Three Mountains Walk (Walk #14)
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|On this page:||
1) Walk map - Shows route and waypoint locations
3) 3D map view
7) Waypoint listing and grid references
|Click on map for large version.||
View of Mounts Cuthbert and Vincent
(mid-distance) and Mount Cooke (distance)
from Mount Randall, June 2002.
Click on photo for larger version.
Using this map.
|Additional Satellite Imagery|
for larger frame Google Maps image
of the walk area.
-Use zoom bar
for road details.
|For Google Earth users|
Step 1: Left Click here
For fly-in to waypoints and route
on image of the walk area.
Or Right Click to
"Save Target/Link As..." kml file.
Step 2: Left Click here
For fly-in to 3D view
of the walk area.
Or Right Click to
"Save Target/Link As..." kml file.
Hint: For enhanced 3D effect, set 'Elevation Exaggeration'
in Google Earth to "3" (via 'Tools' menu, 'Options' & 'View' tab).
33 kms SE of Armadale along Albany Hwy.
14.5 kms (55% off-track)
(or see 9-9.5 km short walk options)
|Degree of difficulty :||
MEDIUM (What does this mean?)
|Amount of uphill walking :||500m (cumulative ascent)|
See Google Map for start point on road map.
(Use zoom ladder for detail. Select 'Hybrid' to add satellite imagery.)
Good parking at 'START' point just off Albany Highway down Herold Rd (minor dirt road, 7km past Jarrahdale Rd turnoff down Albany Hwy, on right hand side going south), and at 'END' point Sullivan Rock large parking/picnic area on right hand side of Hwy opposite Bibbulmun Track exit.
'START and 'END' points are 2.5kms apart along Albany Hwy, so it's best to have two or more cars and do a car shuffle at the start (leaving one car at Sullivan Rock picnic area) to avoid an otherwise uninspiring walk along the Highway to finish the walk. Note: Vehicle access to the Sullivan Rock picnic area is not directly off the Hwy, but via a short sidetrack off the northern end of the dirt access road that passes behind the picnic area.
Important access issue: Walkers need to be aware that this walk area and many others on WalkGPS lie within drinking water catchment areas. In 2007 DoW in effect recommended a prohibition of all traditional off-track bushwalking activities across the entire Perth region catchment areas covering 4500 sq km, far beyond the limits of existing or proposed Reservoir Protection Zones (see map). By March 2008, the DoW had been persuaded to reconsider its published position. The new Policy of 2012 refrains from banning traditional bushwalking in the outer catchments. The community, including visitors to WalkGPS, need to remain vigilant to ensure that commonsense continues to prevail over regulatory zealotry. See also Home page: 'Access' and Related access issues on WalkGPS, and DOW's Drinking Water Source Protection Plans of 2007 for Canning River and Serpentine Dam catchments.
|Escape route/s :||
Bear west or southwest to Albany Highway.
walk within the Monadnocks National Park is one of the best walks in the northern jarrah forest.
It includes ascents of
Mts. Randall, Cuthbert and Vincent and some splendid views from these and
the other, extensive granite outcrop at 'North Rocks' (informal name on
map). The walk overlaps in a couple of short sections (totalling about
1.5kms) with the
Mount Randall Walk.
For overnighters: For those keen to camp overnight in the area: The Monadnocks Campsite (which includes a 3-sided shelter; at waypoint 'BIBHUT') on the Bibbulmun Track is located after the initial 4 kms of the walk. Alternatively the Campsite provides a useful opportunity for a brief rest stop during the walk.
Controlled burns: - A burn was carried out in Autumn 2010 across the whole area east of the 'Old Bibbulmun Track' (see map) including Mt Vincent, Mt Cuthbert and the 'North Rocks area. This impacted on forest along the Bibbulmun Track section of the walk route between waypoints 'OLDBIB' (near the Monadnocks Campsite) & 'EXIT' (near Sullivan Rock). See DEC's 6-season indicative burn programme.
9-9.5 km short walk options: See WalkGPS Blog article "A late spring in the step" (Oct. 2010) which includes a summary of shorter variations to the full walk which are more suitable for warmer weather when the full walk will not be comfortably enjoyable.
|Additional maps :||
WalkGPS walk map for OziExplorer users: A downloadable OziExplorer format MAP file (*.map) for this walk area is included on the Maps, Waypoints & Track Files page. The zipped folder also includes the associated 'base' topo map image file, plus other attached waypoints, tracks/routes, etc in OxiExplorer file formats.
