This walk explores the wonderful alpine country between Guthega village and Charlotte Pass at the end of Kosciuszko Rd. Starting with views of Guthega Dam, the walk visits Illawong Lodge and crosses the Snowy River suspension bridge before climbing up to Mt Twynam. Once on the Main Range track, you can take short side trips to Carruthers Peak and Blue Lake Lookout before crossing the Snowy River again and walking up to Charlotte Pass. A great walk for people who enjoy some off-track sections in their walks.
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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 Guthega to Charlotte Pass bushwalking track
Analysis and summary of the altitude variation on the Guthega to Charlotte Pass 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.
6 hrs 30 mins
Short steep hills (3/6)
Quality of track
Rough unclear track (5/6)
No directional signs (5/6)
High level of bushwalking experience recommended (5/6)
Forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather likely to have an impact on your navigation and safety (5/6)
No facilities provided (5/6)
*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
13km of this walk has short steep hills and another 2.2km has gentle hills with occasional steps. The remaining (240m) is flat with no steps.
Quality of track
5km of this walk follows a formed track, with some branches and other obstacles and another 4.9km follows a clear and well formed track or trail. Whilst another 3km follows a rough unclear track and a 1.5km section follows a rough track, where fallen trees and other obstacles are likely. The remaining 480m follows a smooth and hardened path.
5km of this walk is clearly signposted and another 3.7km has directional signs at most intersection. Whilst another 3.2km has minimal directional signs and the remaining 3km Has no directional signs.
7km of this walk requires a leader with a high level of bushwalking experience and another 4km requires a leader a with moderate level of bushwalking experience. Whilst another 3.6km requires some bushwalking experience and the remaining 480m requires no previous bushwalking experience.
8km of this walk is affected by forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather events that may impact on navigation and safety and another 4km forecast, unforecast storms and severe weather likely to have an impact on your navigation and safety. Whilst another 2.8km is affected by storms that may impact your navigation and safety and the remaining 400m is not usually affected by severe weather events (that would unexpectedly impact safety and navigation).
6km of this walk has limited facilities (such as not all cliffs fenced) and another 4.3km has limited facilities (such as cliffs not fenced, significant creeks not bridged). Whilst another 3.7km is close to useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) and the remaining 1.1km has no facilities provided.
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This walk leads through an extreme alpine environment and all walkers must be well prepared. During summer, be prepared for both very hot and cold weather, high winds, rain, snow, extreme UV levels and some sections of snow or ice on the ground. Before starting this walk, check advice with Snowy Region Visitor Information Centre (02) 6450 5600, the weather forecast and the snow conditions then change your plans as needed. These notes, grades and walking times have been written for use in the summer months only. Between May and the end of October, this walk is likely to be covered in snow/ice, visitors should carry and be prepared to use snowshoes or cross country skis. When there is a chance of significant snow on the ground, visitors will need particularly strong navigation and snowcraft skills - tracks and signage may not be visible. For most visitors, it is best to consider this walk closed during the colder months.
Between the long weekend in June and October, the road between Perisher Village and Charlotte Pass is closed by the RTA. It is possible to organise oversnow transport.
Alt = 1660 m
Guthega is a relatively small township, north of Perisher, and comprises mostly of hotel and lodge-style buildings. The most popular service in town is the Guthega Alpine Inn, open year round. The town is remote and access is by an all-weather dirt road. There are great views over the main range and the Guthega Pondage (part of the Snowy River Scheme). Guthega offers a great place to ski in winter, and to holiday in summer. In summer, there is plenty of walking, mountain biking, fishing and relaxing to be done. Walkers please note - there is no public water supply in the township, please fill water bottle before coming (or be willing treat and use the creek water).
Guthega Alpine Inn
Alt = 1665 m
Guthega Alpine Inn is on Guthega Road, about 500 metres past the base of the chairlift and 'Guthega Centre'. The hotel provides a year-round service including accommodation and meals. The hosts are friendly and the hotel provides a great base for walkers and other holiday makers. Please phone and book ahead for meals and accommodation. Phone 02 6457 5383 More info
Car park below Guthega Alpine Inn
Int. of Guthega road servicetrail and Flying fox track Track: Moderate - road,servicetrail
Length = 481 m
Time = 10 mins
Climb = 6 m
Descent = -34 m
From the car park (just below Guthega Alpine Inn, on Guthega Rd, 500m past the Guthega Centre), the walk follows the concrete road down the hill, keeping the main valley to the left. The road passes a small stone building and light post, just before coming to an intersection with another road heading off to the left, below the building named 'Toibunga'. Turn sharp left: From the intersection, the walk follows the concrete road down the hill towards the dam. After about 100m, the track veers right at another intersection, following the lower track. The concrete track turns to the right, but this walk continues straight, onto the wide dirt management trail (between the small boulders). Soon the trail bends right and comes to an intersection with a bush track.
