|Maps:||LPI Jenolan 8930-3N 1:25000|
The Wild Dog Mountains lie at the south end of Narrow Neck Plateau and the Megalong Valley, north of the Coxs River. They are a popular bushwalking area as the relatively large number of foot tracks allows a variety of walks to be put together. This day walk gives a good introduction to the area, with a nice variety of landscapes. It could also be done as an easy overnight walk as there are good campsites at Frying Pan Flat and near the junction of Breakfast Creek and the Coxs River.
If there has been recent rain, Breakfast Creek may be up, making the walk more difficult or even impossible.
The walk starts and finishes at Dunphys Camping Area, past Carlons Farm. To get there, drive to Blackheath, and take the left turn (coming from Katoomba) across the railway line at the traffic lights in town. Turn left again immediately, and then take the first right. After about 700m take a left turn, following the sign to Megalong Valley. The road is windy for the next few kilometres. About 13km after the turnoff you cross Megalong Creek at the Old Ford Reserve bridge. Continue along the (now unsealed) road for about 7km, through a couple of gates to reach the old farmhouse of Green Gully. Cross the bridge and head up the hill on the other side. At the T-junction at the top, turn left, and the parking area is at the top of the next hill.
From 27 May 2007, last checked 27 May 2007
To start, walk back down the hill you just drove up, and turn left over the stile at the top of Carlon Creek. Follow a fire trail to the left, down the hill, looking for a fainter fire trail off to the right after about 400m. This heads down into Carlon Creek itself. Follow the track down the creek, which crosses back and forth. Carlon Creek is usually dry, although being south facing, the vegetation is usually fairly wet. Carlon Creek is famed for its profusion of nettles, and you would be well advised to wear long pants in this section of the walk, unless you are particularly bloody-minded or masochistic. Gaiters will give you some protection.
After about 45 minutes (3km) you reach Breakfast Creek, which is usually flowing but can occasionally dry up. Head right (downstream) on a track. From here down to the Coxs River there are numerous creek crossings, and while there is a track for a fair proportion of the way, there are sections where it is pretty much pebbles and boulders in the creek. These can be very slippery when wet, and will slow the pace considerably.
At a couple of points the track climbs up high above the creek. The first of these is over Cattle Dog Ridge, just after you pass through a gate. The next is over the spur of the Frying Pan, the point where the creek does a large loop. Another is just before you reach Frying Pan Flat, where the track climbs over the spur.
Frying Pan Flat is a large grassy clearing about 10 minutes down from the Frying Pan, and is a good spot for morning tea. It would also be a good camping spot if you were having a bludgy weekend.
From here the track/route pretty much keeps at creek level, and you should reach the Coxs after another hour or so.
There is a pleasant sandy bank on which people have camped just upstream on the Coxs River, and a small camping area on the north side of Breakfast Creek just upstream from the junction. The latter is a good spot for lunch. It is also the point where the track up Ironmonger Hill starts.
After lunch, set off up the hill on the track. It is steep and consistent, and you gain height very quickly. There are only a couple of really steep bits. One right at the start to climb out of Breakfast Creek, and the second just before the top of the hill. Once on Ironmonger Hill, the track heads north past some large conglomerate boulders to a T-intersection with another track. Turn right (unless you have plenty of time and want to head down to Goolara Peak).
The top of Ironpot Mountain has some sections with excellent views to the north. Keep an eye out for a number of aboriginal sharpening grooves and the 'pots' on top of the mountain. As the conglomerate ends, look for a ramp on the left that takes you down. At the end of the mountain the track drops off to the left and there is a very short scramble down a cleft, where a short steep track leads down to the fire trail. Turn right on the fire trail and follow it over a couple of stiles back to the main trail, which leads back to the car park.