Federal Pass Trail Hiking Australia
  • Length: 13km

  • Duration: 6.5hrs

  • Grade: 4

  • Style: One Way

  • Start: Katoomba Falls Access Track, Katoomba

  • End: Katoomba Falls Access Track, Katoomba

  • Location: Blue Mountains National Park

  • Closest Town:

  • Distance from CBD: 104 km

  • State: NSW

  • Latitude: -33.72842848

  • Longitude: 150.3013131

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2WD Access

4WD Access

Public Transport

Bitumen Road

Gravel Road

Steep Road

Winding Road

Speed Bumps

Vehicle Ford

Entry Fee

Large Car Park

Small Car Park

Accessible Parking

Accessible Toilet

Public Toilets

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Picnic Shelter

Picnic Table

BBQ Facilities

Campfire Pit

Camping Area

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Blue Mountains National Park...

Select items to indicate features found along the trail.

Concrete Path

Timber Boardwalk

Gravel Path

Sandy Trail

Rough Trail

Undefined Trail

Prams & Strollers

Manual Wheelchair

Motorised Wheelchair

Bicycle Trail

Mountain Bike Trail

Historic Rail Trail

Dog Friendly

Urban Walk

Coast & Beach

Historic Lighthouse

Waterfalls & Lakes

Rainforest Walk

Goldfields & Mining

Heritage Walk

Aboriginal Art

Alpine Region

Alpine Huts

Exposed Ledges

Rock Scrambling

Steep Terrain

Bush Bashing

River Crossings

Scenic Viewpoints

Well Marked

Drinking Water

Untreated Water

Fishing Spots

Swimming Spots

Overnight Campsites

Trail Running

Horse Riding


Federal Pass is a 13km, grade 4 one way hike, located in the Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales. The hike should take approximately 6.5hrs to complete.

Hike Summary

If you like your scenic views from the ground up, you'll love this magnificent walk through Jamison Valley.
Originally built by the Katoomba community, from Leura Forest to Katoomba Falls, the track was extended on the old horse-drawn coal tramway line and now goes all the way to Ruined Castle, on the other side of Jamison Valley.
The track follows the base of the cliffs from Leura to Ruined Castle, passing forests, waterfalls and the iconic Three Sisters. You can join Federal Pass at four places and each junction involves a challenging climb down and back up the valley.
You can join this historic track by descending any of the stairways (Furber Steps or Golden Stairs) to marvel at the scenic views of the dramatic cliff line. You'll pass through dense forests and cool clear waterfalls, with some great picnic spots along the way.
If you're after a real heart-pumping finish, take the stairs back to the top, or cut it short and enjoy an exhilarating train ride to the top from Scenic World, hopping off at Katoomba.
This historic track will take about 12 hours to complete if you choose to start in Leura at Fern Bower circuit, walk all the way to Ruined Castle, and return back the same way.
Take a virtual tour of Federal Pass captured with Google Street View Trekker.

About the region

Blue Mountains National Park in the Sydney and surrounds and Country NSW regions
Blue Mountains National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger. Some parts of the park close overnight; details are provided for specific attractions.
9am to 4.30pm daily. Closed Christmas Day.

Getting there

To Golden Stairs carpark. Federal Pass walking track is in the central precinct of Blue Mountains National Park. You can join Federal Pass at four places:To access the beginning of the walk, near Leura, take Fern Bower circuit.From Katoomba, go down Giant Stairway, near Echo Point, to Dardanelles Pass, which can take you to the start of the track at Leura Forest. For a shorter walk, head towards Scenic World, where Dardanelles Pass joins Federal Pass a short way along.Alternatively, descend via Furber Steps, near Katoomba Caravan Park, where you'll join Federal Pass about halfway, just near the base of Scenic Railway. From here, you can walk to Ruined Castle, passing Golden Stairs on the way.Golden Stairs descends from Glen Raphael Drive, (unsealed) on Narrow Neck Plateau south Katoomba. Descend to the intersection with Federal Pass; turn right to go to Ruined Castle where the track ends, or turn left to walk back towards Scenic World, Furber Steps, Giant Stairway and finally Leura Forest. Park entry points Golden Stairs carpark See on map Scenic World See on map Parking Parking is available at all sites where you can access Federal Pass, with paid parking at Echo Point. Federal Pass can be a busy place on the weekend, so parking might be limited.


It's a good idea to fill in the free trip intention form and hire a PLB before you set out. Bring a topographic map and compass or GPS.
The Scenic Railway operates regularly during the day, with the last train departing at 4.50pm.
For information regarding the price of Scenic Railway tickets, contact Scenic World.

Visit NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for more information on this trail.

The longitude and latitude of the start and end points are approximately only and should not be used for navigation purposes. Please contact me if you know the correct coordinates.

Hikes Nearby

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