Mount Emperor loop

Kanangra-Boyd National Park

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Overview

A scenic 12.5km ride across the Boyd Plateau, Mount Emperor loop gives mountain bike riders the opportunity to explore some of the lesser-known corners Kanangra-Boyd National Park.

Distance
12.5km loop
Time suggested
1hr
Grade
Medium
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen
Please note
  • This park is in a remote location and the weather can be extreme and unpredictable, so please ensure you’re well-prepared for your visit.
  • There is limited mobile reception in this park
  • It's a good idea to fill in the free trip intention form and hire a PLB before you set out. Bring a topographic map and compass or GPS.
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching

Mount Emperor loop is an ideal mountain biking route that follows little-used 4WD trails through upland swamps on the Boyd Plateau.

Not far from Katoomba or the Jenolan Caves, Mount Emperor loop ride is a great way to get off the beaten track and into the surrounding wilderness. Mount Emperor loop is also great for visitors who have already explored Boyd River loop and are seeking a challenge as this trail is shorter but slightly more difficult by comparison.

Get your heart pumping along Ben Lomond trail, and follow until you reach Emperor Creek trail where you’ll find a gradual descent to the cool shade of Box Creek. From here the track climbs back up to intersect the Kowmung River trail where you will enjoy the flat 4.5km back to where you started.

Be sure not to whizz through Mount Emperor loop too fast as you will miss out on delightful scenic views and idyllic photography opportunities along the way.

If you are looking for a place to rest, a leisurely picnic lunch is perfect to take advantage of the natural surroundings on Mount Emperor loop. With the rich birdlife culture within Kanangra-Boyd National Park, you can also enjoy a spot of birdwatching while your heart isn’t under the pump.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Map


Map


Map legend

Map legend

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/cycling-trails/mount-emperor-loop/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Mount Emperor loop.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    On entering Kanangra-Boyd National Park from Jenolan:

    • Follow Kanangra Walls Road for 15km
    • Mount Emperor loop begins at the Kowmung River trail junction on the right

    Road quality

    Check the weather before you set out as the road to Morong Falls trail can become boggy when it rains.

    Parking

    Parking is available beside the road at the Boyd River trail junction, just past the Kowmung River trail on Kanangra Walls Road.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Kanangra-Boyd National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

    Spring

    A beautiful time of year to enjoy hiking and mountain biking; the temperature isn't too hot. The Kanangra Classic, a weekend of outdoor adventure, takes place at Jensens Farm near Boyd River Campground in October. The event includes mountain bike enduros, a social ride and an ultramarathon.

    Summer

    Take the family camping in the mountains. This is best time of year for canyoning, as well as spotting some of the park's wildlife including kangaroos, echidnas, wombats and lyrebirds.

    Winter

    With cold temperatures during these months, including the possibility of snow, it's best to walk and mountain bike as part of a day trip. You'll be rewarded with the yellow Kanangra wattle beginning to bloom in late winter.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    10°C and 23°C

    Highest recorded

    34.5°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    -2ºC and 10ºC

    Lowest recorded

    -10.1ºC

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    June

    Driest month

    March

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    200.3mm

    Facilities

    • Drinking water is limited or not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
    • You’re encouraged to bring gas or fuel stoves, especially in summer during the fire season.

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    • The walking opportunities in this park are suitable for experienced bushwalkers who are comfortable undertaking self-reliant hiking

    Cycling safety

    Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these mountain biking and cycling safety tips.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    River and lake safety

    The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

    Permitted

    Fishing

    A current NSW recreational fishing licence is required when fishing in all waters.

    Prohibited

    Gathering firewood

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Learn more

    Mount Emperor loop is in Kanangra-Boyd National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Action adventure

    Morong Falls Trail, Kanangra-Boyd National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    Hardcore hiker? Mad for mountain biking? There's something for whatever level of adventure you desire. Fire trails that wind throughout the park can be explored by 4WD or bicycle. For those who are handy with a map and compass, there's plenty of opportunity for self-reliant bushwalking. There are also marked trails that take in the captivating landscape which are even suitable for the kids. You might even want to throw in a line at Kowmung River to see if you can hook a trout.

    • Boyd River loop Take the easy route to peaceful cycling on Boyd River loop, a 21km journey that follows fire trails and roads in Kanangra-Boyd National Park.
    • Kanangra-Boyd lookout You can see for miles at Kanangra-Boyd lookout, an easily accessible viewpoint overlooking Kanangra Walls and Mount Cloudmaker.
    • Mount Emperor loop A scenic 12.5km ride across the Boyd Plateau, Mount Emperor loop gives mountain bike riders the opportunity to explore some of the lesser-known corners Kanangra-Boyd National Park.

    Amazing formations

    Kanangra Boyd lookout, Kanangra Boyd National Park. Photo: Simoe Cottrell

    You can see many unique formations in Kanangra-Boyd National Park, including Thurat Spires, Kanangra Walls, Mount Colong, and waterfall systems - Kalang, Kanangara and Morong. The park also features a series of karst landforms that can be explored by those with caving experience.

    • Kanangra Waterfall walk Kanangra Waterfall walk in Kanangra-Boyd National Park offers marvellous views of the cascading water at Kanangra and Kalang Falls.
    • Kanangra-Boyd lookout You can see for miles at Kanangra-Boyd lookout, an easily accessible viewpoint overlooking Kanangra Walls and Mount Cloudmaker.

    Preserving nature for future generations

    Kanangra Boyd National Park. Photo: Botanic Gardens Trust/Simone Cottrell

    There was a time when Kanangra-Boyd was in danger from logging and the extraction of lime. That all changed after a five-year conservation effort resulted in it being declared part of Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area in 1972.

    Wonderful wilderness

    Mount Emporer loop, Kanangra-Boyd National Park. Photo: Nick Cubbin

    High plateaus and sheltered slopes mean Kanangra-Boyd has a diverse range of plantlife, some of it unique to the national park. Heath and mallee dominate the areas exposed to wind and weather, while tall snow gum forests can also be found in the park. Look for the yellow Kanangra wattle that grows only on the rivers - it flowers from early spring to late winter. The wildlife population is extensive too. Keep your eyes peeled for red-necked wallabies, which thrive in this area. Honeyeaters, wrens and fruit-eating pigeons are just some of the 195 species of birds that can be spotted in the park on a daily basis.

    • Kanangra Waterfall walk Kanangra Waterfall walk in Kanangra-Boyd National Park offers marvellous views of the cascading water at Kanangra and Kalang Falls.
    • Kanangra-Boyd lookout You can see for miles at Kanangra-Boyd lookout, an easily accessible viewpoint overlooking Kanangra Walls and Mount Cloudmaker.

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