The best Blue Mountains Walks? It’s a laughable idea that any such list could exist, really.

Only an hour west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains National Park is a veritable smorgasbord of outdoor adventure. There are so many hiking trails dotting this massive World Heritage-listed park that you could walk for years and still not see it all. That’s part of what makes the place so special.

So in reality, this is a list of some of my favourite trails and those of a bunch of other travel bloggers who were happy to contribute. We hope it gives you some inspiration, whether it’s your first time visiting the Blueys or it’s one of your favourite places.

The Blue Mountains got their name from the blue haze that sits over them in certain light conditions. There are records of this being observed throughout Australia’s European history, like this passage from a letter written by Lady Audrey Tennyson – wife of the South Australian governor – to her mother, in 1900.

“The afternoon and evening were most beautiful and most wonderful lights and shadows. What struck us more than anything was the wonderfully brilliant blue of the distant hills. I have never seen anything to compare to it at all, the most gorgeous real sapphire blue, really transparent blue – it is impossible to give any idea of it.”

But to anyone who has visited the region, it isn’t the blue haze that stands out, but rather the massive rocky escarpments dotted with waterfalls tumbling into the lush valleys below, to feed the spectacular rainforest vegetation.

The Blue Mountains townships are rich with European history and even more interestingly, the ancient indigenous history is there for those who go looking for it. Get in touch with NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and talk to them about their Aboriginal Discovery Rangers if you’re interested.

There’s so much to love about the Blue Mountains that I like to call the area my second home. Add these trails to your bucket list and start exploring. I’m sure you’ll soon fall in love with the place too.

This post includes contributions from other travel bloggers from around the web (see the bottom of each hike description for their details). A huge thanks goes out to all of them for sharing their best Blue Mountains hiking trails.

Sublime Point Lookout

Sublime Point Lookout
Image courtesy of Anna Sherchand from annsherchand.com
If you want to feel like you are on the edge of the world and take in views that go on forever, this is the place for you. I have hiked many trails in and around the Blue Mountains from single-day to multi-day hikes but today I am going to share one of the less known spots in the area, which is suitable for visitors of all ages and abilities. It is called Sublime Point and I am happy to report the place one hundred percent does justice to its name.

I hope you get to go and feel the sublime vibes at the sublime lookout. Just be careful taking photos at the edge though. Something worth mentioning is it can be dangerous if you don’t plan your hikes properly so please take enough water with you and leave behind only your footprints.

 
This hike was contributed by Anna Sherchand from annasherchand.com. You can also follow Anna’s adventures on Instagram.

Need to know

Length: 400 m
Time: 30 min
Grade: Easy / Grade 2 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: Return
Access: The trailhead is at the Sublime Point carpark in Leura. Turn off the highway into Leura Mall, then take a left on Craigend Street (just past Leura township). Turn right on to Gladstone Road and follow to Watkins Road, which joins Sublime Point Road, just near the Fairmont Resort entrance. Follow this to the carpark.

Pool of Siloam

Pool of Siloam
If you’re looking for a short walk with the kids or somewhere to cool off on a hot summer day, the trail to the Pool of Siloam at Leura might be just what you need. With only 300 metres walking each way, the small waterfall and sandy waterhole at the bottom is well worth the effort. Even if you don’t dip your toes in the water, the ferny gully will provide welcome relief from the heat of the day.

Need to know

Length: 600 m
Time: 1 hr
Grade: Moderate / Grade 3 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: Return
Access: Head south down Leura Mall to Olympian Way and turn left at the T-intersection. Follow Olympian Way for 300 metres until you reach the Gordon Falls Reserve car park. The walk is signposted from the east side of the reserve. If travelling by train, depart at Leura Station and follow the same directions on foot (adding about 20 minutes each way to your walk).
Further Info: See The Bushwalking Blog’s article about this walk.

Govetts Leap Descent

Govetts Leap Descent - Blue Mountains National Park - New South Wales - Australia
Image courtesy of Wendy Werneth from The Nomadic Vegan

While the views from lookout points like Govetts Leap and Pulpit Rock are spectacular, heading down into the valley offers a completely different perspective. Oh, and in case you were worried that this place was named after some poor soul called “Govett” who lept to his death, “leap” is actually a Scottish word for waterfall.

From the Govetts Leap lookout, you can take the Govetts Leap Descent trail all the way down through the Grose Valley to the base of the waterfall for which the area is named. On the way down, you’ll have beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. I recommend coming in the early morning, when the sun’s first rays create a silhouette effect, and you’re likely to have the whole trail to yourself. The trail is clearly signposted, but it is quite steep with many steps.

