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At 1986 metres high, Mount Bogong is Victoria's tallest mountain, dwarfing all its rivals. The Mount Bogong - Staircase Spur Trail is the direct route up, beginning at the Mountain Creek Picnic Area and ending at the summit of Mount Bogong.
The track to the summit begins at the Mountain Creek Picnic Area and follows a vehicle track to the foot of the Staircase Spur, where the ascent begins through a forest of Peppermint Gums. Bivouac Hut, about halfway along the climb, offersa welcome resting place before the track passes through Snow Gums and out onto the steep rocky ridge leading to the summit plateau.
The exposed treeless plain of the summit offers little shelter in poor weather. Strong winds, fog, freezing temperatures, rain and snow are all common at this altitude. Navigation can be extremely difficult in these conditions so we will turn back at the tree line if conditions are poor or deteriorating.
From the summit, steeply descend via Eskdale Spur, via Michell Hut to Camp Creek then follow the Mountain Creek and Tree Fern Tracks back to Mountain Creek. The alternative option is to return via the staircase which makes this approximately a 16km return hike.
This is a challenging hike that should not be underestimated. During the winter months you should consider this a Grade 5 hike.
If you intend on making this an overnight hike, camping is available outside the following huts.
- Bivouac Hut. Staircase Spur, approximately 6km from the trail head and 3km from the summit. This is a small hut with pit toilet but no water tank.
- Cleve Cole Memorial Hut, approximately 4km south of the summit (this will add to your overall hike length as a return trip is required). This is a small hut with pit toilet and water tank.
- Michhelle Hut, approximately 2km from the summit down Eskdale Spur. This is a small hut with pit toilet and water tank.
Note: Huts in alpine areas are intended for emergency use only and you should not plan to sleep in them or use the emergency firewood.
This hike requires that you have a sufficient level of equipment (in good working order), fitness and self-reliance.
About the region
The Alpine National Park is a national park located in the Central Highlands and Alpine regions of Victoria, Australia. The 646,000-hectare national park is located northeast of Melbourne. It is the largest National Park in Victoria, and covers much of the higher areas of the Great Dividing Range in Victoria, including Victoria's highest point, Mount Bogong at 1,986 metres and the associated subalpine woodland and grassland of the Bogong High Plains. The park's north-eastern boundary is along the border with New South Wales, where it abuts the Kosciuszko National Park.
The hike starts and ends at Mountain Creek Camping Area. From Melbourne, drive to the small town of Tawonga (4km north of Mount Beauty). From Towonga, Mountain Creek Roads heads east for 10.5km to the camping area. There are pleasant campsites and a pit toilet here.
Max elevation: 1975 m
Min elevation: 595 m
Total climbing: 1541 m
Total descent: -1542 m