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I took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. —Robert Frost

Bird's eye view of a mountain in the foreground, with more mountains in the background

Mt. Solitary Hike

Location: Mt. Solitary, Blue Mountains National Park, New South Wales, Australia

Elevation: 950m (3,116ft)

Difficulty level: Intermediate 

Trail length: 14km (7.5mi)

Elevation gain: 610m (2,001ft)

Camping / Huts: Yes / No (scroll down for more info)

Date hiked: 2012

Topographical map

Guest hiker Bob (aka Bec): A pretty challenging hike, mostly because of the need to carry all of your water and camping equipment. I didn’t enjoy this hike as much as others… probably because of the heat and not being able to completely relax when leeches are around. But camping on top of a mountain and feeling a million miles from anywhere while only being 2hrs from Sydney is pretty great. Listening to the sounds of the Blue Mountains at sunrise while lying in your tent is one of the most sublime things your ears will hear. The views from the steep cliffs off the back of Mt Solitary are worth the short detour and definitely take the time to climb to the top of the boulders at Ruined Castle for 360-degree views!

Description: 2-day hike

Day 1: Golden Staircase to Mt Solitary via Ruined Castle. Time: 9hr / Distance: 12.5km (7.7mi). Camped at Corowal Plateau campsite.

Day 2: Return via the same route, although we did not go via Ruined Castle. Time: 8hr / Distance: 11.7km (7.3mi)


1. Take water, lots of water and then more water. We found some on the top of Mt Solitary at Chinamans Gully but that river is usually dry.

2. Good insect repellent is a must-have for those sneaky little leeches. 

3. Camp in Chinamans Gully where it is more protected if it is windy.

4. Download a, Waze, or Google Maps app and route beforehand.

Trail: Well-maintained. Mostly hard-packed dirt or rocky trail.


Organize before the hike:

1) You can leave your car at the top of the Golden Staircase.

2) Check the weather forecast.

3) Lodge your intentions by filling out an intention form with NSW National Parks before your hike.


Pack: Please see my Trusty Gear and Pack List pages!


Helpful links: - The best source of info for hikes in the Blue Mountains and many other great hikes around NSW.

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