Pierces Pass to Blue Gum Forest walking track

There are seven ways to get down into the Grose Valley. Pierces pass to Blue Gum Forest is one of them.

Pierces Pass to Blue Gum Forest walking track

I was talking to a fellow bushwalker about the blue gum forest in the Grose Valley and have never done the bush walk to it. Unsure why, I'd never visited the forest, I now had my next bushwalk planned, Pierces pass to Blue Gum Forest. There are seven ways to get down into the Grose Valley. This walk is the easiest.

The day was pretty gloomy, wet and cold, but this didn’t deter me. Starting the walk it was apparent that this was going to be a very muddy walk. At the start of the walk, there's lots of wattle around and plants you’d expect in the classic blue mountains bush. But as you start to descend the steps, the environment changes into a rainforest. I pass some rock formations that are similar to the rock formations near Bell.

Because it is raining the rainforest is alive, wet and vibrant. The water is flowing down the creeks. And the moss is alive. The track descends the gully alongside the creek. After a while, the canopy opens up, and you can see the full valley. The orange sandstone cliff faces present themselves and they are spectacular. Low clouds are hanging around the valley with fog rising as the day warms up.

The walk down to the gross river is fairly quick and very steep. I try not to think about the walk back up. I eventually reach the gross river, which is flying with the recent rain. After rock hopping across the river, I head downstream on the western bank of the river. Once on the western side of the river, I get a glimpse of the walk I’ve just walked down. Luckily, the beauty of the sandstone cliffs makes me forget that I need to walk back up there later.

The walk along the grove river has a formed track, but there are parts of the Trail that have been washed out by landslides. There are a few parts where the track ascends the valley partially to avoid these landslides. I would recommend shoes that have ankle support for this Trail as the track is mostly at an angle.

After a few kilometres, I start to see the blue gum forest. The tall blue gums tower over the forest floor. Reaching into the sky. I’m glad Myles Dunphy and others saved this great forest. The forest today is within a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For future generations to admire.

I sit down and have lunch amongst the stand of trees admiring how tall they are. After a while, I pack up and start to return down the path I came. Knowing that I had a big climb out of the valley.

After a few kilometres across to the river and start to send the steps out of the valley. As I'm walking up the steps, I hear a massive boulder dislodge and fall from the cliff face with a deep low thump. I decide to walk a little quicker past the parts of the track that are closer to the cliff.

I briefly take shelter in a rock overhang when it starts to sprinkle and to have a rest. I then hear a lyrebird rotating through the various bird songs. Mimicking the birds perfectly.

I soon get up to the rainforest and it's so dark. With the short winter day and the dark clouds, hardly any light gets down to the forest floor. Yet, the rainforest looks magical.

I start to see flowering wattle and know that I'm close to the start of the Trail. And sure enough half a kilometre later I'm back at the car. I loved this walk and will be visiting the valley again, maybe from one of the other passes into the valley.