45km / 4 days / short and day walks
Scale four mountain peaks and make many dramatic descents on this four-day hike through Kanangra-Boyd and Blue Mountains national parks. In this wild, mountainous country, it’s all about highs, lows and humbling views. Take in incredible views from the top of Kanangra Wall, wade across Cox’s River and scale the cliff-face of Narrow Neck. Spend the night in Hundred Man Cave, at campsites at Dex Creek and Mobbs Swamp, or pitch your tent in a grassy clearing. Most people do the walk in four days, but you can condense it to three days, or even two if you’re fit and camp near Cox’s River. This is challenging walk for fit and experienced walkers, and you’ll need to arrange a pick-up or park your car in Katoomba.
Walk from the Kanangra Walls car park to the Plateau Track, which splits and reforms like a river across several rocky clearings. Travel across the ominous-sounding Murdering Gulley and onto a plateau dressed in the soft colours of heathland flowers. From here, you can see out to Kanangra and Kalang Falls, the craggy Thurat Spires, Mt Cloudmaker and all the way south to Mt Colong. Scramble down and up to Kilpatrick Causeway. Walk in the shadow cast by Crafts Wall and climb Mt Berry past lyrebirds and blue lilies. It’s a sharp descent to Gabes Gap, where you can declare ‘I’ve hit the day’s lowest point’ and feel extremely happy. Do the challenging climb to the top of Mt High and Mighty, where the inspiring views will make you forget your aching legs. Climb over the tree-cloaked summit of Mt Stormbreaker to the inviting shelter of Hundred Man Cave.
Walk across the ridge line on a chain of windswept knolls called Rip, Rack, Roar and Rumble. Stop on the summit of Mt Cloudmaker to take some wilderness photos and sign your name in the log book. Then take the north track, dropping through dry sclerophyll forest to Dex Creek. Pick your way carefully through the dense heath to Carra Top and along the ridgetop. Head down through open forest, grass trees and brightly-coloured fungi to Mt Moorilla Maloo. On the summit you’ll find a rocky platform with views to the north, east and west. Descend via Strongleg Ridge and Kullieatha Peak, lined with whimsical grass trees which change colour in the light. Follow the ridge down to the junction of Kanangra Creek and Cox’s River, where you can fill up on water and set up camp for the night.
Wind alongside the Cox River, beneath shady trees, to a place you can cross. You’ll find a long tranquil pool upstream from small rapids to the west of Yellow Pup Ridge. The river should be about knee-deep, any higher and you will need to wait or return to Kanangra Walls. Explore the open forest of Yellow Pup Point before heading up Yellow Pup Ridge past wombats, blue flax lilies and white finger orchids. It’s a 4km climb to the summit, where you can glimpse Kanangra Walls through the tall eucalypts. Walk through open forest and across rocky outcrops to the flats below Mt Dingo. From here, a clear path leads you to the summit and Splendour Rock lookout. Marvel at the vast expanse of mountains, river and sky and see the plaque dedicated to bushwalkers who died in World War II. Camp here or head down the mountain to the campsite at Mobbs Swamp, on Mt Yellow Dog Track.
Take the high road across Wild Dog Mountains from Splendour Rock, or the low road from Mobbs Swamp. See ridges and gorges come to fiery life at Splendour Rock, then head north to tree-topped Mt Dingo. Take in sweeping views from Dingo Gap and the bare plateau at Mt Merrimerrigal, before dropping beneath the western cliffs to Warrigal Gap. From here, you can head down the western slope to Mobbs Soak, back on the Mt Yellow Dog Track. Walk to Medlow Gap, over Mt Debert and down into Little Cedar Gap. Walk to Narrow Neck Peninsula through open forest dotted with greenhood orchids and mossy rocks. Use the climbing spikes of Tarro's Ladders to haul yourself up the cliff line. You’ll crawl over clefts, ledges and ladders to Clear Hill. From here, follow the fire road along Narrow Neck, then up and down to Bushwalkers Hill and finally the locked gate at the end of the path.