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11 of the Best Walks in the Blue Mountains

The beautiful surroundings and rugged terrain make the best walks in the Blue Mountains a joy to explore.

Three Sisters

The Blue Mountains is a nature-lovers paradise. The region is packed with scenic viewpoints and walks of all difficulties and it's just 90 minutes from Sydney! Whatever kind of walk you're craving; the Blue Mountains has it. So, pack water, snacks and your hiking shoes and try one of these nature-fuelled treks. The satisfaction will stay with you as long as the snaps. Read on for 11 of the best walks in the Blue Mountains. 

*Before you make the trip and lock in your next Blue Mountains hike, make sure to check out the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Services website for the latest alerts and updates in the area.

Grand Clifftop Walk (Image Credit: NSW National Parks)

Grand Clifftop Walk 

If you've only got a weekend to spare and want to tackle a walk on the longer side, the Grand Clifftop Walk will give you a bit of everything. Skirting the rocky rim of Blue Mountains National Park, the 19km hike will take you past Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, The Three Sisters, lookouts in droves and a number of waterfalls to boot. As the walk skirts the clifftops and doesn't descend into Jamison Valley, you're never too far from civilisation should you wish to stay overnight in comfort or grab something to eat. As scenic as they come, this walk is a great intro to the rugged expanse of the Blue Mountains. 

Distance: 19km

Time: 1-2 days 

Ruined Castle (Image Credit: Stephen Alton)

Ruined Castle 

Depending on whether the car park at Golden Stairs is open or not, you may need to start the hike at Narrowneck Lookout (add approximately another 8km for this). From the Golden Stairs car park you'll descend into Jamison Valley. On the way you'll score some great views of the Three Sisters. Be sure to take a moment in the valley to listen out for birdsong. After a steep upward climb you'll arrive at Ruined Castle. If you fancy taking in the sweeping views from the top you'll have to do a little bit of scrambling. From the top, you'll be able to see all the way out to Wentworth Falls and Cedar Creek Valley. Be sure to bring a picnic so you can fuel up for the tough hike back! 

Distance: 6.6km return 

Time: 4-5 hours hours

Round Walking Track

Round Walking Track

For a short but sweet snapshot of the Blue Mountains, opt for the Round Walking Track – a hike that highlights the natural beauty of the national park. The trail takes you through lush rainforest and starts with wonderful waterfall views at Rieds Plateau. It then goes down into the gorge, where you can expect to see plenty of native greenery as well as rosellas and lorikeets flying overhead. Then, at Vanimans Lookout, you’ll have unparalleled views of the Blue Mountains' most iconic sites, The Three Sisters and Katoomba Falls. As if that wasn’t scenic enough, the loop finishes at the whimsically named Juliet’s Balcony, which overlooks the Witches Leap waterfall.

Distance: 1.2km

Time: 1 hour

Cliff Top Walking Track

Cliff Top Walking Track

Bring your binoculars, because this track is a wildlife wonder – you’re almost guaranteed to glimpse king parrots, yellow-tailed black cockatoos, and rainbow displays of wildlife. It also follows the cliff edge, making it one of the most exhilarating trails in the Blue Mountains. The path starts at Govetts Leap Lookout and offers panoramic views over Grose Valley before ending at Evans Lookout (which doubles as a great picnic spot!). It’s dotted with greenery such as oaks, banksias and scrubs, and if you’re a rebel who likes to chase waterfalls, stop at Barrow Lookout.

Distance: 6km

Time: 3.5 hours

Grand Canyon Track

Grand Canyon Track

A world away from its US namesake, the Blue Mountains’ Grand Canyon Track is full of lush greenery, waterfalls, creeks and seriously spectacular views. The track starts at the Evans Lookout (near Blackheath), and its wetness makes it quite challenging, so be sure to wear proper shoes. As you descend about 200 metres down to the canyon floor, you’ll see huge native ferns, wattle and a creek before arriving at a sandy beach called the Rotunda. After that, you’ll enter the canyon, where you’ll be treated to views of sandstone cliffs, flowing falls, and fern forests. If you’re feeling energetic, take the detour to Beauchamp Falls – the path is on the rough side, but the cascading waterfall at the end is worth it.

Distance: 6.3km

Time: 3-4 hours

Butterbox Canyon (Image Credit: Walk My World)

Butterbox Canyon

If you're after incredible views with minimal effort, then the Butterbox loop is perfect for you! This relatively flat 3km loop trail begins at Mount Hay & Butterbox car park. From the car park the track is well worn and will deliver you straight to Butterbox Point in around 30 minutes. You'll want to leave plenty of time for photos as the views just get better and better. Do be cautious, however, as high winds frequent the area and as the path is quite exposed, it can make for a hair-raising walk. If you fancy extending your walk, you can also do the Mt Hay loop, another 3km loop that begins at the same starting point. 

