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Fortress Canyon

Blackheath area in Blue Mountains National Park

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Overview

For fit and experienced canyoners only, Fortress Canyon is challenging and should only be attempted with a guide. This technical canyon features 2 abseils, down climbs, jumps and long swims.

Where
Blackheath area in Blue Mountains National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Time suggested
6hrs
Grade
Hard. For physically fit and experienced canyoners accomplished at using 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

Hire a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) for free at Blue Mountains Heritage Centre in Blackheath.

What to
bring
Canyoning equipment, helmet, wetsuit, drinking water, sturdy shoes, suitable clothing, first aid kit, mobile phone, dry bag, personal locator beacon, sunscreen, snacks
Please note
  • Don't visit Fortress Canyon just before, during or after heavy rainfall or storms. Check park alerts before you go. 
  • Fortress Canyon requires moderate fitness and proficiency with ropes and other canyoning equipment.
  • Only attempt Fortress Canyon with a competent guide. 
  • Be sure to choose a Park Eco Pass operator. Only Parks Eco Pass holders are permitted to operate tours in Blue Mountains National Park.
  • You may encounter commercial tour groups.
  • NPWS does not manage, mark or clear canyon access routes. These routes cross natural bushland, cliffs and forest. You must research and be responsible for your own directions and entry and exit information.

Fortress Canyon is a short (800m) canyon along Fortress Creek, North of Leura, in the Blackheath area of Blue Mountains National Park. Only attempt this canyon if you’re fit, experienced and an accomplished user of ropes and other canyoning equipment.

Fortress Canyon is difficult and you should only visit it with a competent guide. Come prepared and allow 6 hours to complete this challenge, which includes an 8km walk to get in and out. The canyon itself has 2 technical sections. You'll need to do 2 abseils, the longest being 10m, as well as downclimbs and jumps. Just beyond the end of this canyon, Fortress Creek plunges off a cliff in a 70m waterfall into Govett Gorge.

Summer is the best time to do Fortress Canyon because you'll need to make long (30m) swims in the chilly waters of Fortress Creek.

To access this canyon from Fortress Ridge car park, walk west along Fortress Ridge Fire Trail and follow the walking track along the ridgetop. After 500m turn right and descend the ridge north east to the creek and to the start of the canyon.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info