Int. of Guthega road servicetrail and Flying fox track
Flying Fox Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 333 m
Time = 9 mins
Climb = 15 m
Descent = -44 m
Turn left: From the intersection, the walk heads between the boulders and is fairly flat initially, then, near a snow gum, the track steps down steeply and then winds down the hill to a 'T' intersection above Blue Cow Creek. (There is broken glass along this section of track, left over from Snowy River Scheme Camps). Veer left: From the intersection, the walk initially steps over a small, eroded gap in the track and then heads upstream alongside Blue Cow Creek, keeping the creek to your right. Before long, the track comes closer to the creek, and reaches a rocky crossing with a bridge and a flying fox over the creek.
Alt = 1598 m
This metal flying fox was put in place to provide a safer option for crossing Blue Cow Creek when the water rises over the rocks. There are many flying foxes in the area to help people cross creeks, especially useful during snow melt when water is cold, deep and fast-moving. In 2010, a metal bridge was installed over this creek, parallel to the flying fox, and the bridge is now the safest way to cross.
Blue Cow Creek crossing
Illawong Lodge Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 2.22 km
Time = 50 mins
Climb = 129 m
Descent = -87 m
Turn right: From the intersection, the walk crosses the creek on the bridge next to the metal flying fox. The walk then follows the bush track on the other side as it climbs to the top of the ridge. From the top of the hill, the track then winds down towards the Snowy River then turns left and generally follows it upstream. Soon the walk crosses a small creek and continues up the other side, undulating through the valley, crossing several more small creeks. The track winds left, away from the Snowy River, to climb the short hill to Illawong Lodge.
Alt = 1645 m
In 1956, the year after the Guthega Dam was first filled, the Kosciuszko State Park Trust gave permission for the conversion of the then-dilapidated hut into the present simple lodge. The lodge is maintained by members of Illawong Ski Tourers and friends. The nearby suspension bridge over the Snowy River and the flying fox over Farm Creek were built by members of Illawong. NPWS now maintains the suspension bridge and a new bridge over Farm Creek which has replaced the flying fox. The lodge can be reserved by members of the general public - see illawong.asn.au. There is also a small emergency shelter in the base of the hut, on the western wall, with enough room for a few people to see out a blizzard, with some water, blankets and other emergency supplies. More info
Suspension bridge Track: Moderate - bushtrack
Length = 160 m
Time = 4 mins
Climb = 0 m
Descent = -28 m
Turn right: From the west side of Illawong Lodge (where the emergency shelter is located), the walk heads down towards the creek following the bush track. The track winds through scrub, passing through a grass clearing along the way. The walk soon comes to a cable suspension bridge.
Alt = 1614 m
Constructed and maintained by Illawong Ski Tourers, and only a stone's throw from Illawong Lodge, this cable suspension bridge provides a safer way to cross the upper Snowy River. This provides the main access between Guthega and the Main Range. The bridge also provides great views of the valley.
Pounds Creek flats Route: Hard - undefined
Length = 2.58 km
Time = 1 hr 13 mins
Climb = 342 m
Descent = 0 m
Continue straight: From the suspension bridge, this walk crosses the Snowy River to the west bank and climbs the hill, tending to the left of the top of the hill, and continuing up through the thick scrub. This section of the walk their is not track please fan out and minimse your impact. The walk winds up the ridge line through some more shallow scrub, passing through a thin tree line. The walk continues around to the left side of the ridge, where it gets much steeper, staying high out of the gully (which is to your left). The walk continues to the top of the ridge where it is much rockier, next to the large flats near the headwaters for Pounds Creek.
Pounds Creek Flats
Alt = 1958 m
Located in the far upper reaches of Pounds Creek, this large flat area on the side of the ridge makes a great place to camp. The plateau forms a shallow hanging swamp in the few months after winter, when the snow melts and pools in the area.
This campsite is flat and sheltered from the wind by the mountain. Water supply from the creek is unreliable.
