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Bushwalking track notes, photographs, maps and more for Fortress Ridge Trail are found in each of the tabs below
Fortress Ridge Trail
Time: 3 hrs Walking time
Includes the time for the return leg
Please allow extra time to rest and to explore
7.1 km NNE of Leura
Length: 7.4 km Walk Length
As this is a return style walk, the 7.4 km includes the return leg of this walk (ie back to the start)
Blue Mountains National Park
Climb: 244 m Total Climbing
This walk has a total cumulative climb of 244 m, this is the total of the elevation gains made in each of the walks uphill sections
There is car access and parking near the start and end of this walk
Style: Return
Track: Moderate

A fantastic return walk with stunning views, this track leads along the Fortress Ridge, out to the cliffs above the Grose Valley. The views from the lookout and along the trail are superb, with the sheer cliffs and a deep valley to put it all in perspective. The track is popular with canyoners, who use it to access Fortress Canyon. (open in app)


There are Closed areas in Blue Mountains National Park
Today's Fire rating
LOW MODERATE (No fire ban)
  Bushwalking track notes photographs, maps and camping spots for Fortress Ridge Trail

Map of Walk

Location

                Sponsor of Fortress Ridge Trail bushwalking tracknotes
Map of Fortress Ridge Trail
Problem loading PDF Try here
Map Controls - Show Contours | Hide Path | Hide Distances | Hide Names
Map Scale 1 km
Fortress Ridge car park
Int. Fortress Ridge Service Trail and Spur Trail
End of service trail
Eastern Trail Split
Western Trail Split
Fortress Canyon Entry Trk
Fortress Canyon Exit Trk
Starting point for this hiking track: Fortress Ridge car park

Base maps are used under licence and is © Department of lands   Panorama Avenue Bathurst 2795   www.lands.nsw.gov.au

Maps that cover the walk area (please always carry maps of the area)

Print a map and track notes here
 Katoomba 1:25 000 Map Series NSW-89301S 
 Katoomba 1:100 000 Map Series 8930 

Photo Gallery

 
Fortress Ridge car park
 
Fortress Ridge car park +
 
Fortress Ridge service trail
 
Fortress Ridge service trail +
 
View from Fortress Ridge service trail
 
View from Fortress Ridge service trail +

 
Split in track around rock feature
 
Split in track around rock feature +
 
Track down to Fortress Canyon start
 
Track down to Fortress Canyon start +
 
Fortress Ridge track
 
Fortress Ridge track +

 
Lockley's Pylon from Fortress Ridge Track
 
Lockley's Pylon from Fortress Ridge Track +
 
View into the Grose Valley from Fortress Ridge lookout
 
View into the Grose Valley from Fortress Ridge lookout +
 
View from Fortress Ridge lookout
 
View from Fortress Ridge lookout +

Terrain


Please note: This is a 'return' style walk and therefore these graphs only show the terrain for the first half of the walk (until the turn around point.)

Cross sectional view of the Fortress Ridge Trail bushwalking track

Cross Section of the Fortress Ridge Trail bushwalking track



Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Fortress Ridge Trail bushwalking track

Summary of the gradients over the the lenght of the Fortress Ridge Trail 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.
Length 7km
Time 3 hrs
.


Grade 3/6

Track: Moderate
AS 2156.1 Gradient Short steep hills (3/6)
Quality of track Formed track, with some branches and other obstacles (3/6)
Signs Directional signs along the way (3/6)
Experience Required No experience required (1/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)
Infrastructure Limited facilities, not all cliffs are fenced (3/6)
*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
This whole walk, 3.7km has short steep hills.

Quality of track
This whole walk, 3.7km follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles.

Signs
This whole walk, 3.7km has directional signs at most intersection.

Experience Required
This whole walk, 3.7km requires no previous bushwalking experience.

Weather
This whole walk, 3.7km is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).

Infrastructure
This whole walk, 3.7km has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced).

