Hiking Mount Solitary
Mount Solitary is a prominent peak located in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Australia. The mountain is surrounded by scenic valleys and is a popular destination for hikers and adventure enthusiasts. Located in the Blue Mountains National Park, Mount Solitary is a well known hiking destination that attracts experienced hikers from all around the world. With its stunning landscapes, panoramic views, and rugged terrain, the Mount Solitary hike is a must-do for any hiking enthusiast looking for an unforgettable adventure.
The hike to Mount Solitary is a challenging but rewarding experience that requires adequate preparation and planning. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to hiking Mount Solitary, including directions, trail notes, safety precautions, and other important information.
Brief overview of Mount Solitary and the hike
The Mount Solitary hike is a 14-kilometre trail that starts at the Golden Stairs near Katoomba and climbs up to an elevation of 950 metres. Along the way, hikers will encounter a diverse range of landscapes, from lush rainforests to rocky ridges and stunning waterfalls.
One of the highlights of the Mount Solitary hike is the panoramic views that can be seen from the summit. From the top, hikers can take in the stunning vistas of the Jamison Valley, the Three Sisters rock formation, and the surrounding mountains. However, the hike is not for the faint-hearted, as it is a challenging and physically demanding trail that requires a good level of fitness and preparation.
Getting to Mount Solitary
There are several transportation options to reach the starting point of the Mount Solitary hike, including private car, taxi, and public transport. The starting point of the hike is located at the end of Kedumba Valley Road, which is accessible via the Great Western Highway. The best time to hike Mount Solitary is during the cooler months, between March and November, to avoid the heat and humidity of the summer months.
Trailhead and Track Notes
The Mount Solitary hike starts at the locked gate at the end of Kedumba Valley Road. The track follows the Federal Pass for approximately 1.5 km before branching off towards Mount Solitary. The track is well-defined and maintained but can be steep and rocky in some sections. Hikers need to be cautious while navigating the track, especially during wet or slippery conditions.
Difficulty Level and Duration
The Mount Solitary hike is rated as a difficult hike due to its steep ascent and rugged terrain. The hike covers a distance of approximately 18 km and takes around 8-10 hours to complete, depending on the individual’s fitness level and hiking experience. The duration of the hike can be affected by factors such as weather conditions, pace, and rest breaks. Hikers need to be prepared for a long and challenging day of hiking.
Things to Pack
Hikers need to pack essential items for the hike, including comfortable hiking boots, warm clothing, a rain jacket, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent. Hikers also need to carry at least 3-4 litres of water, energy snacks, and a packed lunch. In case of emergencies, hikers should carry a first aid kit, a map, a compass, and a whistle.
Highlights of the Hike
The Mount Solitary hike offers spectacular views of the Blue Mountains and the surrounding valleys. Hikers can enjoy panoramic views of Katoomba, Leura, and the Jamison Valley from the summit of Mount Solitary. The hike also passes through historic sites such as the Ruined Castle and the Narrow
Neck Plateau, which add cultural and heritage significance to the hike. It is important to respect and protect these sites by following Leave No Trace principles and staying on designated tracks.
Hikers need to be aware of potential hazards during the Mount Solitary hike, such as steep drops, loose rocks, and slippery surfaces. It is important to wear appropriate hiking gear and footwear and to avoid taking unnecessary risks. Hikers should also be prepared for changing weather conditions and carry enough water and food for the entire hike. It is recommended to inform someone about the hiking plans and to check weather and track conditions before starting the hike.
Importance of preparing for the hike
Preparation is key when it comes to the Mount Solitary hike. As a challenging and demanding trail, it requires hikers to be in good physical condition and well-equipped with the right gear and provisions. Hikers should carry enough water, food, and warm clothing, as the temperature can drop significantly at higher elevations.
It is also important to be aware of the potential hazards that can be encountered on the Mount Solitary hike. These include snakes, spiders, and other wildlife, as well as the risk of getting lost in the rugged terrain. Hikers should stay on the marked trail at all times and carry a map, compass, and GPS device.
Other Things to Consider
Hikers need to obtain a National Parks Pass and a Wilderness Permit before starting the Mount Solitary hike. The Wilderness Permit is free and can be obtained online or from the Blue Mountains National Parks and Wildlife Service office. There are several accommodation options in the area, including camping sites, lodges, and hotels. Hikers can also explore nearby attractions such as the Three Sisters, Scenic World, and the Jenolan Caves.
The Mount Solitary hike is a challenging but rewarding experience that offers stunning views of the Blue Mountains and its heritage sites. Hikers need to prepare adequately and take safety precautions to ensure a successful hike. It is important to respect the environment and cultural heritage by following Leave No Trace principles and staying on designated tracks.
What is the best time to hike Mount Solitary?
The best time to hike Mount Solitary is during the cooler months, between March and November, to avoid the heat and humidity of the summer months.
How difficult is the Mount Solitary hike?
The Mount Solitary hike is rated as a difficult hike due to its steep ascent and rugged terrain.
Are there any hazards to watch out for during the hike?
Hikers need to be aware of potential hazards during the Mount Solitary hike, such as steep drops, loose rocks, and slippery surfaces.
Can I camp at Mount Solitary?
Camping is not allowed at Mount Solitary, but there are several camping sites available in the surrounding areas.
Are there any guided tours available for the Mount Solitary hike?
Yes, there are several guided tours available for the Mount Solitary hike, including day tours and overnight tours. It is recommended to book in advance and check the tour operator’s reputation and safety record.
Check out the Mount Solitary NSW Parks site for more details on the facilities, trails and local area.
Other Hikes in NSW
Check out our other New South Wales hikes here.