8 Best Walking Tracks in the Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains is one of the most popular tourist and weekend-getaway destinations in New South Wales. Just over an hour away from Sydney, this World Heritage listed area is home to a large number of beautiful walking tracks, enormous cliffs, deep valleys and canyons, lush rainforest, thriving wildlife and numerous lookout points with breathtaking views.

Several different theories exist around the blue haze that often hovers over the mountains. It is commonly believed that this haze is caused by rays of light reflecting on dust particles, water vapour and organic chemicals emitted by eucalyptus trees. This dense eucalyptus vegetation was also one of the reasons the Greater Blue Mountains Area was officially listed as a World Heritage site in 2000 by UNESCO.

 
 

8 Best Blue Mountains Walks

The Blue Mountains region is a true paradise for bushwalkers with literally hundreds of beautiful walking tracks to choose from. Some of these hikes have been around for more than a century while others have only been opened to the public in recent years.

Here are 8 of the best walking tracks in the Blue Mountains. Some of them are short and easy trails, others are much harder tracks that require a good amount of preparation.

1. Grand Canyon Walk

Often regarded as one of the most impressive walking trails in the Blue Mountains region, the Grand Canyon Walk will leave you in awe as you make your way through lush rainforest with several creek crossings, small waterfalls, huge sandstone walls and rock overhangs.

Opened to the public in 1907, the 6km long Grand Canyon walking track was the first of its kind in the Blue Mountains and has since been challenged by thousands of hiking enthusiasts each year.

Grand Canyon walk Blue Mountains

 
Distance: 6 km (circuit)
Time: 2.5 hours
Grade: moderate / hard
 

2. Katoomba Falls Round Walk

Often overlooked by tourists, the circuit walking track to Katoomba Falls brings you up close and personal with one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Blue Mountains. This short but very pretty walking trail starts right at Scenic World and guides you through lush rainforest all the way to Katoomba Falls with panoramic views over the valley below.

The waterfall forms part of the Kedumba River and descends about 150 meters into the enormous Jamison Valley.

Katoomba Falls round walk

 
Distance: 4 km (circuit)
Time: 2 hours
Grade: easy / moderate
 

3. National Pass

Built at the start of the 20th century with picks, shovels and dynamite, the National Pass is one of the most famous bushwalks in Australia. Starting at the Wentworth Falls picnic area, this 4.5km circuit trail passes several lookouts with panoramic views of the famous Wentworth Falls and the Jamison Valley, with sections of the track built into the side of the cliff.

Highlight of the track is The Grand Stairway, a set of hand-carved stone steps that gives hikers access to the valley below Wentworth Falls.

National Pass Blue Mountains

Image credit: IG/banandrea90

 
Distance: 4.5 km (circuit)
Time: 3 hours
Grade: moderate / hard
 

4. Six Foot Track

Originally built in 1884 as a horse track, the 44km long Six Foot Track is now an epic 3-day walking trail from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves, passing several rivers and cascading waterfalls. One of the many highlights along this track is the crossing of the Bowtells Swing Bridge, a suspension footbridge over the Coxs River. The bridge was built to help hikers with an alternative route during periods of heavy flow in the river.

The track has plenty of excellent overnight camping options along the way. It really is quite an experience to be cooking your own meal outside in the dark right in the middle of the Blue Mountains while looking at the stars.

Six Foot walking track Blue Mountains

 
Distance: 44 km (one way)
Time: 3 days
Grade: hard
 

5. Federal Pass

The historic Federal Pass walking trail runs between Leura forest and west Katoomba, taking in most of the famous sights in the Katoomba region. The track follows the cliff line with several climbs down into the valley below.

Some of the highlights of this challenging hike are the iconic Three Sisters, the Jamison Lookout, Leura Forest, the Golden Staircase and the Bottings Lookout. You should schedule in a full day to complete this beautiful walking track.

Federal Pass Blue Mountains

Image credit: IG/andy.bone

 
Distance: 8 km (one way)
Time: 5 hours
Grade: hard
 

6. Ruined Castle Walk

The Ruined Castle walking track connects with the Federal Pass in Katoomba, guiding bushwalkers towards the Ruined Castle, one of the most iconic landmarks in the Jamison Valley.

The track begins at the famous Golden Stairs and slowly descends into the valley until you start your climb up the Ruined Castle, an impressive rock formation from where you can enjoy panoramic views across the valley and beyond.

Ruined Castle walking track Blue Mountains

Image credit: National Parks

 
Distance: 8 km (return)
Time: 4 hours
Grade: moderate / hard
 

7. Cliff Top Walking Track

The 3km Cliff Top walking track runs between two of the most impressive lookout points in the Blue Mountains: the Govetts Leap lookout and the Evans lookout.

Located near Blackheath, this beautiful track follows the cliff edge, offering breathtaking views over the huge Grose Valley below. At Evans Lookout, this walking track connects with the famous Grand Canyon Walk.

Cliff Top walking track

 
Distance: 3.2 km (one way)
Time: 1.5 hours
Grade: moderate
 

8. South Lawson Waterfall Walk

If you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful bushwalk without the crowds, the South Lawson Circuit Walk will not disappoint. This undiscovered and unpretentious walking trail takes in four small but very pretty waterfalls in the southern part of Lawson, a quiet town 14km east of Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

The starting point of this walk is well sign-posted at the corner of Honour Ave and Livingstone St in Lawson. Although this is a circuit walk, there are a few intersections along the way where things can get a bit confusing, so it’s a good idea to have a close look at the map before you start.

South Lawson waterfall circuit walk

 
Distance: 2.5 km (circuit)
Time: 1.5 hours
Grade: easy / moderate
 
 

 
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