Track Notes


Since this is a 'return' style walk once you have had enough of the walk, turn around and retrace your steps back to the start.
Drive to Fortress Ridge car park
You can drive or ride to this start of this Bushwalk There is free parking available.
You can drive or ride to the start of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip to the start of this walk.
Plan your trip from --> Sorry there are no driving directions, but you can see the start of this walk on this map

(0 km) Fortress Ridge car park to End of service trail
Track: Moderate - servicetrail
Length = 1.47 km Time = 29 mins
Climb = 48 m Descent = -36 m
From the car park (and 'Fortress Ridge' sign), this walk heads around the gate and up the hill. The management trail swings right for approximately 50m then turns left. The trail leads to an area of low heath, then tends right (down the hill) for approximately 100m before coming to an intersection.
Continue straight: From the intersection, this walk heads down the hill in a northerly direction. The trail soon rises up a slight hill, passing low heath on the left before continuing up the hill. The walk then flattens out for approximately 200m before slowly rising up another hill for approximately 100m more, coming to an intersection with a smaller track on the left.

(1.47 km) End of service trail to Western Trail Split
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 220 m Time = 5 mins
Climb = 11 m Descent = -1 m
Turn left: From the intersection, the walk heads west up the hill, following the bush track. The track soon comes into view of a knoll, with a rock feature at its head. The track continues to the intersection below this feature.
Veer right: From the intersection, the walk heads up the hill of the knoll, keeping the rock feature to the left of the track. The track continues down the other side, soon coming to an intersection.

(1.69 km) Western Trail Split to Fortress Canyon Entry Trk
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 267 m Time = 6 mins
Climb = 15 m Descent = -5 m
Veer right: From the intersection, this walk heads down the hill, then over a small hill with denser bushland, before coming to a defined 'Y' intersection in the track.

(1.96 km) Fortress Canyon Entry Trk to Fortress Canyon Exit Trk
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 1.59 km Time = 33 mins
Climb = 56 m Descent = -61 m
Continue straight: From the intersection, the walk does not follow the track marked by the arrow on the rock, but instead heads over a large grey rock surface. The track heads across the ridgeline, undulating over four knolls. The track passes through areas of trees and open heath then turns north, off the last knoll. From this last knoll, the track heads down the spur line, nearing the cliffs on the left. On the spur line, the track comes to an intersection with another track on the right (which heads down into the valley).

(3.55 km) Fortress Canyon Exit Trk to Fortress Ridge Lookout
Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 132 m Time = 3 mins
Climb = 2 m Descent = -9 m
Veer left: From the intersection, this walk follows the spurline towards the large valley and views of cliffs. The track continues down into a saddle and up to a lookout, near a few bushes on the edge of the cliff.

Fortress Ridge Alt = 924 m
Fortress Ridge lookout has stunning views over the Grose Valley to Govetts Leap, Horseshoe Falls and Blackheath. From the lookout, the vista to the west includes the impressive Lockley's Pylon, with Mount Hay in the background.

Drive from Fortress Ridge car park
You can drive or ride from this end of this Bushwalk There is free parking available.
You can drive or ride from the end of this walk
Use these links to plan your trip from the end of this walk.
Plan your trip to --> Sorry there are no driving directions, but you can see the end of this walk on this map

Getting there

Plan your trip to the start of the walk and back from the end of the walk

Public Transport links currently not working, sorry

Driving Directions
To the start of the walk
Since this walk starts on a low grade road
Google can't give you a route plan to the start.
View the location on a road map here --> See the start of the walk on a map
From the end of the walk
Since this walk ends on a low grade road
Google can't give you a route plan from the end.
View the location on a road map here --> See the end of the walk on a map


Near by


Campsites in the park
Acacia Flat
Burralow Creek camping ground
Coxs River Camping Area
Euroka campground - Appletree Flat campervan and camper trailer area
Euroka campground
Ingar campground
Mount Werong campground
Murphys Glen campground
Perrys Lookdown campground
Euroka Campground - Darug
Euroka Campground - Red Gum
Euroka Campground - Nioka
Euroka Campground - Bennetts Ridge


