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For a chance to go wild for 3 days, pack your hiking boots and head for Mount Solitary walking track. A challenging track to enchant experienced bushwalkers, it passes through cool temperate rainforest, mountain heath, and tall Eucapytus forest.
Starting at Katoomba Falls Kiosk, descend Furber Steps to Federal Pass and walk the track where a horse-drawn tramway once ran. Day 1 covers 7km, passing by picturesque tree ferns and mountain blue gums. After 4.5hrs you'll be refilling your water and pitching a tent at Ruined Castle campground amid the mining ruins from 1882. Take a short walk to the rock formation know as Ruined Castle and watch the sun set over the cliffs with deep shadows engulfing the Jamison Valley.
The second day is the hardest and you'll need 8hrs to cover 9km of difficult terrain. Get the heart pumping with a hike up Koorowall Knife Edge along a rough unformed track on the western ridge of Mount Solitary.
When you reach Chinamans Gully via a short detour you'll be rewarded with spectacular views and wedge-tailed eagles surfing the valley thermals. Bask in spellbinding views across Jamison Valley. To the south, spot the rugged ravines of the Wild Dog mountains and the unspoilt Kanangra-Boyd wilderness. Take a moment to admire the hardy mountain heath, old man bankias, and scribbly gums while listening for the call of peregrine falcons.
Continue across the top of Mount Solitary before descending the steep eastern slope to Kedumba River campground. Remember to treat the water you collect from Kedumba River before drinking. Listen out for lyrebirds, possums and owls as you settle in for an evening of true bush-camping.
The third and final day involves a 14km walk. From Kedumba River you'll continue to follow Mount Solitary walking trail for 2km. When you meet Sublime Point fire trail, follow it to the west, passing Jamison and Leura Falls Creeks. Wander through Leura forest and into the rainforest gully known as Fern Bower. Look out for the splash of red waratah flowers amid the grey forest gums if you happen to be here in spring.
Finally, cool down under the spray of Linda or Lila, two waterfalls close to the track, before tackling the ascent back up the cliffline and into Katoomba. If you opt to follow Prince Henry cliff top walk you'll finish back at Furber Steps where you started.
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.
To Golden Stairs carpark. Mount Solitary walking track is in the Katoomba area of Blue Mountains National Park. To get there by car:Drive west from Sydney on Great Western Highway to KatoombaTurn into Katoomba and follow signs to Cliff DrivePark at Katoomba Kiosk overnight, located near Katomba oval on Cliff Drive Park entry points Golden Stairs carpark See on map Scenic World See on map Road quality Sealed roads Vehicle access 2WD vehicles Parking Free parking is available near Katoomba Kiosk and Katoomba Oval, on Cliff Drive. If using a two cars you can park the second car at Kedumba Valley gate on Kedumba Valley Road. By public transport Catch the train to Katoomba. From here you can walk to Furber Steps near Katoomba Kiosk and Scenic World, or take the local hop-on hop-off tourist bus down to Katoomba Kiosk on Cliff Drive.
It's a good idea to visit Katoomba Police station and complete a trip intention form before you start this 3-day walk
You can hire a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) from Katoomba Police station
Bring a topographic map, compass, GPS or other electronic navigation system. Maps and trail guides can be purchased from Blue Mountains Heritage Centre at Blackheath or Katoomba visitor centre at Echo Point.
Check for Total Fire Bans before you set out and get the latest track conditions from staff Blue Mountains Heritage Centre on: (02) 4787 8877.
You'll need to treat water from the creeks, waterholes and tanks before drinking.
This walk is located in the Waragamba catchment for Sydney's drinking water. Don't wash dishes in creeks or rivers. Please walk at least 50m from rivers and creeks before toileting and bury toilet waste at least 15cm deep.
Take a bag for rubbish and carry everything out with you.
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.