The Grand Canyon track is a Grade 3 walking track according to the NSW National Parks website. It’s estimated to be a 3-4 hour walk about 6.3 kilometres long depending on your fitness and mobility. I’m able-bodied, but not so much fit but we still managed to complete the walk in about 2.5-3 hours. It’s not a walk you want to rush so just go at your own pace or take it slowly if you need!
We parked our car at the Neates Glen Parking Area and followed the track in an anti-clockwise direction. We started off at the Evans Lookout near the Valley View lookout in Blue Mountains National Park, definitely a treat if you’re seeking incredulous views. It’s also the start point for several scenic day walks so you won’t be without options if you’re open to hikes of varying fitness demand.
As you descend into the vast greenness into the secret world within the Blue Mountains, you are met with these whimsical stone steps that lead you further into the walking track. We met a few other couples along the way who had been walking the track at their own pace. There’s no hurry to be anywhere so just enjoy the sights and sounds.
The valley floor was carpeted with a variety of ferns and the sound of babbling brooks was ever present. We tried to put a name to the ferns when we got back to civilisation and gave a couple their our own names. Suffice to say, there’s no such thing as a wormy fern.
There were a few sections of the track that were really steep, and the stone steps got a bit narrower so heed extra caution or you could miss a step. Sturdy shoes are a must, especially for clumsy people like me.
I bought myself the vegan hiking boots from Wills Vegan Shoes last year when we went to New Zealand and they’ve fared me well in various weather conditions. They’re extremely comfortable too and I plan on taking them with me to Thailand this week.
By the looks of the overgrowth surrounding each end of this fallen log, it’s been a very long time since it stood tall above the rest of the shrubbery on the floor. I wonder how it got to its horizontal state today?
It would’ve been good to be on a guided walking tour to ask questions like these!
When we reached these signs, we knew our trek was coming to an end. But not before arriving at this mini waterfall where fellow hikers stood under for a couple of seconds each to cool down. While this was no Beauchamp Falls, it was still one of the highlights of the Grand Canyon walking track.
If you look carefully, you’ll even be able to spot some adorable Australian animals like this Eastern Water Dragon here. It was sunbathing nonchalantly and stone still while people walked past.
That is until some stupid guy stepped on its foot because people don’t pay attention to where they walk. The guy was so unapologetic either which made me doubly angry. I wish I’d pointed the poor thing out before more people trampled over it in hindsight – lesson learnt.
This was a little tunnel that we had to walk through before ascending about a couple hundred steps back to the parking lots. There was a moment in there when everything was pitch black because there was no light from the angle of the formation.
When we got back to the car park, we still had a bit of a walk back to the Neates Glen Car Park so we snapped a few photos of plants we wanted to identify. Don’t ask me what these are because I’ve forgotten already. I’ll need to write the names down next time so I can keep track of what’s what!
If you’re considering doing the Grand Canyon track, make sure you check the NSW National Parks website to see if there are any events or alerts affecting walking conditions.
Most importantly, take a break from your electronics and have fun!