WalkGPS reconnaissance history: Click here for a map of past WalkGPS test walks in the walk area, plus the final route. The final route was selected only after several visits to the area which aimed to achieve a walk that would be the most rewarding.
Other: Jarrahdale 1:50,000 Sheet (Dept. of CALM, ca. 1990);
or Jarrahdale & Yaganing 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series (current) Sheet 2133-3 & 2133-2.
|Other background references :||
"Three Mountains" by 'nickleth', (on EveryTrail), 2010 - Two young ladies report on their experience of the route, with map and photos. A good effort!
"A Guide to the Bibbulmun Track, Northern Half, Kalamunda to Donnelly River Village" by Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) 2002, 2nd ed., pp.96-102.
"Forests on Foot (40 walks in W.A.)" by Meney & Brown, 1985, pp.44-48 (Wescolour Press, Fremantle). Describes the route from Mt Randall to Sullivan Rock prior to the development of the Bibbulmun Track.
"Family Walks in Perth Outdoors", CALM, rev. edn. 2000, pp.158-159, includes a mud map and description for the Mt. Vincent Walktrail (via Sullivan Rock), a 7 km return on-track walk.
See Climbers' Association of W.A. site for a climber's perspective on the granite 'slabs' and boulders of Mount Cuthbert, Mount Vincent and Mount Randall.
Drinking Water Source Protection Plans : "Canning River Catchment Area..." (Report # 77, Water Resource Protection Series) by Department of Water (DoW), June 2007. - See pdf version (5MB). Page 32 is of particular relevance.
"Serpentine Dam Catchment Area..." (Report # 78, Water Resource Protection Series) by Department of Water (DoW), July 2007. - See pdf version (2.3MB). Pages 42-43 are of particular relevance.
Note: DoW's recommended protection strategy in the above reports intended to prohibit recreational off-track bushwalking opportunities within the entire 1420 sq km of these two catchment areas, far beyond the combined 180 sq km of proposed Reservoir Protection Zones, and including this walk area which is located over 20km SSE of the Canning Reservoir and over 10km ENE of the Serpentine reservoir.
Trivia: What is a "monadnock? (Click for answer.)
Route notes :
Soon after crossing Albany Hwy from the 'START' point, the route goes off-track at 'ENTRY' waypoint and northward for approx 3km (or see newer Recommended alternative below), initially climbing to a N-S ridge (via the waypoints 'SFLANK', 'ROX', 'S-1' & 'S-1A & 'S-2'). There is a very good view 13 kms S-ward to Mt Solus from the large sloping granite slab at 'ROX'. Note: Many walkers will now prefer to avoid the 600m section from 'S-1' to 'S-2' which initially climbs uphill through some very scratchy shrubland which has grown quite dense in recent years; take it slowly to pick out the more open animal tracks, and initially follow the granite outcrop steeply uphill if it is not too wet and slippery. This section near the start of the walk may deter some walkers but is NOT typical of the whole walk! (I have re-walked the route as recently as May 2011 and traversed this section OK, though veering NE uphill after 'S-1A' to bypass scratchy sections before descending to 'S-2'.)
[Recommended alternative : To avoid the scratchy section, after crossing Albany Hwy from the Start point, follow the (blocked) dirt road from the NE side of the Hwy, and continue ENE past 'ENTRY' to the T-junction at 'BIBCNR'. Turn left (northward) on the 'old Bibbulmun Track' to about 'OLBIB3', then NW off-track to climb quite steeply uphill to 'RAND-S' near the small southern culmination. Then veer northward to follow the ridge through quite open forest to link back into the main route at 'S-3'. This option adds about 600m to the total walk distance.]
After the second outcrop, at 'S-2', follow the N-S ridge northward (via 'S-3', 'S-RAND' and 'S-4') through pleasant open jarrah-marri forest. Cross a further small outcrop at 'GRAN', before reaching an old W-E forestry track at 'W-ETRK' waypt. Approx. 50m west along that track, turn right at waypt 'CAIRN' (where there is a small rock cairn) to follow an undeveloped foot-track northward uphill (via 'R-1, 'R-1A', 'R-2') through very nice forest to a granite outcrop (at 'VU') just below the summit of Mt Randall (excellent views to Mts Cuthbert & Vincent and Cooke).
[Note 1: About 140m before you reach 'R-1' on the foot-track you may glimpse through the forest a cluster of large granite boulders 100m due east. It is worth a short off-track detour to visit these and the sizeable cavern hidden below them. Another 60m east of those rocks is a striking cluster of tall 'sentinal'-like rocks, also worth a visit. This is a popular area with boulderers.
