20 Best Blue Mountains Walks (Hiking Guide)

Last updated: April 5, 2024

This guide shares the 20 best walks in the Blue Mountains, from easy, family-friendly walking trails to challenging half-day hikes.

With so many beautiful walking tracks, the Blue Mountains is a true paradise for bushwalkers who want to explore scenic waterfalls, deep valleys, and many lookout points that offer panoramic views.

Hiking is by far the best way to discover all that natural goodness, and in this guide, we are sharing the 20 best walking tracks in the Blue Mountains.

We have ordered these walks by area (east to west) and by distance.

Top 20 Blue Mountains Walks:

Walk Area Distance
1 Lapstone Zig Zag Walk Glenbrook 3 km (return)
2 South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Lawson 2.5 km (circuit)
3 Empire Pass Waterfall Circuit Lawson 5.5 km (circuit)
4 Valley of the Waters Walking Track Wentworth Falls 2.5 km (return)
5 Overcliff Undercliff Track Wentworth Falls 4 km (circuit)
6 Bridal Veil Falls Circuit Leura 4 km (circuit)
7 Lockleys Pylon Walking Track Leura 7 km (return)
8 Fortress Ridge Trail Leura 7.5 km (return)
9 Three Sisters Walk Katoomba 1 km (return)
10 Katoomba Falls Round Walk Katoomba 2 km (circuit)
11 Narrow Neck to Castle Head Katoomba 4.5 km (return)
12 Giant Stairway to Furber Steps Loop Katoomba 6 km (circuit)
13 Porters Pass Circuit Blackheath 5.5 km (circuit)
14 Cliff Top Walking Track Blackheath 6 km (return)
15 Grand Canyon Walk Blackheath 6 km (circuit)
16 Hat Hill to Bald Head Blackheath 7 km (return)
17 Hanging Rock Track Blackheath 8 km (return)
18 Asgard Swamp and Thor Head Walk Blackheath 9 km (return)
19 Walls Lookout Walking Track Bells Line of Rd 2 km (return)
20 Mount Banks Summit Walk Bells Line of Rd 2.5 km (return)
Important:
Before heading out to do one of these walks, it’s recommended to check the latest updates on closed areas within the Blue Mountains region on the National Parks website.

Top 20 Blue Mountains Walks

You can find the trailhead for each Blue Mountains walk by clicking on the map location link underneath each walk description.

1. Lapstone Zig Zag Walk

Knapsack Bridge in Glenbrook
Knapsack Bridge in Glenbrook

The historic Lapstone Zig Zag Walk in Glenbrook is a fascinating bush walking track that follows an abandoned railway line to the Knapsack Bridge.

The Knapsack Bridge is a large sandstone arch viaduct built in the second half of the 19th century to carry the Zig Zag Railway line over the Knapsack Gully.

The best location to start this fantastic walk is at the end of Knapsack Street in Glenbrook. From there, follow the trail into the bush until you see the first glimpses of the viaduct.

Another option (if the Knapsack Street access point is closed) is to walk to the Knapsack Bridge via the Knapsack Viaduct Trail starting from Mitchells Pass.

More information: Lapstone Zig Zag Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 3 km (return)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Grade: Moderate
Trailhead: Map location

2. South Lawson Waterfall Circuit

Federal Falls in South Lawson
Federal Falls in South Lawson

The family-friendly 2.5 km South Lawson Waterfall Circuit takes in four small waterfalls, quietly tucked away in a pocket of scenic bushland, not too far from the Lawson town centre.

Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, the track is easy to follow but can get a bit muddy. However, to see the waterfalls in their full glory, the best time to do this walking trail is after a period of rainfall.

The South Lawson Waterfall Circuit is one of the few dog-friendly walks in the Blue Mountains, so you’re welcome to bring your best mate along.

More information: South Lawson Waterfall Circuit.

Walk stats:
Distance: 2.5 km (circuit)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Grade: Easy
Trailhead: Map location

3. Empire Pass Waterfall Circuit

Frederica Falls in North Lawson
Frederica Falls in North Lawson

The 5.5 km Empire Pass Waterfall Circuit is situated in the northern part of Lawson (north of the highway) and is a bit more challenging than its counterpart in South Lawson.

This circuit walk consists of the Empire Pass and the Dantes Glen Walking Track, and like the South Lawson Waterfall Circuit, it takes in no less than four pretty waterfalls.

