This walk explores a section of the Grose River and the flats around the superb Blue Gum Forest. The track then climbs up to Govetts Leap Lookout and along Pope's Glen to Blackheath. The hard yakka will be rewarded by some superb views of blue gums, the gorge, waterfalls and cliffs. This walk is one where you'll want to have a friend with a car (they can enjoy some shorter walks or the great cafes in the area) or hail a taxi.
(open in app)
This walk passes through a remote area and sections have no visible track. At least one person in your group should have training and experience in off track walking and navigation. Even with these notes and a GPS these extra skills and equipment are required.
Cross sectional view of the Pierces Pass to Blackheath Station bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Pierces Pass to Blackheath Station 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.
Very steep (4/6)
Quality of track
Rough unclear track (5/6)
Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
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
9km of this walk has short steep hills and another 7km is very steep. Whilst another 970m has gentle hills with occasional steps and the remaining 830m is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
10km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 4.9km follows a rough unclear track. Whilst another 1.8km follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely and a 1.2km section follows a smooth and hardened path. The remaining 75m follows a clear and well formed track or trail.
Around 11km of this walk has directional signs at most intersection, whilst the remaining 7km is clearly signposted.
Around 13km of this walk requires no previous bushwalking experience, whilst the remaining 4.5km requires some bushwalking experience.
This whole walk, 18km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
9km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 7km has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged). The remaining (1.8km) is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats).
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Pierces Pass, Blue Mountains NP, is a passage through the cliffs from the Bells Line of Road. The pass is popular with rock climbers, who use it as an access track to the cliffs.
Pierces Pass car park
Int. Pierces Pass and Grose River Tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 2.12 km
Time = 1 hr 23 mins
Climb = 22 m
Descent = -496 m
From the car park, this walk heads down the hill tending right, to follow the creek. The track then follows the line of the creek, which drops away quickly before the track winds under a rocky outcrop. The track then winds to pass a tree which ends with a large step at the roots of the upturned tree, marking the intersection. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads down the hill, with the creek below on the right. The track becomes lighter as the rainforest vegetation gives way, and the track leads away from the cliff lines of Pierces Pass. The track then descends across the hillside for approximately 400m to tend right onto a narrowing spur line. The track is quite steep in places as it makes its way down to the creek flats. From where the track meets the creek flats, the walk then leads through the low vegetation to the creek. The track crosses the creek to head downstream for approximately 20m, then climbs off the creek flats and coming to an intersection with signposts pointing to 'Burra Korain, Victoria Falls' and 'Acacia Flats'.
Int. Pierces Pass and Grose River Tracks
Blue Gum Forest intersection Route: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 4.9 km
Time = 1 hr 34 mins
Climb = 110 m
Descent = -184 m
Turn left: From the intersection, this walk follows the sign to 'Acacia Flats', keeping the creek below on the left. The track continues for approximately 500m, undulating across the steep hillside. The terrain then begins to flatten out as the track leads onto a creek flat area. After a short while, a clearing with a fireplace is passed, on your right. The track continues to undulate along the hillside, with the creek to the left, for approximately 2km, to an area where the creek flats broaden. The track passes some more clearings with fire places, coming to a sign marked 'Blue Gum Forest'. The track passes this sign and continues for approximately 500m to a well-signed intersection.
Blue Gum Forest
Alt = 311 m
Blue Gum Forest, Blue Mountains NP, is a large stand of Eucalyptus deanei trees on the junction of the Grose River and Govetts Creek. The magnificent trees stand tall on the flats with low vegetation beneath. The trees of Blue Gum Forest represent the protection efforts of Myles Dunphy, who lead a group to raise the 130 pounds required to buy the Blue Gum Forest - quite a sum in 1931 during the depression - and save it from being cleared. The group were successful and the Blue Gum Forest is now protected within the Blue Mountains National Park. More info
Blue Gum Forest intersection
Acacia Flats Camping Ground Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 606 m
Time = 10 mins
Climb = 4 m
Descent = -4 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the sign 'Camping only at Acacia Flats', heading downstream. The track tends right, away from the Grose River and towards the hills on the right. The walk then heads downhill and across a small creek, after which it meanders for approximately 100m before arriving at Acacia Flats camping area.
