The Grand Canyon, Cliff Top and Braeside tracks are an excellent way to see the great diversity of the Blue Mountains National Park in the Blackheath area, from the Neates Glen rain forest, through the void of the Grand Canyon, to the separation of plateau and valley by the Cliff Top walk. The walk then finishes with a creek-side stroll along the Braeside Track. It truly is a wonderful walk.
(open in app)
Cross sectional view of the Grand Canyon, Cliff Top and Braeside Walks bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Grand Canyon, Cliff Top and Braeside Walks bushwalking track
Overview of this walks Grading - Based on the AS 2156.1 - 2001
These details are new. This new feature still requires more testing and refining. Please use the 'Walker Feedback' for report specific issues. Please e-mail Matt if you have any general comments. Hope you find it helpful.
Under this standard, a walk is graded based on the most difficult section of the walk.
4 hrs 30 mins
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely (4/6)
Minimal directional signs (4/6)
Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Storms may impact on navigation and safety (3/6)
Limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged) (4/6)
*This summary of grading information is new and still in testing
Some more detail of this walks Grading
Here is a bit more details explaining the grading looking at sections of the walk. Gradient
4km of this walk has short steep hills and another 3.3km is very steep. Whilst another 1.9km has gentle hills with occasional steps and the remaining 150m is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
5km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 3.5km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely. Whilst another 220m follows a clear and well formed track or trail and the remaining 150m follows a smooth and hardened path.
6km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection and another 3.2km has minimal directional signs. The remaining (370m) is clearly signposted.
Around 6km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 3.4km requires some bushwalking experience.
Around 8km of this walk is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation), whilst the remaining 850m is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety.
6km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 2.8km has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged). The remaining (840m) is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
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Neates Glen car park
Neates Glen car park sign Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 639 m
Time = 18 mins
Climb = 13 m
Descent = -151 m
From Neates Glen car park, this walk heads down the stairs following the 'Grand Canyon Track' signs. The track zigzags many times down the hillside, with the surrounding vegetation becoming more like a rainforest, before the track comes to a railing. From this railing, the track winds down more stairs to a second railing that crosses over a creek. The track continues to wind down the right side (with creek on the left) of the canyon. The track follows the creek down past a few mossy overhangs of rock to cross a boardwalk bridge before the canyon opens up. The canyon opens onto a densely vegetated area which leads the track to a creek crossing and a sign pointing back up to 'Neates Glen carpark '.
Alt = 931 m
Neates Glen, Blue Mountains NP, is a deep little valley with a creek running through it. Neates Glen is part of the Grand Canyon Track and offers a nice sample of rainforest before entering the Grand Canyon itself.
Neates Glen car park sign
Rotunda Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 542 m
Time = 14 mins
Climb = 31 m
Descent = -53 m
Continue straight: From the sign, this walk heads away from the creek and car park, following a short section of a rock shelf to round the corner of the hill. The track contours around the hill for a little while passing under a few rock overhangs, before winding steeply down the hill into the canyon. The track heads down the cliffs by stairs to a signposted intersection in front of a sandy rock overhang, the Rotunda.
Alt = 848 m
The Rotunda, Blue Mountains NP, is an area on Greaves Creek where the cliff has been carved out to form an overhang, over a sand beach within the Grand Canyon. The Rotunda is a great area for a rest and a snack, especially on a hot day.
Evans Lookout Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 2.69 km
Time = 1 hr 23 mins
Climb = 314 m
Descent = -212 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the sign to 'Evans Lookout', winding around the side of the canyon under the rock overhangs. The track soon passes through a small rockfall tunnel, and then passes behind a waterfall to continue around the railed canyon track for approximately 500m, coming to a railing bridge in front of another waterfall. Continue straight: From the waterfall, this walk continues to contour around the canyon wall, keeping it on the right of the track. The track does so for quite some time before winding down deeper into the canyon after rounding a hill. The track winds down to a signposted intersection. From here, the track crosses the creek a few times before turning left at a rock overhang then crossing the creek again. The track quickly winds through the creek before passing over a bridge and continuing down the canyon. After approximately 200m, the track winds past a pool in the creek to then come to a signposted rock in a creek. Veer left: From the intersection, the walk crosses the creek to another sign, pointing up the stairs to Evans Lookout. The walk climbs these stairs, up through the gap in the cliffs. The walk heads up the gully on stone cut steps which are soon met by a railing for a short while, and then up a set of wooden steps to the intersection with several signs. Veer left: From the intersection, the walk follows the 'Evans Lookout' arrow up the hill, weaving around boulders. The track then tends left before climbing up the stairs, through a pass in the rock, to Evans Lookout.