This walk was submitted by Wendy Werneth from The Nomadic Vegan.

Need to know

Length: 1.8 km
Time: 1 – 2 hrs
Grade: Moderate / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: Return
Access: The trail starts from Govetts Leap lookout in the Blackheath area. There’s a car park at the lookout, and if it’s full you can also park at the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, just 500 meters away. If you’re an eco-conscious visitor to the Blue Mountains and prefer to arrive by public transport, the 698 bus is the best option, as it will bring you much closer to the lookout than the train.
Path Taken: From the lookout, follow the steep path down to Govetts Leap Falls and then return the way you came. It’s also possible to continue further past the falls, following the trail alongside the Govetts Leap Brook. Bring a map with you if you attempt this.

Lawson Waterfall Circuit

Lawson Waterfall Circuit
Image courtesy of Holly from GlobeBlogging

The picturesque Lawson Waterfall circuit is found in the small Blue Mountains town of Lawson, named after one of the original trio to cross the mountains. Located one kilometre from Lawson Railway station on Honour Avenue, a small car park indicates the beginning of one side of the track, the other end marked by a fire trail. While the vegetation is lovely at any time, the waterfalls and creeks along this track make it a particularly spectacular walk after the area has had rain.

The track does descend a gradual 125 metres to bring you to Adelina Falls, the climb out past Cataract Falls is more challenging but it is still an easy 3-kilometre walk that is suitable for even the kids to come along. Dogs are also permitted given it is not within the National Park, so expect to see the odd dog along this popular track. Depending on the pace, and how long you pause at the waterfalls along the way, the circuit will take approximately 90 minutes.

After dark you can take a torch and start from the Cataract Falls side, walking down the falls to check out the glowworms on the recess beside the falls.

Safety in the Australian bush should always be a consideration, my advice is don’t go sitting on fallen logs or leaning on trees in the Blue Mountains. I know of several spots along this route which contain the nest of the Blue Mountains Funnel Web, generally a good idea to avoid.

This walk was submitted by Holly from GlobeBlogging. You can also follow her adventures on Facebook.

Need to know

Length: 3 km
Time: 1 hr 30 min
Grade: Easy / Grade 3 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: Circuit
Access: Both ends of the track run off Honour Avenue, Lawson, about one kilometre from the railway station.
Path Taken: Start from the first carpark and follow signs for the Waterfall Loop track and follow it to finish farther down Honour Avenue.

Grand Canyon Walking Track

Grand Canyon Track - Blue Mountains National Park

Image courtesy of Emma from Our Wayfaring Life

The Grand Canyon walking track is one of the most popular bushwalks in the Blue Mountains and is busiest on weekends and in school holidays particularly after mid-morning. It is a well-formed loop track, easy to follow but with lots and lots of steps. The 30 minutes of walking the steps down into the gorge is hard on the knees and the climbing back out is strenuous and requires a reasonable level of fitness.

There are two main entry/exit points to the track at the end of Evans Lookout Road in Blackheath, Neates Glen and Evans Lookout. To enter at the Neates Glen means doing the track anti-clockwise and Evans Lookout, clockwise.

After parking at Evans Lookout one of three car parks (Neates Glen and Grand Canyon are the other car parks) and it doesn’t matter too much where you park as 1.3 km of the loop track includes walking along Evans Lookout Road alongside the parking areas.

Entering at Evans Lookout we descended from the mountain ridge, down through the tree canopy, into the lush forest to the base of the canyon. Tall gums and other trees gave way to smaller but greener scrubs and towering ferns and there was noticeable cooling of the temperature.

At the bottom of the decline, one of the first things you notice is the creek although much of the creek had slowed and was series of rock pools due to low rainfall at the time. The track continues along the base, following the creek. High sandstone cliffs, rock pools, waterfalls and lush native vegetation is breathtaking. There are a number of creek crossings over stepping stones, sandstone overhangs (some which you have to walk hunched to pass under) and even a short naturally formed tunnel not too far from where the climb back upstarts.

The climb out brought us out at the Neates Glen entry/exit point and is considered by many to be the least interesting section of the track. As I was huffing and puffing my way to the top I didn’t care too much and was thankful the walk back to our car was flat and easy-going.

This walk was submitted by Emma from Our Wayfaring Life. You can also follow her adventures on Facebook.