Acacia Flats Camping Ground
Alt = 312 m
Acacia Flats Camping Ground, Blue Mountains NP, is situated on the floor of the Grose Valley between Perrys Lookdown and Lockley Pylon. The camp ground is approximately 50m from Govetts Creek and approximately 500m upstream from Blue Gum Forest. Acacia Flats Camping Ground is appropriately named after the dense population of Acacias found in this area. Acacia Flats is a wonderful area to camp with tall shady Blue Gums and level grass clearings which make for a great place to pitch a tent. There is a pit toilet and sitting logs to make camping more comfortable, and plenty of room for large groups. Water is available from Govetts Creek (treat before drinking).
Acacia Flats Camping Ground
Junction Rock Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.98 km
Time = 1 hr 2 mins
Climb = 130 m
Descent = -80 m
Continue straight: From Acacia Flats camping area, the walk leaves the camping area with the Grose River far to the left and the majority of the camping areas to the right of the track. The walk passes a pit toilet on the right after approximately 100m. Continuing along the creek flats before climbing up a small hill, the track contours and undulates for approximately 600m to round a hill which gives views of Pulpit Rock above on the cliffs. The track turns right to climb up the hill, and then left to contour for some time. As the slope lessens, the track descends to the creek bank, which is on the the right. The track continues to contour for approximately 1km just above the creek, on a steep bank which has minor undulations, until it comes across a clearing with a 'No Camping' sign. The track turns left here and descends to the creek bank at a signposted intersection of Junction Rock. Junction Rock 'intersection' sits in the middle of the creek.
Alt = 361 m
Junction Rock, Blue Mountains NP, is a rock situated in the middle of the Govetts Leap Brook and Govetts Creek junction. The rock is signposted, giving directions to Evans Lookout, Neates Glen, Acacia Flats and the Blue Gum Forest. Junction Rock is a great place for lunch and a swim in summer.
Bottom of Govetts Leap falls Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.35 km
Time = 1 hr 15 mins
Climb = 390 m
Descent = -22 m
Veer right: From Junction Rock, the walk follows the 'Govetts Leap' sign, soon crossing the brook. The track then follows the brook for approximately 150m, to another creek crossing. The track continues, with the creek now on its left, for approximately 60m, before crossing back to the other bank. The track continues for approximately 1km with the creek to the right, and undulates steeply in sections between magnificent waterfalls. A section of track traverses a rock shelf for a short stretch, before continuing to wind up and down (with the creek to the right) to a few sets of steeply-cut stairs. From these, the walk continues to wind over hills to a creek crossing. The track then heads up the spur, winding between views of waterfalls, before tending left further up the hill. The walk leads up the winding steps for some time, until crossing the creek at the bottom of a waterfall cascading off the large cliffs - Govetts Leap falls.
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.
Bottom of Govetts Leap falls
Govetts Leap Lookout Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 606 m
Time = 42 mins
Climb = 305 m
Descent = -61 m
Continue straight: From the bottom of Govetts Leap Falls, this walk heads north-west, following the blue signs up the hill. The track zigzags its way steeply up to a wall of rock covered by moss, ferns and grasses. The track passes along the base of this cliff to a metal staircase, passing through the rock. The track continues to wind steeply below the cliffline, passing two lookouts before coming to the signposted intersection. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the sign to 'Govetts Leap carpark' up the stairs. The walk zigzags up the hill before tending left to the signposted intersection. Turn left: From the intersection, this walk heads across the grassed area towards a platform structure. The walk climbs some stairs onto Govetts Leap Lookout, with its great views and sandstone monuments.
Govetts Leap Lookout
Alt = 975 m
Govetts Leap Lookout is named after the first European man to have enjoyed this view, William Govett, as an assistant surveyor in June 1831. Govetts Leap Lookout offers wonderful views over the Grose Valley and the spectacular Bridal Falls. The word `leap` is an old Scottish word meaning waterfall. The lookout is easily accessed from the car park, there are also toilets[fac=8007] and picnic shelters[fac=8012] nearby.