The Dantes Glen section (on Council land) is only 1.8 km long and includes three of the four waterfalls. The Empire Pass (within National Parks) is a bit longer and includes the fourth waterfall, Frederica Falls, which is beautiful enough to justify doing the entire waterfall circuit.

More information: Empire Pass Waterfall Circuit.

Walk stats:
Distance: 5.5 km (return)
Duration: 2.5 hour
Grade: Moderate
Trailhead: Map location

4. Valley of the Waters Walking Track

Empress Falls
Empress Falls

A relatively short but steep walking track, starting from the Conservation Hut in Wentworth Falls, brings visitors up close and personal with several scenic waterfalls.

The first section of the walk towards the Queen Victoria Lookout and the Empress Lookout is an easy path heading down via several sets of stairs.

From the Empress Lookout, the track descends further via a series of metal stairs before arriving at beautiful Empress Falls.

Beyond Empress Falls, the trail continues deeper into the Valley of the Waters to a few more waterfalls: Sylvia Falls, Lodore Falls, and Flat Rock Falls.

More information: Valley of the Waters Walking Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 2.5 km (return)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Grade: Moderate / hard
Trailhead: Map location

5. Overcliff Undercliff Track

Undercliff Track
Undercliff Track

One of the best walks in the Wentworth Falls area is the Overcliff Undercliff Track, a 4 km circuit walk that can be started from the picnic area or the Conservation Hut.

This hike doesn’t reach the valley floor and stays higher up on the cliffs, making it a less challenging adventure than the Wentworth Pass but just as enjoyable.

Various lookout points along the track offer scenic views over the valley and the waterfall, which makes this walk all the more engaging.

More information: Overcliff Undercliff Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 4 km (circuit)
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate
Trailhead: Map location

6. Bridal Veil Falls Circuit

Base of Bridal Veil Falls
Base of Bridal Veil Falls

The Bridal Veil Falls Circuit is a stunning walking track in the Leura area of the Blue Mountains, navigating through a rainforest landscape with waterfalls, creeks, and large cliff walls.

This fantastic 4 km loop walking track includes the Amphitheatre Walking Track and the Fern Bower Track, with the base of Bridal Veil Falls as the biggest highlight.

Bridal Veil Falls, also called Leura Falls, is a beautiful cascade waterfall on Leura Falls Creek, flowing into Jamison Valley. This waterfall looks similar to Wentworth Falls but is smaller and perhaps more intimate.

More information: Bridal Veil Falls Circuit.

Walk stats:
Distance: 4 km (circuit)
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: Moderate
Trailhead: Map location

7. Lockleys Pylon Walking Track

Lockleys Pylon
Lockleys Pylon

The walking trail to Lockleys Pylon is quite a unique bushwalk in the Blue Mountains, offering scenic 360-degree views of the Grose Valley, Govetts Gorge, and the sandstone cliffs of Mount Banks and Mount Hay.

This part of the Blue Mountains is still relatively quiet and undiscovered, which makes the track to the peak even more enjoyable. Even though it’s quite a short walk, you’ll be treated to various landscapes and habitats.

The last stretch to the summit of Lockleys Pylon is quite steep, but the views from the top are breathtaking.

From there, you can either make your way back to the car park or continue the walk to Du Faur Head and the Blue Gum Forest.

More information: Lockleys Pylon Walking Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 7 km (return)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Grade: Moderate
Trailhead: Map location

8. Fortress Ridge Trail

Fortress Ridge Trail
Fortress Ridge Trail

The Fortress Ridge Trail is a 7.5 km return hike that is not so well-known as the nearby Lockleys Pylon walking track, but the views might even be better.

The vantage point at the very end of the walk offers incredible views of the Grose Valley and the cliff walls.

If you’re up for it, there is a second walk that starts from the same car park, leading to another beautiful lookout point with scenic valley views from a different angle.

This 2.5 km walk to the Fortress Rock Lookout is significantly shorter than the trail to Fortress Ridge and is worth the extra effort.

More information: Fortress Ridge Trail.

Walk stats:
Distance: 7.5 km (return)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate
Trailhead: Map location

9. Three Sisters Walk

The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains
The Three Sisters

The scenic walking trail to the Three Sisters from Echo Point in Katoomba may be short, but there are many highlights along the way.

