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Crossing the Blue Mountains – Penrith to Katoomba

Great West Walk (Part 2)

Nine days…

121km, and

Over 7km of ascent combined with 6km of descent.

That is what my mapping app tells me that I will be covering as I set off from Penrith to cross the Blue Mountains and finish in Katoomba. It is roughly equivalent of hiking two thirds of the GR20 – which is on my list for next year. And, the great news is, that it is on my doorstep – just 60 to 90 minutes away in the Blue Mountains.

Why isn’t this one of Australia’s Great Walks? And, why can’t I find more information online about the route I have plotted? I decide I will simply have to walk it and find out more…

My route is not the same as that proposed by the Great West Walk, as I dont like the idea of lots of bitumen. I want to find my own path – just like Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson did when they became the first European settlers to successfully navigate a path across the Blue Mountains in 1815.  I feel quite intrepid about this and I wonder who will be adventurous enough to join me on my route?

   DistanceElevation
   AscentDescent
1Penrith to Glenbrook via Mt Portal Lookout & Red Hands Cave          21.0            760            609
2Glenbrook to Blaxland via Duck Hole & Bullants Lookout          14.6            664            594
3Blaxland to Springwood via Lost World Lookout & Sassafras Gully          13.7            641            506
4Springwood to Linden via Glenbrook Creek & Lady Martin’s Baths          10.4            415            247
5Linden to Hazelbrook via Multiple Falls (Edith, Burgess, Lyrebird, Hazel, Mabel)           13.3            728            583
6Hazelbrook to Lawson via Terrace Falls Reserve & South Lawson Waterfall Circuit          11.1            560            500
7Lawson to Wentworth Falls via Empire Pass & Bruces Walk          10.8            664            518
8Wentworth Falls to Leura via Gladstone Lookout, Sublime Point & Pool of Siloam          14.1         1,191         1,151
9Leura to Katoomba via Giant Staircase & Furber Steps          11.9         1,409         1,416
     
          121 km         7.1 km         6.2km

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