Rodriguez Pass walking track

Blackheath area in Blue Mountains National Park

Overview

Rodriguez Pass walking track is a challenging hike from Govetts Leap or Evans lookout, in Blackheath. It winds past spectacular waterfalls, lookouts and lush rainforest in Blue Mountains National Park.

Where
Blackheath area in Blue Mountains National Park
Accessibility
No wheelchair access
Distance
12km loop
Time suggested
4 - 7hrs
Grade
Grade 5
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.

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.

Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, snacks, sturdy shoes, clothes for all weather conditions, personal locator beacon, topographic map, gps, compass, sunscreen, hat
Please note
  • Rodriguez Pass walking track can be started from either Govetts Leap lookout or Evans lookout.
  • This long walking track is very steep and difficult, and has minimal signage. It’s recommended for experienced hikers with good fitness and navigation skills.
  • Take care as there are exposed cliff edges, steep stairs and slippery creek crossings. Check the weather before you go as creeks can flood after heavy rain.
  • Pick up maps and route advice from Blue Mountains Heritage Centre.
  • From Junction Rock you can extend your walk 3km to remote Acacia Flat campground and onto Blue Gum Forest.

Rodriguez Pass walking track is a must for experienced bushwalkers looking for a heart-pumping day hike in the Blue Mountains.

Start at the famous Govetts Leap lookout and descend into the Grose Valley, past hanging swamps, to the base of Bridal Veil Falls. At 180m, it’s the tallest single-drop waterfall in the Blue Mountains.

The walking track winds along Govetts Leap Brook for around 2km, until it meets Govetts Creek at Junction Rock. This is a great place to catch your breath, enjoy a scenic lunch, or take a dip in the creek. You might even spot crayfish. Take a moment to sit back and enjoy the abundant birdlife, including yellow robins, scrub wrens and thornbills, and the beauty of this remote part of the Blue Mountains.

From here, the track turns towards Evans lookout. This section involves some steep climbing, sandstone stairs, creek crossings and scrambling over boulders, before reaching Beauchamp Falls and the Grand Canyon. After climbing the historic stone stairs out of the canyon you’ll be back up on the escarpment to enjoy unforgettable views from Evans lookout.

Loop back to Govetts Leap by taking the 3km Cliff Top walking track. You can also arrange a car shuffle between the 2 lookouts.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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/walking-tracks/rodriguez-pass-walking-track/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Rodriguez Pass walking track.

Track grading

Grade 5

Learn more about the grading system Features of this track
  • Time

    4 - 7hrs

  • Quality of markings

    Limited signage

  • Gradient

    Very steep and difficult

  • Distance

    12km loop

  • Steps

    Many steps

  • Quality of path

    Rough track, many obstacles

  • Experience required

    Experienced bushwalkers

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    Rodriguez Pass walking track is in the Blackheath area of Blue Mountains National Park. To get there:

    From Sydney:

    • Drive west on Great Western Highway to Blackheath.
    • Turn right on to Govetts Leap Road and drive 3km, until you reach the end of the road.
    • The walk starts to the left of Govetts Leap lookout.
    • You can also drive to Evans lookout, at the end of Evans Lookout Road, if you plan to walk in the opposite direction.

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    Weather restrictions

    • All weather

    Parking

    Parking is available at Govetts Leap lookout or Evans lookout. Bus parking is available.

    Facilities

    • Toilets, picnic facilities and parking are available at Govetts Leap lookout and Evans lookout.
    • You’ll need to bring plenty of water and snacks for this strenuous hike. Drinking water is not available in this park, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.
    • Water from creeks and rivers in Blue Mountains National Park is not suitable for drinking.
    • There are no bins along the walking track, so please take all rubbish with you when you leave.

    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.

    Fire safety

    During periods of fire weather, the Commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service may declare a total fire ban for particular NSW fire areas, or statewide. Learn more about total fire bans and fire safety.

    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.

    Accessibility

    Disability access level - no wheelchair access

    Permitted

    Camping

    Camping is permitted at designated campgrounds only. The walk-in Acacia Flat campground is a sign posted 3km walk from Junction Rock.

    Prohibited

    Camp fires and solid fuel burners

    You'll need to bring a gas or liquid fuel stove if you plan to camp at Acacia Flat campground, as wood and other solid fuel fires are not permitted.

    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.

    Visitor centre

    Learn more

    Rodriguez Pass walking track is in Blackheath area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    Inspiration and information

    A visitor at Blue Mountains Heritage Centre, Blackheath. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH.