Note 2: The last section of the foot-track to 'R-2' may be difficult to follow due to the control burn in the area in 2010 which also included the summit area of Mt Randall; but the fire also opened up the understorey, so it is easy to pick your own route.]
To leave the summit area, follow another initially faint foot-track (at 'R-2A') which starts from the foot of a short granite slope less than 50m north of 'VU'. Once you have found the track it becomes easy to follow eastward (via 'R-2B' and 'R-3') down the gentle eastern ridge of Mt Randall. [Note: The control burn in the area in 2010 also made this foot-track initially very difficult to follow; but look for very small rock cairns after about 'R-2B'.] After 'R-4' the vague foot-track passes through a narrow belt of shrubland before emerging close to the Monadnocks Campsite (at 'BIBHUT'). - If you do lose the foot-track after 'R-3', you may prefer to continue off-track close to the ridge crest (via 'RIDGE') to meet the Bibbulmun Track at 'BIBTR'. Then turn right to follow the Track for less than 150m to reach the Monadnocks Hut. -Follow the Track from the Hut until 'OLDBIB' (close to the intersection of old and new Bibbulmun Tracks). Then head ESE off-track through mixed jarrah-marri-banksia forest, across a very gentle slope, to cross a ridge before descending, initially passing through an interesting cluster of very large granite boulders (at 'BOLDRS'). Continue ESE, soon descending more steeply and picking a best route through a patch (about 50m) of scratchy shrubland to reach (after 'NR-1) an extensive granite outcrop (informally named 'North Rocks' on WalkGPS map). The large sloping granite slab provides good views to the east across the Darling Plateau, including 23.5 kms NNE to the distinctive conical-shaped Mt Dale on the horizon. The route then follows the upper part of the outcrop SE-ward (via 'BIGROCK', 'NR-2', 'NR-3', NR-4', and NR-5') and then re-enters the forest after 'ENDROK', through a very short section of possibly scratchy scrub. The route then climbs briefly (via 'SADLE2') to follow a ridge SW-ward until at 'C-4' it passes very close to the foot of the northern granite slopes of Mt Cuthbert. At 'C-3' the route starts rising and soon meets the Bibbulmun Track (at 'TURN'). (Option: From 'C-4', you can opt to head straight up the northern outcrop slope toward 'C-2', but be aware that there will be a short section of scratchy shrubland to pick a way through before meeting the Bibbulmun Track about 40m north of 'C-2'). The remaining 5km of the walk from waypoint 'TURN' follows the Bibbulmun Track and its exit track to Albany Highway via Sullivan Rock. This part of the Bibb. Track crosses the summits of Mts Cuthbert and Vincent. (The Bibb. Track is marked by 'Waugal' markers, with black 'serpent' on yellow background). There are magnificent sweeping views northward and eastward from the northern granite slopes of Mt Cuthbert and also 12 km SE to Mt Cooke. During the southward descent of Mt Vincent there are also views 12 kms SSW to Mt Solus.
Alternate ending : If a car shuffle between the END and START is not possible, a good (and pleasant) alternative to walking the last 2.5km along the Highway back to the START, is as follows: Follow Bibb. Track down Mt Vincent only as far as waypt 'VIN S'. Then go off-track to meet the old Bibbulmun Track (a vehicle track) at waypt 'OLDBIB1'. Follow the old Bibb. Track via 'OLBIB2' to reach 'BIBCNR'. Turn left at 'BIBCNR' onto another old vehicle track that leads back to Albany Highway and the START point.This alternate ending adds only about 1.5kms to the total walk distance.
Right click here and then "Save Target/Link As..." if you wish to download the waypoints and GPS 'track' as a GPX file in the standard format recognised by most devices and programs including Garmin and Magellan units and GPS Mapping Software. If you have a problem uploading the data, please feel free to contact me directly at WalkGPS rather than your users' forum!
The waypoints in the alternative listing below are given as UTM coordinates with datum to match the Walk Map. NOTE: If you wish to manually enter these into your GPS unit you must first set your unit to the correct Datum. Caution: An incorrect datum can result in an approximate 200m location error! (This is a very slow, error-prone method compared to using the above downloadable file and is not recommended.)
Route list :
Projection : UTM Datum : Australian Geodetic 1966 Zone : 50
Waypt name Easting Northing Comments
START 427553 6419218 Park car, Herold Rd, off Albany Hwy.