Alt = 951 m
Evans Lookout, Blue Mountains National Park, looks over the spectacular Grose Valley, with its deep gorges, green forest and prominent cliff lines. The fenced lookout is at the end of Evans Lookout Road. There is a rock shelter hut and toilets.
Evans Lookout toilets Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 137 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 21 m
Descent = 0 m
Turn sharp left: From the lookout, this walk heads up the hill towards a stone shelter. The track continues past the stone shelter and away from the cliff line, to soon arrive at the car park. Continue straight: From the information sign, the walk heads around Evans Lookout car park to the toilets at the opposite end (away from the cliffs).
Alt = 931 m
Hayward Gully, Blue Mountains National Park, is named after the first white man, William Hayward, to reach the floor of Govetts Gorge, in 1847. The area is a small gully along the Cliff Top Walk between Evans Lookout and Barrows Lookout. The gully is a quiet place, with a bench seat to enjoy the flora and fauna, and views through the trees into the Grose Valley.
Evans Lookout toilets
Barrow Lookout Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.1 km
Time = 53 mins
Climb = 104 m
Descent = -165 m
Turn right: From the car park, this walk heads past the toilets, away from the road and car park. The track descends the hill for approximately 100m to a flat area of approximately 60m. The track then becomes boardwalk for 30m, across a bridge in 'Haywards Gully'. The track continues to undulate around the hillside for approximately 500m, then drops into a gully and climbs out again. The track tends left, out of the gully, to a bench seat on the left, the intersection. If the track begins to descend after the bench seat, you have gone too far. Veer right: From the bench seat, this walk heads down along the cliff top with the valley below on the right. The track descends some stairs for approximately 200m to flatten out for 100m or so before descending some more stairs, to 'Barrow Lookout'.
Alt = 910 m
Barrow Lookout, Blue Mountains National Park, looks down to Govetts Leap falls and across the Grose Valley. The lookout is fenced and has a bench seat to rest.
Govetts Leap (falls)
Alt = 894 m
Govetts Leap, is a waterfall in the Blue Mountains National Park. The fall is fed by Govetts Leap Brook which runs over the cliff into the Grose Valley. The falls are best viewed from Govetts Leap and Barrow Lookouts. Leap is a scots dialect word for cataract or waterfall.
Braeside Picnic Area Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 1.21 km
Time = 22 mins
Climb = 54 m
Descent = -10 m
Continue straight: From Barrow Lookout, this walk heads down the stairs towards Bridal Veil Falls and the creek in the valley. The walk soon comes to a signposted intersection, above cement stepping stones in the creek. Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Braeside Walk' sign, up the stream, along the rocky track. The walk leads approximately 100m, to then go down to the creek. The stepping stones are followed up stream to a set of stairs. This walk climbs the stairs and continues south-west for approximately 100m to find some overhead power lines.
The walk continues upstream, passing an overgrown track on the left (which heads underneath power lines on the left to join up with a management trail above on the hill). This track is passed, as the brook is followed for approximately 100m, passing some large boulders on the right as the track continues approximately 500m to the Braeside Picnic Area.
Braeside Picnic Area
Alt = 956 m
Braeside Picnic Area, Blue Mountains National Park, is a small picnic area on the southern end of the Braeside walking track. The picnic area has a bench table and stone barbeque. The picnic area is situated next to a small weir and waterfall amongst the ferns.
Braeside Picnic Area
Int. Braeside Service Trail and Braeside Picnic Area Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 58 m
Time = 1 mins
Climb = 8 m
Descent = 0 m
Continue straight: From the weir and the barbeque, this walk heads up the hill, keeping the weir on the right of the track, soon reaching the stepping stones. The track tends right across the creek via the stepping stones. From the creek, this walk heads up the steps to the signposted intersection on the management trail.
Int. Braeside Service Trail and Braeside Picnic Area
Int. James Rd Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.22 km
Time = 24 mins
Climb = 53 m
Descent = -3 m
Turn left: From the 'Braeside Walk' signposted intersection, this walk leaves the 'Braeside Walk' sign behind on the left as it continues along the service trail towards a waterfall. The track quickly swings left, passing the waterfall (on the left of the track) and continuing up the hill for approximately 400m. The track then tends right for approximately 100m, where is passes a service trail (which heads north). This walk continues south for approximately 600m to a large intersection.
