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Empress Canyon

Katoomba area in Blue Mountains National Park

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Overview

Only fit, experienced canyoners should attempt Empress Canyon, near Wentworth Falls. This technical route features down-climbs, jumps, swims and a 30m overhanging abseil down a waterfall.

Where
Katoomba area in Blue Mountains National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Time suggested
3hrs
Grade
Hard. You need a moderate level of fitness and proficiency with ropes and other canyoning equipment.
Trip Intention Form

It's a good idea to let someone know where you're going. Fill in a trip intention form to send important details about your trip to your emergency contact.

Personal Locator Beacon

If you're planning to loan a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) from one of these locations, wait and fill out your trip intention form in person.

What to
bring
Drinking water, canyoning equipment, helmet, wetsuit, sturdy shoes, suitable clothing, first aid kit, mobile phone, dry bag, personal locator beacon, snacks
Please note
  • Fill out the log book at the canyon entrance. Check the log to see who's ahead of you.
  • You may encounter commercial tour groups and waits at abseil points.
  • Don't visit the canyon just before, during or after heavy rainfall or storms. Check park alerts before you go.
  • Planning a guided tour? Be sure to choose a Park Eco Pass operator. Only Parks Eco Pass holders are permitted to operate tours in Blue Mountains National Park.

Empress Canyon is a short, 300m route along Valley of the Waters Creek in the Katoomba area of Blue Mountains National Park. Only attempt this technical descent if you're physically fit and proficient with ropes and other canyoning equipment.

Summer is the best time to do Empress Canyon because you'll need to make several swims in chilly Valley of the Waters Creek. Other challenges along this route include down-climbs, optional water jumps, and to finish, a 30m waterfall abseil from a rock overhang.

Come prepared for a total walking distance of 2km to get in and out of Empress Canyon. It takes about 30min to access the canyon from Conservation Hut. Follow National Pass walking track for almost 500m, then turn right at the T-junction with Nature track. Cross the bridge over Isobel Creek and continue to Valley of the Waters Creek where stepping stones mark the start of the canyon route.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Tours and events at this location

  • A person abseiling down a canyon in Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: © Australian School of Mountaineering.

    Canyoning and abseiling tours at Empress Canyon

    Let the Australian School of Mountaineering show you the beautiful canyons of Blue Mountains National Park on an introductory abseiling and canyoning tour of Empress Canyon, near Wentworth Falls.

  • 2 people in wetsuits descend on ropes past a waterfall into a steep canyon. Photo credit: James Waddell © Eagle Rock Adventures

    Guided Empress Canyon adventures

    Abseil into stunning Empress Canyon with the help of guides from Eagle Rock Adventures. This beautiful descent along a waterfall in Blue Mountains National Park is a great introduction to canyoning.