Katoomba, NSW: Day 2, The Easy Way Down The Giant Staircase

Saturday morning I was feeling much better, so I set off on a walk to Echo Point to check out the Three Sisters. I started at the far west end of the Prince Henry Cliff Walk, which follows the cliff from the northern ridge, through Echo Point, past the Three Sisters and over towards Leura, the next town over.

The path was actually pretty heavily trafficed, to my dismay. By the time I hit Echo Point, it was like Disneyland. All the tourists who only came to the mountains to snap a couple pics from EP, then sip a latte in the town centre were crowding the lookout platform, preventing us real hikers and nature lovers from taking in the view. These are the Three Sisters, which have some signifigance for Aboriginal culture (not sure what), the protection of which is why they have now stopped any repelling and climbing of the formation:

Near the Three Sisters is the Giant Staircase, 843 stairs that connect the Prince Henry Cliff Walk with the Federal Pass trail. I headed down the stairs to catch the Dardenelle’s Pass trail, then connect with the Federal Pass to hike some of the Leura forest and avoid the crowds on the up above.

The forest walk was beautiful and serene. I only encountered a few other hikers and got some great pictures:

The walk on the far east side of Katoomba, near Leura, with a nice view of the eastern ridge.

By the way, the Blue Mountains are so named because of the blue haze given off by the Eucalyptus trees when hit by the sun. I could’ve corrected the color in the picture, because it makes them look a little overexposed, but that wouldn’t make much sense.

Back at the hostel I made myself some lunch and planned my walk the following day. I had heard of something called the Ruined Castle. The Federal Pass connects the Scenic Railway to the Ruined Castle by way of the northern ridge. The whole trip is about 6 – 7 hours round trip, but it sounded like a lot of fun. Stay tuned for that one, and a surprising discovery when I finally reached the castle.

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