Distance: 3km

Time: 1 hour return 

Six-Foot Track (Image Credit: Visit NSW)

The Six-Foot Track 

If you're up for a challenge and are an experienced bushwalker, the historic Six-Foot Track is as scenic as it gets. On the tougher side, this hike takes you from Katoomba to Janolan Caves by way of some of the best views in the mountains. You'll pass through the Megalong Valley and over the Bowtell Swing Bridge with ample opportunity to embark on additional side trips. It's a long one, but the terrain is incredibly varied with vineyards, farmland, bush and rivers just a few of the landscapes you'll travel through. 

Sitchu Tip: Don't fancy camping? Stop off at the Six-Foot Track Eco Lodge for a cosy bed and hearty kangaroo stew. 

Distance: 46km one way 

Time: 3 days 

Govetts Leap (Image Credit: National Parks NSW)

Govetts Leap Lookout

Are you an experienced hiker? On your next trip to the Mountains, try Govetts Leap Lookout, a harder walking track that will reward you with sweeping views of Govetts Leap (fun fact: ‘leap’ is the Scottish word for ‘waterfall’), as well as Grose Valley. The walk down is steep, but the cliff views, hanging swamps, tunnelled rocks and wildflowers are the ultimate distractions. When you reach the bottom of the valley, pause for a picnic, to birdwatch, or just breathe in the fresh mountain air. Then, brace yourself for the walk back up – and embrace the droplets falling down on you from the forest above. They’re nature’s way of washing off the sweat!

Distance: 1.8km

Time: 2 hours

Leura Cascades

Leura Cascades Fern Bower

For a perfectly balanced day in the Blue Mountains, do the Leura Cascades Fern Bower circuit, and pack a picnic lunch and your swimmers. The trail begins at Leura Cascades, a pretty picnic area surrounded by eucalyptus trees, which leads to Bridal Veil Falls and Leura Falls. A few different walks can be accessed from there, but we recommend the Fern Bower, a loop that’ll take you along the cliff line and down to Jamison Valley – two very impressive sights. It’s a lush, green track, with plenty of rock formations and wildlife like catbirds and wompa pigeons. On the way back, stop for a refreshing dip at Leura Falls before finishing where you started with lunch at Leura Cascades.

Distance: 4.5km

Time: 3 hours

Jellybean Track

Jellybean Track

A perfect hike for young families, the joyfully named Jellybean Track, is an easy, entry-level hike that winds through the beautiful native rainforests of the Blue Mountains National Park and ends at a gorgeous natural swimming hole. Start at the Glenbrook entrance to the National Park and follow a short downhill track to Jellybean Pool, a relaxing natural swimming hole with a sandy shore, flanked by golden sandstone cliffs. There are calm easy waters perfect for splashing around and floating in the sun. Keep an eye out for powerful kestrels, jewel-coloured rainbow lorikeets and breathtaking blue kingfishers.

Distance: 1km return

Time: 30 minutes - 1 hour

Prince Henry Clifftop Walk (Image Credit: Steve Alton)

Prince Henry Clifftop Walk

With scenic valley vistas, fragrant wildflowers and views of the most iconic natural sights in the Blue Mountains, the Prince Henry Clifftop Walk from Katoomba to Leura is the crown jewel in the cadre of Blue Mountains hikes. Following the cliffs edge from Katoomba Cascade to Gordon Falls passing hanging swaps, fields of yellow and gold Christmas Bell flowers and past scenic lookouts including the beautiful Elysian Lookout. Although the walk is not too difficult you might want to stop for lunch along the way, a picnic at any of the 20 lookouts on the trail is the perfect addition to a perfect Blue Mountains day.

Distance: 7km one way

Time: 3 - 4 hours

Sassafras Gully Loop (Image Credit: Andrew Azzopardi)

Sassafras Gully Loop

Starting from Springwood Station, you can begin your walk around the long but rewarding Sassafras Gully Loop. Navigating your way past dramatic rock features, through bushland and rainforest gullies, the Sassafras Loop gives you the opportunity to criss-cross creeks and chase waterfalls. Passing through Perch Ponds campsite you’ll find a gorgeous swimming hole. Four kilometres on you’ll find Martins Falls which can slow to a dribble in dry months but creates a gushing waterfall after rainfall. Stop for lunch at the Fairy Dell Reserve Picnic Area. The dense vegetation is home to many native animals from lyrebirds and ducks to echidnas and glow worms that create a magical constellation of twinkling lights.

Distance: 10.5km circuit

Time: 4 - 5 hours

Waterfall Walk, Mt Wilson (Image Credit: Walk My World)

Waterfall Walk, Mount Wilson

Chase waterfalls through this easy rainforest walk towering trees, grottos and gullies as well as a smattering of waterfalls. The towering ferns along this track are known as the cathedral of ferns, a natural marvel that's only made more holy by the ethereal glowworms that line the trail.

Distance 1.4km loop

Time: 1 hour

Please be sure to check local government website for news and alerts before setting out. 

You'll definitely be tired after a day of exploring the best walks in the Blue Mountains. If you’re looking for a place to lay your head then check out our edit of the best accommodation in the Blue Mountains or treat yourself at the best restaurants in the Blue Mountains.

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