McKeowns Valley Walk
Wiradjuri & Gundungurra Country

1 h 30 min to 3 h

3 km
return

↑ 226 m
↓ -226 m

Hard track
Exploring the Jenolan River, this track makes for one of the more beautiful walks in the Jenolan area as it winds its way along the creek bed. High cliffs on either side form an amazing valley, and there are views of the caves as well as a great spot to break at the campsite. Let us begin by acknowledging the Wiradjuri & Gundungurra people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we travel today, and pay our respects to their Elders past and present. 
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Cave's House. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The track between Carlotta's Arch and the Carpark Intersection. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Going down to the Jenolan River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Crossing the Jenolan River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Part of the cliffs surrounding the Jenolan River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The footpath going into the campsite. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The grasslands surrounding the campsite. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
The dry river bed of the Jenolan River. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
McKeown's Valley Campsite. | Photo by Matt McClelland (wildwalks), 2008.
Downloads GPX PDF

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Safer Bushwalks
Tips on staying safe on track
Before you start any bushwalk ensure you;
• Tell someone you trust where you are going and what to do if you are overdue
• Have adequate equipment, supplies, skills & knowledge for the whole journey
• Consider the impact of weather forecasts, park/track closures & fire dangers
• Can respond to emergencies & call for help at any point
• Are healthy and fit enough for this journey
If not, change plans and stay safe. It is okay to delay and ask people for help.
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Getting There
Transport options and directions
Start (-33.8203805,150.0209901)
Mode Car (There is free parking available.)
DirectionsFrom Great Western Highway, A32
  • Turn on to then drive for 105 m
  • Turn slight left onto Jenolan Caves Road, 1 and drive for another 46 km
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Track Notes
Turn by turn instructions & maps
Getting started
From the opposite side of the Jenolan Caves Road from Caves House, this walk follows the 'Six Foot Track' sign up the concrete steps. The walk then follows the stone footpath up the side of the valley for about 80m to pass the 'Southside Show Caves' information sign then just over 30m later to the 'Grand Arch' information sign (and view of the Arch). The walk continues fairly gently up the path for 100m (as it bends right) to find 'Caves House' information sign. The path soon starts leading much more steeply up as it begins to Zig Zag up past a seat and more views down to caves house for 150m beside the limestone cliffs. At the top of this climb the path leads over a small small rise then gently down to a fenced lookout beside 'Carlotta Arch'.....
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After 70 m find the "Jenolan Caves House" (25 m on your right).
Jenolan Caves House
Jenolan Caves House

Jenolan Caves House, built in 1898, is a heritage-listed building which houses dining, a variety of accommodation options, and other services for visitors to the caves. Jenolan has two licensed restaurants: Trails Bistro is open from breakfast onwards and closes early evening. Trails serves a range of light meals including sandwiches, salads and hot food. Chisholm's Restaurant is open each morning for breakfast and each evening for dinner from 6.00pm. Essential items and beautiful souvenirs may be purchased from Things Jenolan, located on the ground floor of Caves House. Don't forget to explore one of the many caves to explore in the area. For more information, call Jenolan Caves on 1300 76 33 11.
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Jenolan Caves House, built in 1898, is a heritage-listed building which houses dining, a variety of accommodation options, and other services for visitors to the caves. Jenolan has two licensed restaurants: Trails Bistro is open from breakfast onwards and closes early evening. Trails serves a range of light meals including sandwiches, salads and hot food. Chisholm's Restaurant is open each morning for breakfast and each evening for dinner from 6.00pm. Essential items and beautiful souvenirs may be purchased from Things Jenolan, located on the ground floor of Caves House. Don't forget to explore one of the many caves to explore in the area. For more information, call Jenolan Caves on 1300 76 33 11.

After another 95 m pass the toilet (20 m on your right).
After another 8 m pass the "Tickets and Guide Office" (20 m on your right).
After another 255 m find the "Carlotta Arch" (50 m on your right).
Carlotta Arch
Carlotta Arch

Carlotta Arch is a large and spectacular cave remnant overlooking Blue Lake. It is believed that the arch was named in honour of a daughter of a surveyor - General P.F. Adams. Adams is credited with having taken some of the earliest photos at Jenolan.
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Carlotta Arch is a large and spectacular cave remnant overlooking Blue Lake. It is believed that the arch was named in honour of a daughter of a surveyor - General P.F. Adams. Adams is credited with having taken some of the earliest photos at Jenolan.

The starting point of an optional sidetrip. An optional side trip to Bottom of Carlotta Arch Steps. To start this optional side trip turn right here. On returning from this side trip turn right when you get back to this intersection. Details below.
Continue straight.
After another 15 m veer left.
After another 30 m turn right.
After another 225 m cross the ford.
After another 80 m cross the ford.
After another 90 m cross the ford.
Then cross the ford.
After another 590 m cross the ford.
Continue another 65 m to find the end. Then turn around here and retrace the main route for 1.5 km to get back to the start.

An optional side trip to Bottom of Carlotta Arch Steps.
Turn map Directions & comments
Start.
After another 10 m head through the tunnel (about 35 m long)
Then come to the cave.
After another 25 m come to a gate.
A cave.
The end.
"Carlotta Arch".
Carlotta Arch
Carlotta Arch

Carlotta Arch is a large and spectacular cave remnant overlooking Blue Lake. It is believed that the arch was named in honour of a daughter of a surveyor - General P.F. Adams. Adams is credited with having taken some of the earliest photos at Jenolan.
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Carlotta Arch is a large and spectacular cave remnant overlooking Blue Lake. It is believed that the arch was named in honour of a daughter of a surveyor - General P.F. Adams. Adams is credited with having taken some of the earliest photos at Jenolan.

About 70 m past the end is "De Burghs Bridge".
De Burghs Bridge
De Burghs Bridge

The bridge spanning out from the Grand Arch was designed by Mr Ernest M. De Burgh, and built by the Public Works Department in 1896. The bridge allowed greater access to the caves and was built from locally cut limestone.
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The bridge spanning out from the Grand Arch was designed by Mr Ernest M. De Burgh, and built by the Public Works Department in 1896. The bridge allowed greater access to the caves and was built from locally cut limestone.

About 110 m past the end is "Blue Lake".
Blue Lake
Blue Lake

Blue Lake, or Lake Jenolan, is a small lake on the eastern side of the Grand Arch. The lake is fed by the River Styx and the Jenolan River. Blue Lake's intense colour comes from the refraction of light through limestone sediments.
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Blue Lake, or Lake Jenolan, is a small lake on the eastern side of the Grand Arch. The lake is fed by the River Styx and the Jenolan River. Blue Lake's intense colour comes from the refraction of light through limestone sediments.

Turn around and retrace your steps back the 60 m to the main route.
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Terrain
Know the Hills, grading & facilities

McKeowns Valley Walk


Grading
Class 4/6
Hard track
Length 3 km
Time 1 h 30 min to 3 h
Quality of track Clear and well formed track or trail (2/6)
Gradient Very steep (4/6)
Signage Clearly signposted (1/6)
Infrastructure Generally useful facilities (such as fenced cliffs and seats) (1/6)
Experience Required Some bushwalking experience recommended (3/6)
Weather Weather generally has little impact on safety (1/6)

Some facilities on route
Toilet: There is one 170 m from the start.


Order of key facilities on route
ItemFrom StartName & link to notes
Toilet
170 m[toilet]
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