Stirling Ranges National Park is located in the Great Southern Area of West Australia. This is the only major mountain range in this region and offers some great hikes. The rugged peaks rise 1000m (or more) above sea level and each summit offers fantastic views of the park.
How to get there
The Stirling Ranges are located 400 km from Perth, about a 5 hr car ride. There are two ways to get to the park. First, follow Albany highway and turn off at Frankland-Cranbrook Rd. This will lead you the back way through the ranges. Second, you can turn off at the roundabout just before Mt Barker. Each route are sealed roads.
When to Visit
You can visit the Stirling Ranges at any time of year, however, it isn’t recommended to complete the hikes in the middle of summer as temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees C. I would recommend visiting in spring to early summer (October to December) when days are warmer, the nights are cool and the wildflowers are blooming.
If you visit this Park in winter and do choose to summit any of the mountains for sunrise, bring plenty of layers (even a blanket) as it gets bloody cold up there. I would also recommend waterproof gear.
There are two accommodations options in this national park both offering a range of accommodation from camping to cabins. I have always stayed at Stirling Range Retreat as it is in a good location in the park, and is very close to the most popular attraction, Bluff Knoll.
- Stirling Range Retreat offers onsite caravans, unpowered/powered camping and a range of cabins from rammed earth, motel style and chalets. Unpowered campsites will set you back $16 a night pp, powered; $36 a night pp and accommodation options range from $65-195 per night. This park also offers a shuttle service for $40.
- Mount Trio Bush Camp and Caravan Park: This caravan park only offers powered and unpowered camping. A powered site will cost you $30 for 1 night for 1 person or $42 for a couple. Unpowered will cost a single $16 pn or a couple $32 per night.
Keep in mind there are heaps of mountain summits in this park! These are just my top favourites.
This is the most popular hike in the park and definitely the most well kept. It is a 6km return hike to summit this peak, and be warned it is mainly steps. This hike has a 20% gradient so it can be challenging, however, it can be completed at any fitness, just take your time. You will need roughly 4-hrs to complete this hike, and I highly recommend summiting for sunrise. DO bring warm clothes up with you, it gets very cold at the summit.
Stirling Range Ridge Walk
DO NOT attempt this walk if you are not experienced. As this is an alpine walk, weather conditions can change rapidly. It also involves a fair bit of ridge walking and I wouldn’t recommend it for the faint-hearted. For reference, this is rated in the 6 most difficult hikes in Australia. This hike is 19km one way and can either begin at Ellen’s Peak or Bluff Knoll. The track runs along the ridge between the two mountains and offers hikers amazing views of the peaks around them. The path can be hard to follow and there are no toilets, designated camp areas or water on the trail. I know I’ve made this hike sound scary, but you’ll love it! Waking up on the side of the mountain, in the clouds to a magical sunrise…what an experience. If you are an experienced hiker I do recommend this hike.
This 4km, grade 5 return hike is the second highest peak in the Stirling Ranges. The summit towers over western peaks and gives you uninterrupted views of the ranges. If you decide to venture this hike, be prepared to scramble over lots of rocks and up some steep rocky sections. A good degree of fitness is required for this hike.
Another grade 5 hike with a 2.6km return. This hike offers exceptional views and plenty of rocky outcrops to explore.
A 7 km, grade 5 return hike that should take roughly 2 hrs to complete. This offers more of a wilderness experience as it’s one of the less walked hikes in the park.
A shorter favourite. This 3.5km return hike starts with a steep climb up steps, the hardest part of this hike. Once you reach the saddle, it is a relatively easy walk to the summit. At the top, you will be rewarded with amazing views of the National Park. Be warned there is no shade cover on this hike.
Another short 3km return hike. This is a good hike to complete if you do not wish to complete the rather steep climb of Toolbrunup Peak. You will be rewarded with similar views, just at a shorter altitude.
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