    Blackheath is home to the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre. This is your one-stop-shop for maps and information on national parks in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Take advantage of free wi-fi, book a tour, and read the displays. Try the visitor centre's unique virtual reality tour through Claustral Canyon (costs apply). Or, head out the back doors to the picnic tables and start of wheelchair-accessible Fairfax Heritage walk. Kids can learn more on a school holiday activity or excursion. You can even hire the theatrette for your next event.

    • Blue Mountains Heritage Centre Visit Blue Mountains Heritage Centre to get expert advice on walking tracks, Aboriginal heritage, plants and animals and activities. There are maps, books, art, gifts, wifi, coffee and a great virtual reality experience.
    • Fairfax Heritage walking track Family and wheelchair friendly, Fairfax Heritage walking track offers summer wildflowers, and scenic lookouts with waterfall views over Grose Valley, in Blue Mountains National Park.

    A haven for plants and animals

    Red triangle slug, Fairfax Heritage walking track, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH.

    The Blackheath area is a haven for many rare and threatened species. The Blue Mountains cliff mallee tree is found only in the upper mountains on exposed cliff edges. In October, you may see a rare giant dragonfly, which has a wing span up to 12.5cm and body as thick as your little finger. Stroll along Fairfax Heritage track for a chance to see Australia’s largest native land slug, the red triangle slug—they only come out in rain. Nearby Barrow lookout, along Cliff Top walking track, has great views of a remarkable hanging swamp. The swamp feeds a rare plant known as Fletcher’s drumsticks which only grows in the Blackheath area.

    • Blue Gum Forest Blue Gum Forest is a fine, historic example of closed forest, situated in Grose Valley in Blue Mountains National Park. Get to it by walking track from Perrys lookdown or Pierces Pass.
    • Cliff Top walking track Cliff Top walking track between Govetts Leap and Evans lookout offers some of the most breath taking scenic views in all of the Blue Mountains. You'll be spoiled with birdwatching, wildflowers, and plenty of lookouts along the way.
    • Fairfax Heritage walking track Family and wheelchair friendly, Fairfax Heritage walking track offers summer wildflowers, and scenic lookouts with waterfall views over Grose Valley, in Blue Mountains National Park.
    • International student tour: Grand Canyon Experience this magnificent rainforest environment in the Blue Mountains National Park. Descend into a special slot canyon, past creeks and waterfalls, and learn about local wildlife along the way.
    • Mount Hay summit walking track Short but steep Mount Hay summit walking track rewards experienced bushwalkers with dramatic Grose Valley views, and spring wildflowers in Blue Mountains National Park, near Leura.

    In the footsteps of early tourists

    Rock-carved steps beside a tree on Grand Canyon track, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.

    The fresh Blue Mountains air has been promoted as a health tonic from the early 1800s. Today, you can follow in the footsteps of early European tourists along Blackheath’s many historic tracks. Grand Canyon track has drawn visitors to its stone steps since 1907. The spectacular Govetts Leap descent took 2 men 7 months to cut and blast the track, following natural faults and ledges in the cliff. Many of the original hand tool marks are visible on the stone stairway. Along other tracks you may see heritage signs, old timber stairs, metal handrails, bridges and ladders.

    • Blue Gum Forest Blue Gum Forest is a fine, historic example of closed forest, situated in Grose Valley in Blue Mountains National Park. Get to it by walking track from Perrys lookdown or Pierces Pass.
    • Govetts Leap descent A challenging walk from Govetts Leap lookout, Govetts Leap descent will delight hikers who enjoy a harder walking track, with scenic waterfall views across Grose Valley in Blue Mountains National Park.
    • Grand Canyon track Setting out from Evans lookout near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, be met with a series of waterfalls, creeks and spectacular views along the challenging Grand Canyon track.

    Ancient landscapes

    View of Grose Valley escarpment, framed by Handing Rock, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: David Finnegan/OEH

    You’ll find some of the most photographed landscapes in Blue Mountains National Park in the Blackheath area. The cluster of lookouts around the rim of the Grose Valley provide ever-changing views. Marvel at sweeping sandstone escarpments, sheer cliff walls, deep canyons, tall waterfalls and hazy blue forests. It’s taken 15 million years to carve out the Grose Valley through a combination of volcanic uplift and erosion. From Perrys Lookdown relish the views across to Mount Banks, with its 500m cliff walls. Walk or ride to the rocky outcrops around Mount Hay, Hanging Rock, or Wind Eroded Rock.

