Last updated: May 18, 2023
Our guide with the 17 best walks in the Blue Mountains, from easy family-friendly walking tracks to challenging full-day hikes.
With so many beautiful trails, the Blue Mountains is a true paradise for bushwalkers, taking in scenic waterfalls, deep valleys, and many lookout points that offer panoramic views.
The best way to explore all that natural goodness is by hiking, which is why we are sharing the 17 best walking tracks in the greater Blue Mountains region.
Top 17 Blue Mountains Walks:
|1||Three Sisters Walk||1 km (return)|
|2||Katoomba Falls Round Walk||2 km (circuit)|
|3||Walls Lookout Walking Track||2 km (return)|
|4||South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk||2.5 km (circuit)|
|5||Mount Banks Summit Walk||2.5 km (return)|
|6||Valley of the Waters Walking Track||2.5 km (return)|
|7||Lapstone Zig Zag Walk||3 km (return)|
|8||Overcliff Undercliff Track||4 km (circuit)|
|9||Dardanelles Pass Circuit Walk||5 km (circuit)|
|10||Giant Stairway to Furber Steps Loop||6 km (circuit)|
|11||Cliff Top Walking Track||6 km (return)|
|12||Grand Canyon Walk||6 km (circuit)|
|13||Lockleys Pylon Walking Track||7 km (return)|
|14||Hat Hill to Bald Head||7 km (return)|
|15||Prince Henry Cliff Walk||7 km (one way)|
|16||Fortress Ridge Trail||7.5 km (return)|
|17||Hanging Rock Track||8 km (return)|
Before you head out to do one of these walks, it’s always recommended to check for the latest updates on closed areas within the Blue Mountains region on the National Parks website.
Top 17 Blue Mountains Walks
Below is our top 17 best walks in the Blue Mountains, from short and easy trails to epic full-day hikes. We have ordered them based on distance.
You can find the starting point for each walk by clicking on the map location link underneath each walk description.
Hiking in the Blue Mountains can be done throughout all seasons, summer, autumn, winter, and spring. Going a bit earlier in the day is recommended in summer to avoid the heat.
1. Three Sisters Walk
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 enjoy, 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.
Going there a bit earlier in the day is recommended because it tends to get crowded in that particular part of the Blue Mountains.
More information: Three Sisters Walk.
|Distance:||1 km (return)|
2. Katoomba Falls Round Walk
Often overlooked by tourists, the circuit walking track to Katoomba Falls brings visitors up close and personal with one of the most impressive waterfalls you can find in the Blue Mountains.
This short and relatively easy walking trail is for all ages and fitness levels, but do note that there are some steeper sections to conquer.
The track starts at Scenic World and guides hikers through lush rainforest to Katoomba Falls, with panoramic views of Jamison Valley. The waterfall forms part of the Kedumba River and falls 150 meters into the valley.
The best way to get to the start of the Katoomba Falls Round Walk is by parking your car in the big car park at Scenic World, located on Violet Street off Cliff Drive.
More information: Katoomba Falls Round Walk.
|Distance:||2 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate (steep sections)|
3. Walls Lookout Walking Track
The walking track to the Walls Lookout is located in the Mount Wilson 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.
|Distance:||2 km (return)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate|
4. South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk
If you’re looking for a scenic and unpretentious walking track that is also dog-friendly, the South Lawson waterfall circuit walk is a great choice.
This pleasant 2.5km circuit trail takes in four small but beautiful waterfalls, quietly tucked away in an area of scenic bushland, not too far away from the Lawson town centre.
Suitable for the whole family and all ages and fitness levels, the track is easy to follow, but it can get a bit muddy after rainfall.
The best time to do this walking trail is after a period of rainfall when the waterfalls come alive.
More information: South Lawson Waterfall Circuit Walk.
|Distance:||2.5 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Easy (some steep parts)|
5. Mount Banks Summit Walk
Mount Banks, with its distinctive rounded peak, is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the greater Blue Mountains region.
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 a bit undiscovered.
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 follows Mount Banks Rd.
The first option is the shortest and most scenic walking track, but it is 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.
|Distance:||2.5 km (return)|
6. Valley of the Waters Walking Track
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 into the valley via a series of metal stairs, before arriving at beautiful Empress Falls.
Beyond Empress Falls, the trail can be continued 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.
|Distance:||2.5 km (return)|
|Grade:||Moderate / hard (steep)|
7. Lapstone Zig Zag Walk
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.
The Lapstone Zig Zag Walk is the second walking track on this list where dogs are also more than welcome, albeit on a lead. Be mindful, though, that there are a few steep sections on this walk.
More information: Lapstone Zig Zag Walk.
|Distance:||3 km (return)|
|Grade:||Moderate (steep sections)|
8. Overcliff Undercliff Track
The Wentworth Falls area in the Blue Mountains is home to various walking tracks and lookout points.
One of the more exciting walks in that area is the Overcliff Undercliff Track, a 4 km circuit walk that starts and ends at the picnic ground.
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 have scenic views over the valley and the waterfall.
