A road trip from Sydney to the Blue Mountains is packed with family friendly activities, stunning views and historic spots to relax. One popular destination is the Grand Canyon track, a historic loop for bush walkers in the heart of World Heritage-listed landscape. Read a review from a recent visitor, Harnsle Joo, to find out what you can expect.
Now, let me start this post by declaring that I am not much of a bush walker. Nature and I have a bit of a rocky relationship (pun definitely intended).
But you can’t explore the Blue Mountains without doing a bush walk, so after browsing through the Sydney to Blue Mountains site, I thought I’d give the Grand Canyon track a try.
All of the various national park and bush walking websites indicated the full 6.5km loop would take between 2.5 and 4 hours, and the walk’s rated as a grade 3, meaning it’s not the easiest track. I’m not going to lie, this did make me hesitate a bit.
What convinced me to do the walk was Instagram. I know, that’s pretty shallow, but search “Grand Canyon track” and the images you find are phenomenal. Beautiful creeks, incredible rock formations, even some waterfalls.
And then there’s the Grand Canyon itself, it leaves you in absolute awe of mother nature.
I started the walk at Evans Lookout - it was super easy to park my car right nearby. And what a way to start off the long walk - with a beautiful look over the Blue Mountains.
The walk itself isn’t easy - there are A LOT of steps, and narrow ones too, so I would caution anyone who has joint problems against embarking on the walk. And given how narrow and steep the stairs can be, you should always check the weather before starting. You wouldn’t want to tackle it when it’s too slippery.
I went on Sunday - so just a couple of days after the torrential Sydney rain - and the conditions were absolutely perfect. The sun was warm, the breeze cool, and the track dry with just a little bit of mud here and there for fun.
The Grand Canyon walk is full of surprises - one minute, you’re walking through thick bushland, the next, you’re by a creek, and before you know it, you’re making your way through a mini cave!
A diverse landscape
The other bonus of this walk, is how peaceful it is. You’re constantly accompanied by the gentle sound of water and not much else. While it’s a popular track, with plenty of people, you barely hear them thanks to the vast bushland, unless you’re very, very close.
For me, the full loop only took two hours. But I didn’t stop for any significant breaks. If and when I do the walk again, I’ll definitely be packing a little picnic so I can stop and really enjoy the view. There are so many places along the loop where you can do this.
The Grand Canyon track is so worth the two hour drive from Sydney, and it gives you an opportunity to explore Blackheath too.
Experiences on the way
I stopped by at the Gardners Inn Hotel, which is the oldest continuously licensed hotel still trading in the Blue Mountains and the food was delicious. Plus, I stopped by some of the gorgeous bakeries nearby and bought some delicious bread!
My hot tip for this walk is don’t overly plan your day. Take as long as you want on the walk, and give yourself time to just explore the Blue Mountains - the town centres are gorgeous and full of little gems.
If you are looking for nature walks that aren't as adventurous, stop into the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah. There are free guided walks led by volunteers around the cool climate Garden or private tours for green thumbs wanting a unique experience.
Hero image credit: Destination NSW