There are a couple of excellent lookout points to explore before arriving at the Honeymoon Bridge, which connects to the first of the Three Sisters.

The walk starts at the stone archway next to the Information Centre at Echo Point. It’s an easy and well-maintained path, although there is a challenging bit at the end where you have to do a small section of the Giant Stairway.

More information: Three Sisters Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 1 km (return)
Duration: 45 minutes
Grade: Easy
Trailhead: Map location

10. Katoomba Falls Round Walk

Katoomba Falls
Katoomba Falls

Often overlooked by tourists, the circuit walking track to Katoomba Falls brings visitors up close and personal with one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Blue Mountains.

This short and relatively easy walking trail is for all ages and fitness levels, but it does include a few sections that are a bit steep.

The track starts at Scenic World and guides hikers through a pretty rainforest landscape to Katoomba Falls, with panoramic views of Jamison Valley. The waterfall forms part of the Kedumba River and falls 150 meters into the valley.

More information: Katoomba Falls Round Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 2 km (circuit)
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate
Trailhead: Map location

11. Narrow Neck to Castle Head

Castle Head Lookout
Castle Head Lookout

The 4.5 km bushwalking trail from Narrow Neck to Castle Head is a pleasant walk that leads to a quiet but beautiful lookout with panoramic views.

This walk, still a bit of a hidden gem, starts from the Narrow Neck Plateau Trail, which extends from Glenraphael Drive in the Katoomba area. The trailhead is moments beyond the starting point of the Ruined Castle Walk.

The first section of the walk is on the Narrow Neck Plateau Trail, and the second part, the Castle Head Track, is a relatively easy bushwalk to that incredible lookout.

More information: Narrow Neck to Castle Head.

Walk stats:
Distance: 4.5 km (return)
Duration: 2 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate
Trailhead: Map location

12. Giant Stairway to Furber Steps Loop

Views from the Furber Steps
Views from the Furber Steps

The Giant Stairway to Furber Steps Loop in the Katoomba area of the Blue Mountains is an incredible walking track that includes two iconic staircases.

This moderately challenging hike is one of the best in the Blue Mountains, with panoramic Jamison Valley views, beautiful forests, unique rock formations, and much more.

The Giant Stairway is located next to the Three Sisters, and the Furber Steps is located close to Scenic World. One half of the walk follows the cliff edge, and the other half meanders through the valley.

More information: Giant Stairway to Furber Steps Loop.

Walk stats:
Distance: 6 km (circuit)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate
Trailhead: Map location

13. Porters Pass Circuit

Porters Pass rainforest gully
Porters Pass rainforest gully

The Porters Pass circuit is an exciting bushwalk in the Blackheath area of the Blue Mountains, involving waterfalls, valley views, creek crossings, rainforest gullies, and slot canyons.

This challenging hike combines four different walking trails and is among the best in the Greater Blue Mountains region. Interestingly, the Porters Pass Circuit is much quieter than, for example, the Grand Canyon Walk.

One of the highlights along this walk is the Centennial Grove Grotto Canyon, a slot canyon with a small waterfall and a natural swimming pool.

More information: Porters Pass Circuit.

Walk stats:
Distance: 5.5 km (circuit)
Duration: 3 hours
Grade: Moderate / hard
Trailhead: Map location

14. Cliff Top Walking Track

Evans Lookout
Evans Lookout

The Cliff Top walking track connects two of the most impressive lookout points in the Blue Mountains: the Govetts Leap lookout and the Evans lookout.

Located near Blackheath, this beautiful track follows the valley’s cliff edge, offering breathtaking views over the huge Grose Valley below. At Evans Lookout, this walking track connects with the Grand Canyon Walk.

You can start this scenic hike at the Govetts Leap or the Evans Lookout. To get to Govetts Leap, follow the Great Western Highway to Blackheath and turn into Govetts Leap Rd, which leads to the lookout.

Otherwise, if you wish to start at the other end, turn into Evans Lookout Rd in Blackheath and drive to the third and last parking area.

More information: Cliff Top Walking Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 6 km (return)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate
Trailhead: Map location

15. Grand Canyon Walk

Grand Canyon Walk
Grand Canyon Walk

The Grand Canyon Walk is among the most impressive and enjoyable hikes in the Blue Mountains. This track will leave a lasting impression, with incredible views and beautiful scenery to soak in from start to finish.