Need to know

Length: 6 km
Time: 3 hrs
Grade: Moderate / Grade 3 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: Circuit
Access: The track begins from Evans Lookout (alternative at Neates Glen) on Evans Lookout Road, Blackheath.
Further Info: See The Bushwalking Blog’s article about Grand Canyon Track.

Valley of the Waters & National Pass Trail

Valley of the Waters & National Pass Trail
Descend from Conservation Hut down the steep escarpment to the Valley of the Waters, where you’ll see incredible waterfalls surrounded by overhanging ferns dropping into pools bordered with mossy rocks. This is one of my favourite trails in the Blue Mountains and will reward anyone who visits.

While it’s possible to take in the Valley of the Waters on a much shorter hike, I recommend using the National Pass Trail and Shortcut Track to turn this into a 6-kilometre circuit and make a day of it. You’ll see the incredible Wentworth Falls from the base of the Grand Staircase – a view most visitors don’t get to see – and then challenge yourself by ascending back out of the valley up the 600 or so rocky steps.

Need to know

Length: 6 km
Time: 4 hrs
Grade: Moderate / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: Circuit
Access: The track begins and ends at Conservation Hut Carpark, at the end of Fletcher Street in Wentworth Falls.
Further Info: See The Bushwalking Blog’s article about this trail. We actually completed this walk as part of a guided tour but this isn’t necessary and the article describes everything you need to know to do it without a guide.

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Prince Henry Cliff Walk

Prince Henry Cliff Walk - Blue Mountains National Park

Image courtesy of David Angel from Travel With Little One

Prince Henry Cliff Walk is most visitors’ introduction to bushwalking in the Blue Mountains, as it passes through Echo Point. This is the visitor hub of the Blue Mountains National Park, with staggering views of the Jamison Valley and the famous Three Sisters rock formation a few hundred metres away.

Many only explore as far as the steps to the Blue Mountains, which is a pity as it’s a superb walk with many more lookouts, especially across the valley to Mount Solitary.

The Prince Henry Cliff Walk does just what it says on the tin, following the clifftop route, so you’re never far from a view down into or out over the Jamison Valley below. The section between Echo Point and Leura Cascades is mostly shaded, giving welcome respite from the summer heat. There is a 15-20 minute detour down to the falls themselves, culminating in a memorable view across the Valley. The path to the Gordon Falls end of the Walk is more open to the sun, and the views are fantastic the whole way.

It’s also well worth exploring the western section of the walk, between Katoomba Cascades and Echo Point. I returned there nine years after my first visit with my wife and then three-year-old son. It’s a great walk to try with kids, as roads run parallel to most of it, as does the Blue Mountains Explorer Bus route. We tried the Little Man out on a 1.5 km stretch with plenty of steps up and down, and he made very short work of it.

This walk was submitted by David Angel from Travel With Little One.

Need to know

Length: 7 km
Time: 3 – 4 hrs
Grade: Easy – Moderate / Grade 3 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: One-Way
Access: Start either end, at Katoomba Cascades (close to Scenic World) or at Gordon Falls in Leura. It passes Echo Point viewpoint, where many join the path for a short section of the Walk.

Pulpit Rock Track

Pulpit Rock Track
Image courtesy of Darren & Lauren from Faramagan

No Blue Mountains day trip would be complete without a visit to one of the most exciting lookouts in the region – Pulpit Rock.

Pulpit Rock Lookout near Blackheath is a thrill seekers paradise. Perched on top of a dramatic pinnacle that juts out from the surrounding cliff face, it offers viewpoints at various levels depending on your fear of heights. The final viewpoint is down a near vertical ladder that only the bravest of thrill seekers can stomach before legs going to jelly. Regardless of the viewpoint you choose, the views are equally beautiful as you can admire panoramic views across Grose Valley including the striking Blue Gum Forest and Govetts Leap.

While many choose Pulpit’s rock as their picnic stop and only visit from the car park, for the more adventurous, the full Pulpit walking track is a must. The track begins at Govetts Leap and ends with the highlight of Pulpit Rock look out. The track begins to the left of Govetts Leap lookout, follow the steps to a small creek and cross the bridge to start the track. The track leads around the cliff edge, where you can admire the stunning views of the Grose Valley from the numerous lookouts along the way. Finally, cross Popes Glen Creek where you will find steps up to Horseshoe Falls look out.