Pounds Creek flats
Twynam saddle Route: Hard - openland
Length = 1.07 km
Time = 29 mins
Climb = 131 m
Descent = 0 m
Veer left: From the flats, this walk heads south-west, following the ridge line that runs up the steep hill. The walk winds up and around the left side of the flats towards Little Twynam, bending around to the right as it approaches the top, then climbing up into the saddle between Little Twynam and Mt Twynam.
Mt Twynam Route: Hard - undefined
Length = 575 m
Time = 13 mins
Climb = 97 m
Descent = 0 m
Turn right: From the saddle, this walk heads north up the grassy hill towards Mt Twynam, climbing up the steep hill and winding through rocky outcrops. The walk turns to the north-west and continuing up to the trig station at the top of Mt Twynam.
Alt = 2182 m
Mt Twynam is the largest peak on the ridgeline that winds around behind Blue Lake. It was once the location of a trig station, which was used for navigation until it was taken down. The metal frame, which was the lower half of the station, still sits on the peak today.
Int of Main Range and Mt Twynam tracks Route: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 2.9 km
Time = 1 hr 1 mins
Climb = 26 m
Descent = -166 m
Continue straight: From the top of the mountain, this walk heads north-west, away from Little Twynam. The walk winds down through the rocky outcrops onto the ridge line, where it meets the old management trail and follows it west along the ridge line. The trail heads anticlockwise around Blue Lake until coming around to the south. The walk continues down and along the trail until coming to the right-hand side of the last knoll. Continue straight: From near the top of the hill, the walk follows the old 4WD trail south-west, down along the ridge line. At the end of the ridge, the trail winds down the steep, grassy hill into the saddle and around behind a signpost to the intersection with the Main Range track.
Int of Main Range and Mt Twynam tracks
Carruthers Peak Optional sidetrip: Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 862 m
Time = 18 mins
Climb = 99 m
Descent = -2 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the 'Main Range Track' sign across the saddle then uphill along the clear track. The track winds up along the ridge and in time comes to a rocky clearing on the eastern side of Carruthers Peak (where a short detour will reveal views down to Club Lake). Here the walk bends right and follows the clear track as it winds up the hill to the views at the top of Carruthers Peak. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then continue straight to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 2139 m
Carruthers Peak is a prominent mountain that is found along the Main Range track, from which you can see great views down over Club Lake and out across the valley to Charlotte Pass. Carruthers Peak was named after the NSW Minister for Lands and Premier, Joseph Carruthers. This name was given in 1991 by Richard Helms, who had previously named it Crummer.
Int of Main Range and Mt Twynam tracks
Int of Main Range and Blue Lake Lookout tracks Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 881 m
Time = 17 mins
Climb = 7 m
Descent = -60 m
Turn left : From the intersection, this walk follows the wide track in the opposite direction to the 'Main Range Track' sign, keeping the valley to your right. The track winds gently along the side of the hill, generally heading downhill. In time, the walk comes to a paved area with a view to Blue Lake, and some information signs marking a three-way intersection.
Int of Main Range and Blue Lake Lookout tracks
Blue Lake lookout Optional sidetrip: Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 643 m
Time = 14 mins
Climb = 8 m
Descent = -72 m
Veer left: From the paved area, this walk follows the dirt track next to the stone seat, heading east towards Blue Lake. The rocky track winds down and around the northern side of the ridge to a platform with an information sign and a fantastic view of Blue Lake. (Retrace your steps back to the main track, then turn left to continue along this walk.)
Alt = 1914 m
Blue Lake is the best example of a glacial lake in the alpine area. At 28m deep, this lake was formed when glaciers, flowing from the Great Dividing Range, converged and carved out a basin in the rock. This is visible in the cliffs behind the lake, where the glaciers have plucked out blocks of stone and carried them away. There is also a stream that flows from Blue lake, feeding Hedley Tarn just to the south.