The track passes through a landscape of lush rainforests, with several creek crossings, small waterfalls, sandstone cliff walls, and rock overhangs.

First opened in 1907, the 6 km long Grand Canyon walking track was the first of its kind in the Blue Mountains, and has since been challenged by thousands of hiking enthusiasts every year.

While the Grand Canyon Walk has some very steep sections, this hike can be conquered by anyone with a reasonable fitness level. But do make sure you bring enough water, appropriate footwear, and also some snacks with you.

More information: Grand Canyon Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 6 km (circuit)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Grade: Moderate / hard
Trailhead: Map location

16. Hat Hill to Bald Head

Views from Bald Head
Views from Bald Head

The 7 km return walking track from Hat Hill Road in Blackheath to Bald Head passes through beautiful bushland scenery before arriving at a panoramic lookout point.

The views from Bald Head over the Grose Valley, the surrounding cliff walls, and the nearby landmarks are very impressive.

The first part of the walk is to the summit of Hat Hill, followed by a section through an open landscape, and continues through bushland to Bald Head.

This moderately challenging hike in the Blackheath area of the Blue Mountains is not very well known and is usually pretty quiet.

More information: Hat Hill to Bald Head.

Walk stats:
Distance: 7 km (return)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Grade: Moderate
Trailhead: Map location

17. Hanging Rock Track

Hanging Rock Track
Hanging Rock Track

Hanging Rock, a large sandstone object pointing out from a cliff, is one of the most iconic landmarks in the greater Blue Mountains region, located near Blackheath.

It is a few moments away from the Baltzer Lookout, which offers eye-dropping views of the Grose Valley and surrounding escarpments.

Hanging Rock and the Baltzer Lookout are somewhat off the beaten track, but it’s relatively easy to get there via a management trail. That trail might be somewhat uninspiring, but the Hanging Rock is an absolute beauty.

More information: Hanging Rock Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 8 km (return)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Grade: Moderate
Trailhead: Map location

18. Asgard Swamp and Thor Head Walk

Views from Thor Head
Views from Thor Head

The walking track to Asgard Swamp, Thor Head, and Asgard Mine, commonly referred to as the Asgard Swamp Track, is an adventurous hike navigating through stunning Blue Mountains scenery.

This usually quiet, 9 km return walk on the Asgard Plateau passes several exciting sights with fantastic valley views to enjoy from multiple lookout points.

The views from Asgard Head at the end of the walking trail are particularly impressive, looking out over the Grose Valley with various Blue Mountains landmarks visible.

More information: Asgard Swamp and Thor Head Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 9 km (return)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Grade: Moderate / hard
Trailhead: Map location

19. Walls Lookout Walking Track

Walls Lookout walking track in the Blue Mountains
Walls Lookout

The walking track to the Walls Lookout is located in the Bells Line of Road area of the Blue Mountains, which is typically much quieter than the Katoomba and Wentworth Falls areas.

Walls Lookout is not a purpose-built lookout platform. Instead, it’s a large area on top of a cliff where visitors can wander around and enjoy the views.

The views from the Walls Lookout to the Grose Valley and surrounding cliffs are stunning, with lots of space to explore and wander around.

Depending on rainfall, you may even be able to spot a waterfall. This is a waterfall on the Hungerfords Gully, which flows into the Grose River in the valley below.

More information: Walls Lookout Walking Track.

Walk stats:
Distance: 2 km (return)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Grade: Easy / moderate
Trailhead: Map location

20. Mount Banks Summit Walk

Beautiful views from Mount Banks
Beautiful views from Mount Banks

Mount Banks has a distinctive rounded peak and, as such, is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the Blue Mountains.

Mostly overlooked by tourists, the hike to the summit of Mt Banks offers beautiful views of the surrounding area, a part of the Blue Mountains that is still very quiet.

Hiking to the summit of Mount Banks can be done in two ways. One track roughly follows the cliff edge to the top, while the other is via Mount Banks Rd.

The first option is the shortest and most enjoyable walking track, but also quite steep. The second option is a bit longer and is not as steep, but it doesn’t offer the best views.

More information: Mount Banks Summit Walk.

Walk stats:
Distance: 2.5 km (return)
Duration: 1.5 hours
Grade: Moderate
Trailhead: Map location
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