Govetts Leap Lookout
Horseshoe Falls Lookout Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 336 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 23 m
Descent = -62 m
Turn around: From Govetts Leap Lookout, this walk heads down the stairs at the edge of the lookout, keeping the valley to the right. The walk then crosses a grassed area to a well-signposted intersection on the edge of the tree line. Turn left: From the intersection, this walk heads down some stairs, keeping the valley to the right. The walk turns right over a bridge, continuing around the hillside to drop down onto a viewing area and intersection. Veer left: From the intersection, this walk heads down steep stairs, keeping the valley to the right. The track then winds along the cliff top until coming to an intersection, near Horseshoe Falls Lookout.
Horseshoe Falls Lookout
Alt = 901 m
Horseshoe Falls Lookout, Blue Mountains National Park, is a small fenced lookout. There are views down to Horseshoe Falls and across the Grose Valley.
Alt = 894 m
Horseshoe Falls, Blue Mountains National Park, are sourced by Popes Glen Creek which runs over the cliff into the Grose Valley. The Horseshoe Falls seem to be named after the shape of the valley into which they drop.
Horseshoe Falls Lookout
Int. Popes Glen Trk and Boyd Bch Trk Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 441 m
Time = 11 mins
Climb = 31 m
Descent = -41 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads along the cliff top towards Horseshoe Falls, with the valley below to the right. The track winds for some time around the hillside, to a lookout on the right, before continuing around to a railing some steep stairs. The stairs lead to Popes Glen Creek, where the track continues through the ferns to meet a street sign. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk follows the sign to 'Popes Glen' keeping the creek below on the right. The track continues for approximately 100m, rising to the left of a prominent rock feature. The walk passes another track on the right (with access to the creek), then continues to rise past the rock feature (on the right - The rock feature has a trail to its top.) This walk continues from the rock feature, heading down the hill to a signposted intersection.
Int. Popes Glen Trk and Boyd Bch Trk
Boyd Beach Optional sidetrip: Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 37 m
Time = 1 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -3 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk heads down the hill following the 'Boyds Beach' sign (under the bush). The walk winds down the rocky steps for approximately 40m to Boyd Beach. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then continue straight to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 923 m
Boyd Beach, Blue Mountains National Park, is a small sandy bank on Popes Glen Creek. The beach is a quiet spot with nice ferns and shade. The beach is a short distance from the Popes Glen track.
Int. Popes Glen Trk and Boyd Bch Trk
Int. Popes Glen Trk and Dell St Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.12 km
Time = 49 mins
Climb = 145 m
Descent = -48 m
Turn left : From the intersection, this walk heads up the hill, following the arrow on the sign pointing to 'Blackheath'. The track continues above the creek (on the right) for some time, then crosses a bridge so that the creek is now on the left. The walk crosses a second bridge, then continues for some time up a rocky hill to an intersection below power lines, with a bridge below on the right. Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads up the hill, keeping the creek below on the right. The walk soon crosses the creek at a bridge, continuing along the other side to a small waterfall (on the left). The track then continues up the hill for for a short time, passing an intersection (with access tracks to Clarence Rd). The track continues to head up the hill for approximately 300m to the intersection with Dell St.
Int. Pope's Glen Trk and Dell St
Blackheath Station Track: Moderate - footpath
Length = 1.18 km
Time = 26 mins
Climb = 65 m
Descent = -27 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk heads down Dell St, keeping the bush to the left of the road and houses to the right. The walk soon passes Cleopatra St on the right and continues along Dell St to the intersection with Gipps Lane, on the right (where Dell St changes name to Wills St). Turn right: From the intersection, this walk heads along Gipps Lane, passing a large wooden house to the right of the road. The road tends left onto Robertson Lane which then becomes Wills St. The walk follows Wills Street for sometime to turn left onto Inconstant St and then right onto Gardiner Cres. Gardiner Cres is followed to the Great Western Highway, where there is a petrol station on the left. From here, this walk turns left to follow the Great Western Highway, keeping the petrol station on the left, as the walk heads towards the Gardners Inn pub. This walk continues to the pedestrian crossing, opposite Blackheath Station steps. Turn right: From the pedestrian crossing, this walk crosses the Great Western Highway to turn right up the covered station steps. The walk follows the railway bridge to the top of the station staircase.
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 6 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 6 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