    • Burramoko Ridge (Hanging Rock) trail Enjoy mountain biking or a day walk with fantastic gorge views along Burramoko Ridge (Hanging Rock) trails, in the Grose Wilderness of Blue Mountains National Park, near Blackheath.
    • Govetts Leap lookout Take in the iconic Blue Mountains views from Govetts Leap lookout, including sandstone escarpments, sheer cliff walls, the deep canyons of the Grose Valley, and tall waterfalls.
    • Grand Canyon track Setting out from Evans lookout near Blackheath in the Blue Mountains, be met with a series of waterfalls, creeks and spectacular views along the challenging Grand Canyon track.
    • International student tour: Grand Canyon Experience this magnificent rainforest environment in the Blue Mountains National Park. Descend into a special slot canyon, past creeks and waterfalls, and learn about local wildlife along the way.
    • Perrys lookdown Perrys lookdown offers scenic views over Grose Valley, Blue Gum Forest and Mount Banks, on the western edge of Blue Mountains National Park.
    • Pulpit Rock lookout Pulpit Rock lookout offers mountain biking, picnicking and scenic views across Grose Valley, taking in Blue Gum Forest and Govetts Leap in Blue Mountains National Park.
    Show more

    World-class wilderness

    A hiker stands on a rock along Rodriguez Pass walking track, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.

    The Grose Wilderness is the only declared wilderness area in Blue Mountains National Park. At the heart of the Grose Wilderness is the magnificent Blue Gum Forest. This closed forest of tall blue gum trees is one of the most secluded areas in the Blue Mountains. It also played an important role in the beginnings of the park and conservation movement in NSW. In 1932, the forest was saved from the axe when a group of bushwalkers pooled their money to buy out the lease. Almost 100 years later, intrepid hikers can hike into this natural wonder via Perrys Lookdown or Pierces Pass.

    • Blue Gum Forest Blue Gum Forest is a fine, historic example of closed forest, situated in Grose Valley in Blue Mountains National Park. Get to it by walking track from Perrys lookdown or Pierces Pass.
    • Mount Hay summit walking track Short but steep Mount Hay summit walking track rewards experienced bushwalkers with dramatic Grose Valley views, and spring wildflowers in Blue Mountains National Park, near Leura.
    • Rodriguez Pass walking track Rodriguez Pass walking track is a challenging hike from Govetts Leap or Evans lookout, in Blackheath. It winds past spectacular waterfalls, lookouts and lush rainforest in Blue Mountains National Park.
    • Virtual reality canyoning experience Use virtual reality goggles to explore Claustral Canyon when you visit Blue Mountains Heritage Centre in Blackheath. Get up close to spectacular waterfalls and wildlife in the Blue Mountains. 

    Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area

    A hiker at Butterbox Point, near Mount Hay, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: E Sheargold/OEH

    Blue Mountains National Park is 1 of 8 national parks and reserves that make up the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA). In 2000, UNESCO recognised the area's outstanding geology, biodiversity, and Aboriginal significance. The GBMWHA lies within the Country of the Darug, Gundungurra, Wiradjuri, Darkinjung, Wanaruah and Dharawal People. With 1 million hectares of rugged plateaux, sheer cliffs and deep gorges, it protects unique ecosystems teeming with rare plants and animals. Over 95 species of eucalypt trees have evolved here over millions of years, making it the most diverse eucalypt forest in the world. Greater Blue Mountains driving route is a great way to see this ancient wilderness right on Sydney doorstep. You can also learn more at the Blue Mountains Heritage Centre in Blackheath.

    • Blue Gum Forest Blue Gum Forest is a fine, historic example of closed forest, situated in Grose Valley in Blue Mountains National Park. Get to it by walking track from Perrys lookdown or Pierces Pass.
    • Lockleys Pylon walking track Lockleys Pylon walking track, just near Leura, is an invigorating walk offering awe inspiring views of the Grose Valley, outstanding photography opportunities and beautiful wildflower displays.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Wedge-tailed eagle. Photo: Kelly Nowak

      Wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax)

      With a wingspan of up to 2.5m, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey. These Australian animals are found in woodlands across NSW, and have the ability to soar to heights of over 2km. If you’re bird watching, look out for the distinctive diamond-shaped tail of the eagle.

