Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains NP, NSW

An undulating walk through heath in the Upper Blue Mountains, with spectacular views of the Grose Valley and Lockley’s Pylon at the turnaround point.

Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains

There are a number of excellent walks which start on the unsealed (and rough) Mt Hay Road, near the Blue Mountains town of Leura. Over 12 years of regular bushwalking in the area I had often noticed cars parked at the side of the road about half way to the end, and wondered whether there was a track there. Well, Sophia and I finally checked it out and discovered the really excellent Fortress Ridge Track. Better late than never. The track undulates through heath and occasional tree cover to a view point over the Grose Valley and Lockley’s Pylon, which is quite spectacular from this angle. 

There are nice views for much of the walk, either of the surrounding heathland which is very nice, or of cliffs lining the Grose Valley, and then eventually the Grose Valley itself. Definitely recommended. Other great walks in the area include the track to Lockley’s Pylon itself, and walks starting at the end of the road: to Mt Hay, Butterbox Point, and the more remote Venus Tor.

Track Notes

There are track notes on the Wild Walks website. You follow a fire trail at first, keeping right at a distinct track junction, then again at a rock formation, and on to the viewpoint. The left hand option at that distinct junction is a short side trip to another spot overlooking the Grose Valley, and is worth the visit. Pretty easy walking for 7km; 8-ish with that side trip.

The Scenery

Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
First glimpse of cliffs.

Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains

Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
Descending into a small stand of trees.
Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
Sophia trying to keep her ears warm. It was so windy I could hardly stand still to take this photo. The Grose Valley behind.

Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains

Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
First look at Lockley’s Pylon (centre left).
Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
View from the turnaround point.
Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
Lockley’s Pylon centre left.
Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
Lockley’s Pylon centre left.
Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
Looking back towards the start. I was standing on top of a rock formation, and you can see the track which veers to the left (keeping right on the way out).
Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
A panorama of the Grose Valley from a viewpoint accessible on a short side trip.
Fortress Ridge Track, Blue Mountains
There’s some sort of narrow valley or canyon bottom left. Viewed on a short side trip.

Author: Edward Hathway

I'm a clinical psychologist and keen hiker.

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