Elevation Nation – Where to find large ascends in Sydney and surrounds
I am addicted to hills, there’s something about non stop ascending that gets my blood flowing. This is incredible workout for your quads and all around endurance. Here are some of my favourite hills in Sydney & Surround (mostly Blue Mountains):
Big > 500m
1. Mt Solitary (from bottom of Kedumba River to the log book near the top) is 640m. The full Mt Solitary loop via Katoomba will give you a total elevation gain of around 2200m+)
2. Shortridge Pass (from Blue gum forest to lockley pylon) – 580m
3. Perry’s Track (from Blue gum forest to Perry’s Camground) – 610m
This is my alltime favourite running/training workout hike/track. You do the 4 peaks in Grose Valley back to back to back to back. Shortridge Pass, Pearce’s Pass, Victoria Falls Track & Perry’s Track. This in and out hike will give you a total elevation gain of 2580m+ !
4. Yellow Dog Ridge Trail (Kanangra Side (separated by Cox River) – 590m – This side is trickier as it is mostly offtrack and the track is not in good condition.
5. Yellow Dog Ridge Trail (Katoomba Side (separated by Cox River) – 590m – This side is alot easier as the track is in good condition and more gradual.
Quite a fair bit of elev gain doing k2k in a day, def worth doing again, but hard to run as condition in the kanangra side was a bit tricky. Doing this in one day will give you around 2350m elevation gain.
Medium 250m – 500m
1. Pearce’s Pass – (from bottom to top) – 480m
2. Victoria Falls walking track (from all the way bottom to top) – 430m – This is an easier steady climb over longer period
3. Govetts Leap Descent – About 480m but quite steady (until the waterfall), one of the easier one on this list. Currently closed.
4. Carlon Head – Steep and a bit more exposed. Very nice climb because its a bit of a scramble (280m)
5. Copeland Pass – 200m, nice climb because its a bit of a scramble and slightly exposed.
Baby (anything less than 250m)
These includes the popular tracks like Sublime Point Lookout – Austinmer (201m) down in Illawarra, Giant Stairs in Katoomba (210m), Ferber Steps (150m), Fern Bower (210m), Golden Stairs (180m), Martins Lookout (120m) those 2 hills on the Royal Coast Track is less than 100m. Nothing in Mt Kuring-Gai goes over 250m at once. Nothing in Royal NP goes over 150m at once. Nothing in Brisbane Waters NP goes over 200m at once.
A decent Kuring-gai NP walk with decent elev gain and a few of ups and downs is Brooklyn to Mt Kuring-gai, nothing to big, but at least theres quite a few baby hills to walk through. This track will give you a 1500m elevation gain.
Am I missing something big or medium? Let me know I would love to check it out and add it to this list!
Australia’s highest elevated track is the Hannel Spur Track @ 1800m in Kosciousko NP. In very good condition. Going up to the summit, back down to Thredbo using dead horse gap will give you a total of 2200m elevation gain as what I did in December 2020.
Meet the Author
Hi everyone! I'm William Chow, 27 year old hiker from Sydney, Australia. One of my many passion is hiking, trail running, camping, star gazing and exploring the outdoors so thanks for stopping by. Since I go hiking/bushwalking almost every weekend (and multi day hikes now and then when time allows), I decided to dedicate a site (seperate from my personal blogging site) to share my adventures on every walk I do, and I hope you feel my passion in my blog enough to do some walks yourself!
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