Nearest know Outdoor Stores near the start of this walk
Store Address Phone Distance (straight line)
Summit Gear 80- Bathurst Rd , Katoomba (02) 4782 3018 7.8 km
Paddy Pallin 166 Katoomba St , Katoomba (02) 4782 4466 8.1 km
Summit Gear 11 Ross St , Glenbrook (02) 4739 4373 26.7 km
Simdra Pet & Hobby Mart 45 Main St , Lithgow (02) 6352 4422 27.4 km
Lithgow 4WD Centre 281 Main St , Lithgow (02) 6353 1899 28 km


A list of the nearest UHF CB repeaters I found to Fortress Ridge Trail.
Channel Call sign
(more info)
Site Distance and dir from Fortress Ridge Trail
Click to re-center search
4 RIV04 Fire Service Rusden Road MT RIVERVIEW 26 km (to the ESE)
2 KUR02 Miles Comms Site 1 1 246 Burralow Road KURRAJONG HEIGHTS 26 km (to the ENE)
6 LGW06 Lithgow Council Site HASSANS WALLS 27 km (to the NW)
5 BIN05 Fire Tower MT BINDO
Emergency use only
33 km (to the W)
7 VMC7 Fire Tower MT BINDO 33 km (to the W)

Weather and Park info

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.

Weather and Climate
Weather and Climate summary detailed weather and climate information here
°C (feels like °)
km/h from the
% humidity     (as at )
Wed      27°Showers. Likely storm developing.
Thu16°|26°Shower or two.
Fri15°|28°Mostly sunny.
Sat12°|22°Possible late shower.
A graph displaying the average daily temperature range for the year

Blue Mountains National Park Link 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 fees Camping Facilities
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


Walker Feedback

Comments
Add NewSearch
Rebecca - Park in the right space! IP:124.184.77.xxx | 2008-03-31 15:50:02
The track was fantastic and as stated not too hard. BUT don't park in any of the car parks along the way unless you see the sign "Fortress Ridge". We did and ended up walking an extra 8 kns. (And then back again which was mostly uphill!!). So yes, we added 16 kms onto our nice trail walk. :oops: Just keep driving until you see the sign.
admin - re: Park in the right space! Super Administrator | 2008-04-02 10:06:22
Thanks Rebecca - I update the track notes to mention the signpost for the carpark. Hopefully save someone else the extra walk. Glad you enjoyed the walk, it is a magic area. :D

Rebecca wrote:
The track was fantastic and as stated not too hard. BUT don't park in any of the car parks along the way unless you see the sign "Fortress Ridge". We did and ended up walking an extra 8 kns. (And then back again which was mostly uphill!!). So yes, we added 16 kms onto our nice trail walk. :oops: Just keep driving until you see the sign.
Pawel - side trip to a magic lookout IP:203.214.155.xxx | 2009-01-05 23:07:01
you can add a bit to this walk by going to one extra lookout on the way. there is a track leading there. The coordinates of the lookout are: S33 39.145 E150 21.189. (you need to turn left from the main track around S33 39.246 E150 21.639)

here is a photo of the view:
http://photo.polas.net/p352114333/h36baaeb8#h36baaeb8

I think it is one of my favourites walks in BM.
ian - Side trip to Dr Dark's Cave IP:58.111.134.xxx | 2013-09-16 07:54:50
An interesting side trip is Dr Dark's Cave. It is not shown on Department of Lands maps but is shown on Open Street Map (OSM): http://osm.org/go/uYismgS5--?m=.

Turn left from the main Forest Ridge trail at S33.65406 E150.36058 (about 700 m from the car park) then right at S33.65381 E150.35676 about 350 m from the turn-off. The track to the cave is steep and rough but well worn and easily followed.

The spectacular cave was discovered by Dr Eric Payten Dark (1889–1987) in the 1930s. Dark was a Katoomba GP and husband of novelist Eleanor Dark. There is an audio about his outdoor activities at http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/offtrack/dr-eric-dark/3948548.

Please leave the cave and surroundings as you find them.
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Loading the images not too much longer now :)


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