Int of Main Range and Blue Lake Lookout tracks
Snowy River crossing Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 3.23 km
Time = 1 hr 7 mins
Climb = 33 m
Descent = -306 m
Turn right: From the intersection, this walk follows the long, paved footpath heading south, directly down to the valley (away from Blue Lake). About halfway down this hill, the track passes a 'Remnants of an ancient sea' information sign, then continues down the paved path to rock-hop across Carruthers Creek. The walk follows the wide track down the side of the hill, passing over a few paved sections. As the track leads between the granite boulders and over the top of the ridge, there are some views to Hedley Tarn (to your left). The track then starts to wind gently down the hill, passing a 'Created by glaciers' information sign and then, about 1.5km later, passes a 'Mountains of Soil' information sign as the track becomes a bit steeper. About 400m after this sign, the track becomes paved again and leads down to a creek. Here the walk crosses Club Lake Creek using the rocks, to the narrow strip of land between the two creeks. (The creek may not be safe to cross when water covers the stepping stones).
Snowy River crossing
Alt = 1717 m
At the lowest point of the the Main Range circuit track is the confluence (meeting) of the Snowy River and Club Lake Creek. The walking track uses stones in the river to try to get across with dry feet. Since the track crosses just above the confluence there is an 'island' halfway across. These creeks may become impassable after rain and snow melt. This is lovely place to rest and enjoy the water and valley.
Snowy River crossing
End of Kosciuszko Road Track: Hard - bushtrack
Length = 785 m
Time = 18 mins
Climb = 122 m
Descent = -1 m
Veer left: From between the creeks, this walk heads south along the wide track to cross the Snowy River using the stepping stones. (Crossing the river is dangerous and is not advisable when the water is flowing over the stepping stones). Soon passing the 'From the mountains to the sea' information sign, this walk continues along the wide, paved path that winds up the hill. The path leads through a scattering of snow gums for approximately 650m, then past a 'Glaciers shaped this ancient landscape' information sign. Passing below Charlotte Pass lookout (up to your left), the path soon comes to the turning circle at the end of Kosciuszko Rd at Charlotte Pass.
Fire Danger This walk passes Monaro Alpine 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 4 years ago) This walk passes Southern Slopes 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 4 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.
Region: South Coast & Highlands Park feesCampingFacilities Current Park Closure information for Kosciuszko National Park Closure information last downloaded Sunday 27th of September 2015 07:00 AM Closed areas: Thredbo Diggings campground closed to caravans Thredbo Diggings campground is currently closed to all caravans and camping trailers due to continuing wet conditions. There will be limited sites available for tents. Caravans and camping trailer sites are available at Ngarigo, Island Bend and Tom Groggin campgrounds. For more information please phone (02) 6450 5620.
Closed areas: Island Bend campground partially closed due to maintenance Partial closure of Island Bend campground due to maintenance. Camp sites are now available at the lower camp at Island Bend in Kosciuszko National Park. Other sites have been fenced and will remain closed for 6 to 12 months following capping works to ameliorate the asbestos risk and to allow for revegetation. Please observe all signs and closures. For more information, please contact Andrew Miller at the NPWS Jindabyne Office or on 0427 437391 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page. Download a map of the closed area.
Closed areas: Winter road closures The following roads will be closed until the October long weekend, unless weather allows them to be opened in late September:
Behrs Flat trail
Blue Waterholes trail
Broken Cart trail
Bullocks Hill trail
Cabramurra - Khancoban Road (KNP5)
Four Mile Hill trail
Geehi Dam Road (Olsen's Road)
Goobragandra Powerline Road
Kings Cross Road
Long Plain Road
Major Clews Road
Perisher to Charlotte Pass
Pocket Saddle Road
Port Phillip trail
Tantangra Dam Road
Three Mile Dam access trails
Davies Plain track
and all associated subsidiary roads and access trails. The Murray River crossing into Victoria at Tom Groggin campground is closed until 29 October 2015 due to winter road closures by Parks Victoria. There will be no access into Davies Plain, Mt Pinnibar and Tom Groggin fire trails in the Victorian Alpine National Park. Penalties apply for non-compliance. For more information, please contact the NPWS Tumut Visitor Centre on (02) 6497 7025 or the NPWS Snowy Region Visitor Centre on (02) 6450 5600, or visit the NSW National Parks safety page.
Closed areas: Thredbo Valley track reopening Sunday 27 September 2015 Sections 1 and 2 (Thredbo to Ngarigo) of the Thredbo Valley track will be reopening on Sunday 27 September 2015. The track from The Diggings to Skitube- Bullocks Flat, Bullocks Hut and Lake Crackenback Resort will remain open. The Bullocks and Muzzlewood tracks will also remain open. For more information, please contact the Snowy Region Visitor Centre, Jindabyne on (02) 6450 5600 or visit the NSW National Parks safety page for park safety guidelines.