Time:5 hrs
Distance:11km
Fitness:EM
Skill:M
Ascent:440m
Maps: LPI Jamison 8930-2N 1:25000
LPI Katoomba 8930-1S 1:25000
Sketch maps: Sketch map 1 PDF
Notes:Print-friendly notes (opens in new window)
Please note that while the maps on this web site are useful and generally contain more, and more accurate, information on trails, the relevant topographic maps should be carried on most walks. These are available from the Lands Information Centre, map shops, and most outdoor stores.

Introduction

Looking back along the narrow section of the Red Ledge towards Narrow Neck

Narrow Neck Peninsula lies south west of Katoomba and is clearly visible from lookouts such as Echo Point and Cyclorama Point. It was partly explored in the late 1800s by prospectors and miners, looking for routes into the valley where oil shale was mined. Redledge Pass was an old miners' route to the Glen Shale Mine on the side of Narrow Neck. However, it was almost certainly used by the local aborigines even before that. Redledge Pass is one of the few natural passes on or off Narrow Neck that doesn't involve exposed scrambling.

Access

The walk starts at the locked gate on Narrow Neck.

Head along Cliff Dr from Scenic World in Katoomba. After passing several lookouts, turn left into Glenraphael Dr, which immediately turns into a dirt road. Follow the road out along Narrow Neck to the locked gate after 2.6km. At one point there is a steep uphill section which has been cemented. The parking area is about 300m past this. If you wanted to avoid the road bash (about 4km) at the end, you could leave a second car on Cliff Dr at the top of the Devils Hole Track (near the junction with Narrow Neck Rd).

Alternatively, you can walk from Katoomba Station. However, it is about 5km each way to the parking area. There are buses from the station to places where it would be a shorter walk.

Track notes

From 22 Jun 2007, last checked 21 Aug 2010

From the locked gate, head out along the main fire trail until just before it reaches the top of the ridge at AGD472619. Look for a track leading off to your right about 200 m before this bend. This leads out along the ridge for about 400 m and then takes a sharp left at a cairn (the track veering right just before this turn off leads toward Diamond Creek). Descend into the gully via a narrow slot in the cliffs lining the creek, and turn right (downstream).

After about 50m the track crosses the creek and climbs up the other side below the cliffs. Just before the ledge starts, there is a log book in a large overhang. Proceed out on to the Red Ledge. This is a relatively wide ledge for the most part, although there are a couple of exposed sections where care is required. After about 200 m veer away (right) from the cliffs where a gully starts to form ahead. The track heads out towards a nose, and then turns steeply left down the gully under a large chockstone. Before you descend, however, continue out to the end of the nose for superb views of the Megalong Valley.

Climb down the gully under the chockstone. Once out of the gully, traverse around to your right and head down the ridge to the north, that closely follows Corral Creek. A track also continues north west but this peters out further down the hill, and following it will make it more difficult to pick up the 'road' - the remains of the old tramway I believe - at the bottom. After about 600 m the ridge running north flattens out and you should cross an obvious cutting at AGD465630, which is the road.

Turn right on the road, cross Corral Creek, and follow it north west for 1.8 km. It comes and goes a bit, so there are some scrubby sections. By continuing on the same bearing it can be picked up again.

As you hit what looks like a more significant road running across your track, continue across this on the same bearing for 100 m to hit the actual main fire trail. Turn left and keep an eye out for a cairn on your right after about 100 m which marks the turn off to the Devils Hole Track. Follow this across a small creek and then climb steadily up to the cliff line, generally heading north east. At some points the track is difficult to follow. Eventually you reach a point where you can see an obvious cleft in the cliff line - head up at this point. This is the Devil's Hole, and a massive chockstone jammed in the cleft above you marks this point.

At the top of the cleft the track splits. It is easier to take the right branch. If you want some more good views of Narrow Neck, take a detour to your right out to some rocky outcrops just as the track flattens out. Then make your way up to the road (Cliff Drive). If you didn't leave a second car here, turn right and follow this around to Glenraphael Drive, and thence back to your car at the locked gate.

On the Red Ledge section of Redledge Pass

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Personal reports

21/08/2010 - Narrow Neck: upper car park - Diamond Falls (upper) - Diamond Falls track - Redledge Pass - Diamond Head - Diamond Falls (lower) - car park (report | photos)

15/08/2009 - Rockpile and Redledge Pass: Narrow Neck gate - fire trail - Rockpile - Glen Shale Mine - Redledge Pass - Diamond Falls - Narrow Neck gate [Bush Club] (photos)

22/06/2007 - Redledge Pass: Narrow Neck - Corral Creek - Redledge Pass - Dixons Ladders - Devils Hole - Cliff Drive (report | photos)

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