Int. James Rd
Neates Glen car park Track: Moderate - road
Length = 698 m
Time = 12 mins
Climb = 5 m
Descent = -11 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads towards the road, passing a house on the left. The walk continues along James Rd to then turn left onto Evans Lookout Rd. The road tends right, to then pass Victoria Rd on the right. Shortly after Victoria Rd, this walk comes to the Bush Rock Cafe (now closed) on the left. Continue straight: From the Bush Rock Cafe(now closed), this walk heads along the road leaving the cafe behind on the left. The track continues down the road for a short time, passing Somerset Ave on the left, to then come to Neates Glen car park on the right.
Fire Danger This walk passes Central Ranges fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place. (Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 3 years ago) This walk passes Greater Sydney Region fire area which currently has a LOW MODERATE rating and No fire ban in place. (Tomorrow the Fire Danger Rating is LOW MODERATE, No fire ban.) (Downloaded 3 years ago) Please Note: Each park may have its own fire ban, this rating is only valid for today and is based on information from the RFS Please check the RFS Website for more information.
Blue Mountains National ParkLink to official closures and fire bans page Attracting over 3 million visitors annually, Blue Mountains National Park holds some of Australia's most spectacular and diverse wilderness areas. Explore the Grose Valley, with its sheer sandstone cliffs, waterfalls and scenic walking, or enjoy the famous views of the Three Sisters. Easy access makes a day trips very worthwhile, but with such diversity it would be great to stay in one of the many B&B's and spend a few days soaking up the region. Region: Sydney & Surrounds Park feesCampingFacilities Current Park Closure information for Blue Mountains National Park Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Closed areas: Grand Canyon walking track The Grand Canyon walking track will be closed from Wednesday 14 October 2015 to mid-June 2016. The closure is necessary to allow work to continue on improving the walking track. Access for canyoners will be on weekends only. Access from Evans Lookout via Beauchamp Falls to the Grose Valley will remain open. Evans Lookout carpark, Loop carpark, and Neates Glen carpark will remain open. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact NPWS Blue Mountains Heritage Centre on (02) 47878877 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Waratah Native Gardens Waratah Native Gardens picnic area is closed for maintenance. This includes the Gorge Walking track. No access to the area is permitted.Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact NPWS Hawkesbury area office on (02) 4588 2400 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Prince Henry cliff walk, Leura Blue Mountains City Council wishes to advise that Prince Henry cliff walk between Majestic lookout and the junction with the Leura Cascades walk is currently closed due to a landslip. Detours will be in place and clearly signposted around the affected area. Access from the Leura picnic area to the cascades is unaffected. For more information, please contact Blue Mountains City Tourism on 1300 653 408 or Blue Mountains Heritage Centre on (02) 4787 8877, or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Butterbox Swamp track The traditional access to Butterbox Canyon via the endangered swamp is now closed and rehabilitated. No access permitted. Canyoners should use the new track provided. Temporary signage is in place. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact Blue Mountains Heritage Centre on (02) 4787 8877 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Claustral canyon access change Access to Claustral canyon via the previous route across private land at Mount Tomah is no longer possible due to landholders denying access. Canyoners should respect the rights of Mount Tomah residents and avoid using private land. Alternative access from the west side of Mount Bell has been identified. For more information, please contact the Blue Moauntains Heritage Centre on (02) 4787 8877, open seven days 9am to 4.30pm, or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.
Closed areas: Cahills lookout - Katoomba As a result of a recent bushfire, Cahills lookout remains closed until further notice. For more information, please contact Blue Mountains City Council on (02) 4780 5000.
Closed areas: Waratah Native Gardens Waratah Native Gardens Some areas of this park are closed due to a major landslip event occurring across The Gorge Walking Track. Closed areas include The Gorge Walking Track in the Blue Mountains National Park. A full assessment is underway to determine the extent of damage and to ensure the area is made safe. The Gorge Walking Track is closed at the entry trackhead however the Waratah Native Gardens Day Use and Picnic Area located off Valley Ridges Road Berambing (west of Bilpin) has now been reopened. This closure may be extended and any extension will be posted as soon as possible. For more information, please contact NPWS Heritage Centre on (02) 4787 8877, open seven days 9am to 4.30pm, or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines