Blue Mountains National Park: Wentworth Falls circuit 7km

I arrived in Katoomba after driving 300km from Boorowa. Hence a late-ish afternoon start hiking this circuit. HOT February weather and I played it safe with a short-ish hike. Albeit with some effort involved.

This particular loop encompasses 3 tracks. Overcliff Track, Undercliff Track and the National Pass in that order. I refer to the hike as a Wentworth Falls circuit since you cross the falls.

Wentworth Falls picnic area is the obvious parking choice. However, I opted for the less visited Conservation Hut parking area instead.

Happy as Larry on the trail again. Impossible to not be, with views like below. Hot weather or not.

Finally…

No pictures from Overcliff Track as no real views, but one pic from Undercliff Track. Why that name…?

Undercliff Track… literally

The stepping stones across Wentworth Falls, a popular end destination for many. A small waterfall left of here…

Stepping stones across Wentworth Falls

…with a larger fall on the right. We will soon see the water from underneath.

Where is all that water going?

Descending the National Pass trail takes some courage. However, imagine the pioneers building it some 100 years ago. Not much protection then.

Descending alongside Wentworth Falls

That is the National Pass there below. Our trail. Hold on to your hat and keep your balance as we’re getting down.

National Pass – time to descend

Wentworth Falls from underneath were magnificent today. Plenty of rain lately filled up Jamison Creek leading onto the falls. Some wind and you get the effect below. Filled with awe, I got sprayed aplenty while taking it all in. Marvellous!!

Wentworth Falls

Water had collected in pools further down where mostly young people were enjoyed themselves. Did I mention HOT day? Some 32 degrees Celsius now.

Pool below Wentworth Falls

Somewhat ironic, this stone pays tribute to trail restoration including an award win. One problem! The stone had become unstuck and leaned on that rock behind it. Perhaps solidify it was a lesser priority.

Trail restoration award of distinction

The National Pass then follows the cliff edge back towards our starting point. Some distance up from the bottom of the valley. Further down, in parallel, are Wentworth Pass and some other trails.

Moving west on National Pass

The halfway point of the National Pass has a new marker. The rock bench provided opportunity for a break.

National Pass halfway marker

Dramatic everywhere you looked. Looking up from National Pass you see these semi-circular rock formations in places.

Up the hill

The fallen rock below ended up right on the trail. Ouch…

Fallen rock

Sometimes, there were green patches like the below. The picture may not convey well, but hot, moist and steamy here. A real greenhouse effect walking through.

Thru a greenhouse

Note the cut underneath the rock over the trail. I had to bend down there which meant that somebody probably didn’t in time. That would hurt!!

Bend or you shall suffer

Soon, I arrived where National Pass and Federal Pass join. Great signage in Blue Mountains these days. Significant improvement from earlier visits.

National Pass signage

That sign on left, standing on National Pass, with Federal Pass ascending from below.

National and Federal Passes junction

Climbing back up towards Conservation Hut and I encountered Asians with ropes. Probably(?) some abseiling group finishing up for the day. A tour guide provided leadership and instructions.

Done for the day

Completing my hike at Conservation Hut, sweat was dripping off me. Almost everything I wore was wet. Most days, coffee at the Conservation Hut’s cafe before departing would be attractive. Today, I was desperate for a shower and cooling down. Hence, back to car for the short drive to my Katoomba hostel.

A short hike, but as the guide books say, it “feels longer”. The views will blow you away if you haven’t been to the Blue Mountains before. Australia’s Grand Canyon on a smaller scale.

Unfortunately, more hot weather forecast for tomorrow, my only full Katoomba day. I had hopes for cool mountain weather to hike some good ol’ “tougher” favourites, but what can you do?

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