    • Long-nosed bandicoot, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: Narelle King

      Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)

      A nocturnal marsupial and one of the smaller Australian native animals, the long-nosed bandicoot is found across eastern Australia. Populations in the Sydney region have dwindled since European settlement, leaving only endangered colonies in inner western Sydney and at North Head, near Manly. The long-nosed bandicoot has grey-brown fur and a pointed snout which it uses to forage for worms and insects.

    • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

      One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

    • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

      Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

      The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

    • Swamp wallaby in Murramarang National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor)

      The swamp wallaby, also known as the black wallaby or black pademelon, lives in the dense understorey of rainforests, woodlands and dry sclerophyll forest along eastern Australia. This unique Australian macropod has a dark black-grey coat with a distinctive light-coloured cheek stripe.

    • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

      Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

    •  Blue Tongue lizard. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Eastern blue-tongue lizard (Tiliqua scinciodes)

      The eastern blue-tongue lizard, one of the largest skinks in Australia, is found throughout most of NSW. When threatened, the eastern blue-tongue lizard displays its blue tongue in a wide-mouthed intimidating show. Not an agile animal, they feed on slow-moving beetles and snails.

    • Eastern water dragon. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii)

      The eastern water dragon is a subaquatic lizard found in healthy waterways along eastern NSW, from Nowra to halfway up the Cape York Pensinsula. It’s believed to be one of the oldest of Australian reptiles, remaining virtually unchanged for over 20 million years.

    • Sugar glider. Photo: Jeff Betteridge

      Sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps)

      The sugar glider is a tree-dwelling Australian native marsupial, found in tall eucalypt forests and woodlands along eastern NSW. The nocturnal sugar glider feeds on insects and birds, and satisfies its sweet tooth with nectar and pollens.

    •  Superb lyrebird, Minnamurra Rainforest, Budderoo National Park. Photo: David Finnegan

      Superb lyrebird (Menura novaehollandiae)

      With a complex mimicking call and an elaborate courtship dance to match, the superb lyrebird is one of the most spectacular Australian animals. A bird watching must-see, the superb lyrebird can be found in rainforests and wet woodlands across eastern NSW and Victoria.

    Plants

    • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

      Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

      The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

    • Old man banksia, Moreton National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

      Old man banksia (Banksia serrata)

      Hardy Australian native plants, old man banksias can be found along the coast, and in the dry sclerophyll forests and sandstone mountain ranges of NSW. With roughened bark and gnarled limbs, they produce a distinctive cylindrical yellow-green banksia flower which blossoms from summer to early autumn.

    • Blueberry ash. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus)

      The blueberry ash is a rainforest shrub which produces blue olive-shaped berries and spectacular bell-shaped flowers, which often appear on the plant together. It is a tall slender shrub or small tree found in rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and coastal bushland in eastern NSW, south-east Queensland and Victoria.

    • Coachwood flower. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum)

      Coachwood trees are Australian native plants that grow in warm temperate rainforests along coastal NSW. Also known as scented satinwood, the mottled grey bark of the coachwood has horizontal markings and a delicate fragrance.

    • Coachwood flower. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum)

      Coachwood trees are Australian native plants that grow in warm temperate rainforests along coastal NSW. Also known as scented satinwood, the mottled grey bark of the coachwood has horizontal markings and a delicate fragrance.

    • Flannel flowers in Wollemi National Park. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

      Flannel flower (Actinotus helianthi)

      The delicate flannel flower is so named because of the soft woolly feel of the plant. Growing in the NSW south coast region, extending to Narrabri in the Central West and up to south-east Queensland, its white or pink flowers bloom all year long, with an extra burst of colour in the spring.

    • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

      An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

    • A red triangle slug on the trunk of a scribbly gum tree in Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Elinor Sheargold/OEH

      Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)

      Easily identifiable Australian native plants, scribbly gum trees are found throughout NSW coastal plains and hills in the Sydney region. The most distinctive features of this eucalypt are the ‘scribbles’ made by moth larva as it tunnels between the layers of bark.

    • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

      Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

    • Close up photo of a waratah flower, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.

      Waratah (Telopea speciosissima)

      The beautiful waratah is not only the NSW floral emblem, it's also one of the best-known Australian native plants. This iconic Australian bush flower can be found on sandstone ridges around Sydney, in nearby mountain ranges and on the NSW South Coast. The waratah has a vibrant crimson flowerhead, measuring up to 15cm across, and blossoms in spring.

    Environments in this area

    School excursions (1)

    Hikers rock hopping on Rodriguez Pass walking track, Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Simone Cottrell/OEH.