Follow the cliff top track further and as the views of hazy blue Eucalyptus becomes clearer, this is the sign you are near Pulpit rock lookout. Simply retrace your steps to return.

TIP: If you prefer an easier track, from Pulpit Rock carpark to the Top Lookout is only 600m and should take around 30 minutes to complete.

This walk was submitted by Darren & Lauren from Faramagan.

Need to know

Length: 7.6 km
Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Grade: Easy-Moderate / Grade 3 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style Return.
Path Taken: Govvetts Leap Lookout – Popes Glen Creek – Horseshoe Falls – Pulpit Rock Lookout – return via same route.
Access: Turn off Great Western Highway at Blackheath traffic lights to access Govetts Leap Road. The track begins to the left of Govetts Leap lookout.

Govetts Leap Loop

Govetts Leap Loop

Image courtesy of Sarah Alexander from Where is Sarah?

From the spectacular Govetts Leap Lookout to the waterfalls and lush rainforest, this tough day hike is well worth the effort. The train station in the beautiful Blue Mountains township of Blackheath is both the kicking off and finishing point of the hike, so it’s perfect for anyone taking a day trip from Sydney on public transport. If the Govetts Leep Descent hike above is too short for your tastes, this is the perfect way to explore deeper into the Grose Valley.

Need to know

Length: 8.7 km
Time: 4 hrs 30 min
Grade: Difficult / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: Circuit
Access: The walk begins from Blackheath Railway Station.
Path Taken:Blackheath Station – Pope’s Glen Trk – Boyd Beach Trk – Boyd Beach – Popes Glen Trk – Bridal Falls Lookout – Govetts Leap Lookout – Braeside Walk North – Barrow Lookout – Govetts Leap (falls) – Braeside Walk North – Braeside Picnic Area – Blackheath Station.
Further Info: See The Bushwalking Blog’s post on the Govetts Leep Loop, written by Sarah Alexander.

Ruined Castle & Scenic World

Ruined Castle
Ruined Castle is an impressive rock formation with views across the Jamison Valley, which is a must-visit for anyone up for the challenge of hiking there. On your traverse across the valley, you’ll pass through beautiful rainforest and even a massive landslide.

Although there are other route options to visit Ruined Castle, there’s a lot to be said for starting from Scenic World. Apart from the obvious aesthetic appeal of Scenic World, this makes the walk a nice 13-kilometre day, and if you don’t mind dropping a few bucks you can ride the Scenic Railway or Scenic Cableway into and out of the valley to save your legs.

Need to know

Length: 13 km
Time: 7 hrs 30 min
Grade: Moderate / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: Return
Access: The walk starts from Scenic World, which is on the corner of Violet Street and Cliff Drive in Katoomba. Follow the Scenic World signs from the main street.
Further Info: See The Bushwalking Blog’s article about this trail.

Six Foot Track

Six Foot Track

The Six Foot Track in the Blue Mountains is a multiple 3 days hike. The walk starts off at Katoomba Explorers Tree and ends at Jenolan Caves. It passes through rivers, waterfalls and bushes. Some sections of the walk are steep and hence the walk is quite challenging. The walk goes up to an elevation of 2066 metres and is around 44.8 kilometres one way.

The best way to get to the starting point of the hike is by taking a train from Central to Katoomba and then taking the bus to the Explorers Tree. And there are free campsites at Old Ford Reserve, Cox’s River and Black Range, where one can camp for the nights. The campsite has very basic facilities with water. Just to note that there are no barbeque facilities and even though there is water, ensure to carry water filter tablets to purify the water as you’ll need to collect rainwater. One best tip for the walk is to carry a light backpack, as light as possible. The food and the tents need to be carried all along.

Even though Six Foot Track is a challenging hike, I must admit that it is one of the best multi-day hikes I have done. The path and the forests that the track passes through are absolutely breathtaking. The views of the Blue Mountains are spectacular.

This walk was submitted by Raksha from Solo Passport. You can also follow her adventures on Instagram.

Need to know

Length: 44.8 km
Time: 3 Days
Grade: Difficult / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Style: One Way
Access: Train from Central train station to Katoomba train station and then taking a bus to Explorers Tree. The walk starts from here.
Path Taken: Explorers Tree – Megalong Village – Bowtells Swing – Cox River Camping Ground – Alum Creek Camping Ground – Black Range Camping ground – Jenolan Caves.

Have you got your own ideas about the best hikes in Blue Mountains National Park? Got any questions, comments, updates or corrections? Let us know by commenting below.

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