Rocky Peak and The Pinnacle is a 7.7km, grade 4 Circuit hike located in Lake Eildon National Park Victoria. The hike should take approximately 4hrs to complete.
These rarely climbed peaks are well worth a visit if you’re in the area. Despite their modest height (both are under 1000 metres), Rocky Peak and The Pinnacle have impressive views in all directions.
At about 7 km, the walk is fairly short and most groups should be able to do it in 4 hours. However much of the route is off track and the descent from the aptly named Rocky Peak is very steep and rocky, so while the walk itself is only of medium difficulty, it shouldn’t be attempted by people who are not comfortable with steep descents or inexperienced with off track route finding.
Walk south east along the slowly ascending road for just over 1 km until the ridge above you to the right becomes less steep and you can see the top of the spur. Leave the road and walk east through untracked open forest to the top of the ridge. Turn north and walk up the middle of the spur through an open forest of mostly messmate and peppermint which was lightly burnt a few years ago. The ridge becomes steeper and rockier towards the top, but there are no major obstacles and there is no false summit, so it’s fairly easy to judge how far there is to go.
The 984 metre summit is marked by an ancient steel trig point with a survey marker underneath threatening a £50 fine for interfering with it. Look through the trees to the south west where Mt Torbreck looms high over the valley before walking 20 metres east to the edge of the escarpment for your break. From this point you can see many of the high mountains near Mt Buller; the distinctively shaped Mt Timbertop is surprisingly close. Looking north you can see the only sign of civilisation, the Jerusalem Creek Inlet of Lake Eildon with it’s marina and houseboats.
From the top of Rocky Peak, head generally north west, sticking to the top of the ridge. The descent is steep and rocky with granite boulders scattered through the forest, so make an effort to have an idea of your route 50 metres ahead. The ridge is partly marked with red tapes, but don’t rely on them to find the best route. As the saddle before The Pinnacle becomes evident, veer to the west side of the ridge and keep an eye open for the road (Pinnacle Track) to your left. Once you have spotted it, descend to the road just before the saddle. This saddle is the source of Running Creek and the gully can be fairly scrubby, so make sure you sidle down to the road before you cross the creek headwaters.
Walk up the road, heading generally north west for 1½ km. Near the top, the road gets quite rough and steep. At the top of The Pinnacle there are more great views, notably near the seasonal closure gate there is a spectacular glimpse of Rocky Peak through a gap in the trees. From the Pinnacle, head back to the south east, down Pinnacle Track to the road junction and your car.
Take the Goulburn Valley Highway B 340 towards Eildon. 2 km past the Snobs Creek Pub (and 2 km before the bridge over the Eildon Pondage), turn south down the sealed Eildon – Jamieson Road. After 15 km, turn east (your left) on to Taylors Creek Track at map grid 102 660. This road is not properly surfaced, but is in good condition and shouldn’t be a problem for most cars. After 4 km you will get to a road junction at grid 115 674. Leave your car here.
Lake Eildon National Park is in the northern foothills of Victoria’s Central Highlands, 150 km north-east of Melbourne. Situated on the shores of Lake Eildon, the park protects 27,750 ha of rugged hills with open woodlands through to dense forest.
Visitors can enjoy bushwalking, boating and fishing or try the more adventurous pursuits of waterskiing and mountain bike riding. Relax in a scenic environment and experience native wildlife.
Summary provided by: David Sisson | www.australianmountains.com
Max elevation: 970 m
Min elevation: 700 m
Total climbing: 486 m
Total descent: -491 m
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