More information: Overcliff Undercliff Track.
|Distance:||4 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate|
9. Dardanelles Pass Circuit Walk
The historic Dardanelles Pass circuit walk is an exciting bush trail through Leura Forest and along the cliff edge overlooking Jamison Valley.
This challenging and adventurous walk represents a lot of bushwalking goodness, including scenic waterfalls, panoramic valley views, lush rainforest, and steep climbing.
The Dardanelles Pass is a historic track that crosses Leura Forest and links various other walking trails in the Leura area with the Giant Stairway in the Katoomba area.
It’s quite a challenging walk, not because of the distance but because it includes some very steep sections. For example, the Giant Stairway consists of more than 900 steps via steel staircases and cliff face cuttings.
More information: Dardanelles Pass Circuit Walk.
|Distance:||5 km (circuit)|
10. Giant Stairway to Furber Steps Loop
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 so much more to take in.
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.
|Distance:||6 km (circuit)|
11. Cliff Top Walking Track
The 3km 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.
|Distance:||6 km (return)|
|Grade:||Easy / moderate|
12. Grand Canyon Walk
The Grand Canyon Walk is among the most impressive and most enjoyable hikes in the greater Blue Mountains region. This track will leave a lasting impression, with incredible views and beautiful scenery to soak in from start to finish.
The track passes through lush rainforest, with several creek crossings, small waterfalls, sandstone cliff walls, and rock overhangs.
First opened in 1907, the 6km 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.
|Distance:||6 km (circuit)|
|Grade:||Moderate / hard|
13. Lockleys Pylon Walking Track
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 rather 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.
|Distance:||7 km (return)|
14. Hat Hill to 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 of the Grose Valley, the surrounding cliff walls, and the various landmarks nearby 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.
|Distance:||7 km (return)|
15. Prince Henry Cliff Walk
The Prince Henry Cliff Walk is an adventurous 7km walking trail between Scenic World in Katoomba and Gordon Falls Lookout in Leura.
It follows the cliff edge overlooking Jamison Valley with many beautiful lookout points along the way to enjoy some of the best views in the Blue Mountains.
Named in honour of the third son of King George V and Queen Mary, the Prince Henry Cliff Walk was completed in 1936 to help boost local tourism and to serve a public need after years of economic depression in the early 1930s.
Some highlights along this famous walking track are Katoomba Cascades, the Three Sisters, Echo Point, Leura Cascades, and Olympian Rock lookout point.
More information: Prince Henry Cliff Walk.
|Distance:||7 km (one way)|
16. 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 starting from the same car park that leads 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.
|Distance:||7.5 km (return)|
17. Hanging Rock Track
Hanging Rock, a large sandstone object hanging 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.
The walking track to the Baltzer Lookout is a 4km management trail that winds its way through bushland with a few smaller viewing points to explore.
More information: Hanging Rock Track.
|Distance:||8 km (return)|
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Getting to the Blue Mountains
The Greater Blue Mountains region was officially listed as a World Heritage site in the year 2000 by UNESCO.
Luckily, the Blue Mountains is easily accessible by car and public transport, as well as by organised tour, making it the ideal destination for a nice day trip.
The easiest way to explore the Blue Mountains is by car. The M4 (Western Motorway) feeds into the Blue Mountains from Parramatta and Sydney.
Once in the Blue Mountains, the M4 evolves into the Great Western Highway, which continues past Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, and Mount Victoria, and then all the way to Bathhurst.
2. Public Transport
Trains on the Blue Mountains Line travel frequently between Sydney Central Station and the Blue Mountains, stopping at Wentworth Falls, Leura, Katoomba, Medlow Bath, Blackheath, and Mount Victoria.
If travelling by train, the best stops are Wentworth Falls, Leura, and Katoomba, where most of the Blue Mountains walking tracks are situated.
For example, from Wentworth Falls train station, follow the easy Charles Darwin Walk to the waterfall, from where other walking tracks can be commenced.
3. Organised Tour
Another way to visit the Blue Mountains is by booking a professional Blue Mountains day tour from Sydney.
A day tour to the Blue Mountains is a great way to see all the highlights in comfort and style. This is especially true if you’ve never been there before, don’t know how to get around, and don’t have your own transport.
The disadvantage is that you won’t be able to do the longer Blue Mountains walks because tours are on a set schedule.
More Blue Mountains resources:
FAQs About Hiking in the Blue Mountains
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about walking tracks in the Blue Mountains.
What are the best Blue Mountains walks for children?
What are good walks in the Blue Mountains that are not so crowded?
What are good Blue Mountains walks that are moderately challenging?
The best hikes in and around Sydney.
Can you advise if “Carlton Tops” is near The Orphan Rock?
I am transcribing a 1940s post card with the number 768 and what I believe to be “Carlton tops right” printed on the face.
I do not know from which direction the image was shot but Orphan Rock is almost central with clear space to the left and hillside to the right.
Hello Diane, I know the Orphan Rock but have never heard of Carlton Tops unfortunately.
I doubt it is related but maybe someone else who reads this may be able to assist.