings time, unless you plan to camp somewhere overnight (which you are not doing).

A couple of tourists have become lost in the past few years doing this walk, one student here in Sydney actually died while doing it.

If you don't want to go all the way to Mt Solitary, you can go to the Ruined Castle, a rock formation along the route of this walk, which also provides good views over the valley. It will cut several hours off the Mount Solitary walk.

Sydney
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3. Re: Good difficult day walk in Blue Mountains?

Another challenging and popular one is the Blue Gum Forest, starting (and ending) at Blackheath. I haven't done this in years, but I remember it as being just possible in a day.... night was falling as we climbed back out.

There is also a track from Woodford to Glenbrook, which is rather nice as you don't need to double back, and you start quite near a railway station (Woodford). I think it's about 25 km. However, it's nowhere near as scenic as the areas in the Upper Mountains, and it's not all that challenging, as most of it is a four-wheel-drive road. It's main advantage is that it's not a "normal" tourist walk, so you will share the way only with the wild life.

Sydney
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4. Re: Good difficult day walk in Blue Mountains?

You'll find that most of the walks in the mountains advertised as "difficult" are labelled as such because they involve walking into a valley and then climbing back out, up a cliff face. Generally though, the climbs involve stairs (albeit large ones) rather than scrambling over boulders.

My favourite day walks in the Blue Mountains would have to be around Wentworth Falls - stunning scenery. You can walk all the way to the bottom of Wentworth Falls and along the Wentworth Pass to the Valley of the Waters; walking at a brisk pace but allowing time to stop at the various falls and have some lunch, it should take you no more than 5 hours. The best part of doing this walk is finishing up at the Conservation Hut for some coffee and cake! The areas around Wentworth Falls and the Valley of the Forest are not exactly quiet, but Wentworth Pass is less busy.

If you would like fewer people and some added difficulty, you can also take a trek down to the Vera Falls. Several years ago we managed to do this as a round trip from the base of Wentworth Falls, to the Hippocrene Falls and then on to Vera Falls before walking back up to the Valley of the Waters. It's not a walk that is generally advertised to the public, although I did find it in a bushwalking book. This link gives you some details about part of the walk (in reverse from the way I've described):

www.wildwalks.com/maps/pdf/nsw-bmnp-vft.pdf

You'll see in the map the path highlighted in green which links Vera and Hippocrene Falls, then a path going back up to the right of the map which is not highlighted, this takes you back to the base of Wentworth Falls. When I did this walk, some 7 years ago now, there were markers along this route, although some were very hard to find and I believe they are not maintained. It's also not a proper track for much of the way. So if you were going to do this part of the walk, you should register your intention - this can be done at the Visitors Centres in the mountains - and get a topographical map. You can also borrow emergency locator beacons for the day, just in case:

http://www.bwrs.org.au/?q=faq-plb-epirb

Otherwise I agree with the Mt Solitary and Blue Gum Forest suggestions, these are quieter than the top half of Wentworth Falls. I've not made it to the top of Mt Solitary - we started a little too late in the day and reached our "turn around time" when we were about half-way up, and I haven't made it back yet. I believe the tracks at the top of Mt Solitary peter our and it's possible to get lost there. However the track is good from the Golden Staircase to the Ruined Castle and down the other side of the Ruined Castle to Mt Solitary.

There are different routes into the Blue Gum forest, the quickest but not the easiest is from Perry's Lookdown - straight down the cliff and straight back up.

Be sure to check for track closures before you start out, at the Visitors Centres or on the website:

…nsw.gov.au/NationalParks/…

Remember you need to carry all your water in with you when walking in the mountains, there are no clean and reliable water sources, especially in summer, and it can still be very warm in March.

Christchurch, New...
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5. Re: Good difficult day walk in Blue Mountains?

I note you are not going until March so I am not too late to add my ideas. I have done many of the day walks in the Blue Mountains. One problem is that the roas are at the top of ridges so the walks go down into canyons - meaning the views get lost as you go down!! Several good walks begin at Blackheath. You can pick up maps from the NPWS office at Govetts Leap. Grand Canyon is a popular 5 hr walk from/to Perry's Lookdown or you can go all the way into the Blue Gum forest and return the same way. (If you have a friend who will act as driver you can come out via Pierce's Pass on the Bells Line of Rd instead).

6. Re: Good difficult day walk in Blue Mountains?

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