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Crossing the Blue Mountains – Penrith to Katoomba

Stage 7: Lawson to Wentworth Falls via Empire Pass & Bruces Walk

10.8km +664m -518m (Allow 4-5 hours)

This stage takes you to Bruces Walk across three valleys, multiple creeks and a few rather precarious ladders. Eventually you end up at Wentworth Falls Station after a short bit of bitumen.

At the start of the walk, we take a detour near Lawson to view Fairy Falls, Dantes Glen and St Michaels Falls (part of the North Lawson Waterfall Circuit). This loop detour should take 30-45 minutes of walking but we miss a turning, forget to check the map and manage to make it over an hour – oops! It’s a beautiful short detour and well worth exploring given the overall day will be quite short (by our standards) and the track is well maintained.

Once on Bruces Walk, we can see why the track has fallen into neglect. It’s nice enough but nothing like the jaw dropping scenery we have experienced so far in the Blue Mountains. The trail passes Shelter Cave (complete with a bench seat) but is mainly noted for its ancient and uncertain ladders. These turn out to be fine but we do wonder before climbing if they will hold our weight – thankfully they are all quite short and prove to be sturdy. At times, the track is slippery and muddy and we think this section is best walked after it has dried out from rain. The walk tends to go up and then down as it moves from valley to valley – a bit repetitive given the lack of views. Thankfully the waratahs are out in bloom.

We see a few pylons and join a few firetrails but mostly it is a narrow, single track – it doesn’t feel difficult but it is clearly not walked very often.


Post Trail Thoughts

North Lawson Waterfall Circuit is well worth a visit and accessible to most hiking enthusiasts. Bruces Walk is best attempted by those die-hard fans of box-ticking who are well prepared.


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