The Cliff Top Track follows the top of the cliff between Evans Lookout and Govetts Leap Lookout and is one of the most scenic Blue Mountains bushwalks, offering “some of the most breathtaking scenic views in all of the Blue Mountains” (NPWS). From Govetts Leap, the Pulpit Rock Track continues to the iconic Pulpit Rock Lookout, providing even more spectacular views. We’ve started this walk at Neates Glen via the epic Grand Canyon track, so these two cliff-top walking tracks with their stunning views makes the perfect complement to the rainforest landscape of the Grand Canyon.
Cliff Top Track
It’s a completely different landscape on top of the cliff compared to rainforest-like vegetation of the Grand Canyon, with taller eucalyptus forest in sections as well as heathland with she-oaks, banksias and stunted mallee scrub. We don’t see any yellow-tailed black cockatoos which are prevalent in this area, but we’re are greeted by a crimson rosella near the carpark.
The track follows the edge of the escarpment quite closely, with frequent views into the valley and of the nearby cliffs.
The well-made track is relatively flat and it’s easy walking – but it does descend a little to Barrow Lookout, named after 19th century surveyor Isaac Le Pipre Barrow. A platform provides nice views down Govetts gorge. To the left of the lookout you can see Bridal Veil Falls (Govetts Leap Brook), and below are the “Govetts hanging gardens” – a mat of vegetation fed by water seeping through the rock.
Down a little further and the path crosses Govetts Leap Brook, just before it plunges off the cliff. We have a late lunch near here, on a shaded rock next to the track. One of the (only) downsides of this walk is there’s dense bush one side of the track, and a 500m drop on the other…!
From Govetts Leap Brook it’s a gentle ascent up to Govetts Leap Lookout, another popular Blue Mountains vantage point. It’s a huge viewing area (but gets busy on weekends) and looks straight down Govetts Gorge, with Explorers Wall on the other side.
Pulpit Rock Track
We continue from here to Pulpit Rock via Horseshoe Falls on the Pulpit Rock Track. The track still follows the top of the cliff, with occasional views through the trees over the valley – and through a few muddy sections.
The first lookout – Laws Lookout – is soon reached, which offers similar views as from Govetts Leap over Govetts Gorge. There’s an upper and lower lookout: the lower viewing platform juts out like the bow of a ship.
Another few hundred metres on is Horseshoe Falls Lookout.
As well as views across the Grose Valley. you can just see Horseshoe Falls to the left.
After Horseshoe Fall Lookout, you can see another lookout on the edge of the cliff; there’s an old and overgrown track just above Popes Glen Creek that heads to the cliff edge.
This “secret” or abandoned lookout is the most impressive so far, partly because an overhang in the cliff frames the view over the Grose Valley.
The lookout also provides a view of Govetts Leap.
Once back on the Pulpit Rock Track, we very soon reach a junction with the Popes Glen Track, which continues along Popes Glen Creek up to Popes Glen Reserve in Blackheath. (The start of the Popes Glen Track is quite close to Blackheath Statuion, making it a great way to ccess the Pulpit Rock Track by public transport). We continue along the Pulpit Rock Track, which crosses Popes Glen Creek just below Taylor Fall.
The track now ascends as little as it continues to follow the top of the cliff-line, soon reaching another informal lookout that provides a view of Govett Falls in the distance…
…and then a little further, both Horseshoe Falls and Govetts Leap can be seen.
The track now follows the edge fairly closely, before the next lookout is reached.
A large, fenced lookout, Cripps Lookout provides some great views over the Grose Valley, as well as both Horseshoe Falls and Govetts Leap.
The track passes then passes Boyd Lookout, before reaching the spectacular and busy Pulpit Rock – which is one of the most impressive lookouts in the Blue Mountains.
There’s multiple tiers, each offering a slightly different – and impressive – perspective of the Grose Valley, Mount Banks and Mount Hays.
The last viewing platform, accessed by a steel flight of metal stairs, is perched over Govetts Gorge on the tip of Pulpit Rock.
Combining the Grand Canyon Walking Track with a walk along the cliff-top worked well, and is a bushwalk I’d highly recommend if you want to get the best of the Blue Mountains in one day, from a spectacular canyon to some of the most spectacular lookouts.
Approx 14km one-way from Neates Glen to Pulpit Rock [4-5 hours]
Grand Canyon loop: 6.3km
Evans Lookout to Govetts Leap (Cliff Top Track): 3.2km (one-way)
Govetts Leap to Pulpit Rock Lookout (Pulpit Rock Track): 3.8km (one-way)
4.8km Blackheath station to Neates Glen carpark GRAND CANYON TRACK 0.0km Start of Grand Canyon Track at Neates Glen (Blackheath) 1.5km Rotunda (large rock overhang) 3.6km Junction with track to Rodriguez Pass Track 5.5km Evans Lookout [car access] CLIFF TOP TRACK 7.8km Barrow Lookout 8.3km Govetts Leap Lookout [car access] PULPIT ROCK TRACK 8.5km Laws Lookout 8.7km Horseshoe Falls Lookout 8.9km Horseshoe Falls 10.2km Boyd Lookout 12.5km Pulpit Rock Lookout [car access] 6.9km Pulpit Rock Road to Blackheath Station
Getting to the Cliff Top Track and Pulpit Rock Track
Although you can do this as an “out and back” bushwalk, it makes a great one-way walk. Although its a fairly long walk from either end to the station, you can get a taxi (13 CABS Katoomba – 13 2227 – were quick to pick us up) or an Uber from either Evans Lookout or Pulpit Rock.
- National Parks (NPWS) – Cliff Top Track
- Wildwalks Cliff Top Track and Pulpit Rock Track