TRNOFF 427768 6419273 Cross Albany Hwy.
ENTRY 427929 6419268 Begin off-track.
SFLANK 428060 6419930
ROX 427959 6420023 First granite outcrop.
S-1 427874 6420261 Near NNW limit of outcrop.
S-1A 427921 6420397 In forest on W flank of small peak.
S-2 427899 6420847
S-3 427976 6421034 Onto ridge.
S-RAND 427937 6421437
S-4 427883 6421831
GRAN 427764 6421927 Granite outcrop.
W-ETRK 427663 6422107 Meet old W-E track.Walk west.
CAIRN 427621 6422091 Small rock cairn. Track north.
R-1 427710 6422340 On undeveloped track.
R-1A 427630 6422434 On undeveloped track.
R-2 427629 6422625 Vague foot-track veers W to ascend toward Mt Randall summit.
VU 427588 6422591 View from granite platform, just below Mt Randall summit.
R-2A 427583 6422638 Entry from outcrop to vague foot-track, descending to ridge.
R-2B 427727 6422718 On unmarked foot-track.
R-3 427964 6422739 On unmarked foot-track.
R-4 428149 6422688 On vague, unmarked foot-track.
BIBHUT 428219 6422611 Monadnocks Campsite (Bibb. Track)
OLDBIB 428476 6422562 Cross old & new Bibb. Track.
BOLDRS 429185 6422294 Granite boulders.
NR-1 429451 6422150 Near NNW limit of‘Nth Rocks’ granite slab.
BIGROK 429432 6422086 Extensive outcrop. Good views
NR-2 429501 6421962 Outcrop continues.
NR-3 429488 6421890 Outcrop continues.
NR-4 429492 6421839 Outcrop continues.
NR-5 429611 6421780 Outcrop continues.
ENDROK 429636 6421683 End of main outcrop.
NR-6 429666 6421614 In forest, on NE slope.
SADLE2 429678 6421398
C-4 429497 6421127
C-3 429353 6421122
TURN 429337 6420936 Meet Bibbulmun Track, follow.
C-2 429607 6420779 North flank of Mt Cuthbert.
MT CUT 429665 6420355 Approx. summit, Mt Cuthbert.
C-1 429911 6419829 South flank of Mt Cuthbert.
SADLE1 429831 6419312 Saddle.
V-2 429607 6419053 North flank of Mt Vincent.
MT VIN 429656 6418849 Approx summit, Mt Vincent.
V-1 429610 6418250 Sth flank of Mt Vincent.
VIN S 429408 6418170 Sth flank of Mt Vincent.
EXIT 429699 6417637 Bibbulmun Track exit for Hwy.
SULL-1 429657 6417382 Sullivan Rocks outcrop.
TO-BIB 429349 6417071 Cross Albany Hwy.
END 429264 6417084 End walk. Car back to start.
Additional Waypoints on map:
BIB 429172 6421044 Bibb. Tr., nth of Mt Cuthbert.
BIBCNR 428369 6419430 Old Bibb. Tr. & track to Hwy.
CRNRK 429211 6422069 Small outcrop above‘Nth Rocks’
FALLOG 429004 6421561 Bibb. Tr.,nearby fallen logs.
MT RAN 427570 6422616 Near summit, Mt Randall.
NTHROC 429354 6421833 Small outcrop above‘Nth Rocks’
OLBIB1 429213 6418115 Old Bibb Tr., nr Mt Vincent.
OLBIB2 428622 6419260 Old Bibb Tr., nr ‘BIBCNR’
OLBIB3 428627 6419931 Old Bibb Tr.,nth of ‘BIBCNR’
OLBIB4 428757 6421127 Old Bibb Tr.,NW of Mt Cuthbert
OLBIB5 428487 6421839 Old Bibb Tr.,W of ‘Nth Rocks’
OLDTRK 427878 6422319 Old track, extn. of ‘W-ETRK’
RAND-S 428081 6420443 Small peak sth of Mt Randall.
RIDGE 428115 6422752 Off-track, east of Mt Randall.
BIBTR 428310 6422701 Meet Bibbulmun Track near Monadnocks Campsite.
CLTRK1 429649 6420402 Top of old 'climbers track', Mt Cuthbert.
CLTRK2 429218 6420381 On old 'climbers track'.
CLTRK3 428686 6420186 Old 'climbers track' meets old Bibb Track.
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This page was last updated : 19 August, 2013
Site authored by David Osborne. Photographs and text are copyright © 2003-2013 David Osborne.