Hidden from Halls Gap, Mount Rosea sits behind Sundial Peak and the famous Pinnacle lookout, towering over a kilometre above sea level and almost 800 metres into the sky above above Lake Bellfield with views over to Mount William and dozens of other peaks throughout the Grampians National Park.
In November, we went camping at Halls Gap with our DIY camper trailer that had the drawbar snap in half on the way home, this time, we came back with our new (old) little caravan that we’ve just acquired for our loop around Australia next year.
Hiking to the Mount Rosea summit
Each time that we visit the Grampians, we always sneak in a hike and this time, Tom (my brother that lives in Halls Gap) wanted to take us up to the Mount Rosea summit. Recently, Tom took the standard trail called the Mount Rosea Walk from the Rosea Carpark to the summit, which is a 9 km trail, being 4.5 km each way with about 470 metres of elevation gained.
Hiking from the Rosea Carpark to the Mt Rosea summit is much the same as hiking from Wonderland Carpark to the Pinnacle or Sundial Carpark to Sundial Peak, in the way that the trail mainly goes up the back of the mountain and doesn’t climb up the ledge on the Halls Gap side.
Once Tom had reached the summit by following the Mount Rosea Walk, he met a bloke that explained how he came up a trail called the “Staircase” that went around the front of the mountain and up a whole heap of stairs on the face of the ledge. The trail isn’t marked, but the man showed Tom on a map where it starts and mentioned that it’s right next to a timber trail sign. We decided to go find the trail.
The first part of the trail is among large Eucalyptus trees and bushy ferns, it gradually elevates then becomes very steep until it reaches the top of cliff face and becomes a ridge walk. Climbing up the steep sections and walking along the top of the mountains provides breathtaking views almost the entire way. The trail is often right on the edge of huge drops where you can see right over various other mountain ranges.
Along the ridge, the trail goes through caves and under dozens of boulders, then eventually everything begins to clear, the trees become smaller and then you’re 1,000 metres above sea level and standing on the peak of Mount Rosea.
We spent plenty of time up on the ridge and at the summit, then followed the actual trail, the Mount Rosea Walk back to the car park before returning to our cosy little caravan for a few post-hike beers and a bbq.
We’ve done a huge amount of hiking at the Grampians, yet we all thought that the Staircase was one of the best parts of any trails that we’ve been on. The trail is almost in a long cave that steeply goes up the edge of a huge Sandstone cliff with a large drop and incredible views of the neighbouring mountains on the other side.
The Staircase part of the trail doesn’t seem to still be open or maintained any longer, we think it could be because it’s a bit dangerous with the massive cliffs right on the edge of the trail. We’d probably have to recommend that you just take the standard route, although feel free to contact-us here or leave a comment for some further details of how to find the Staircase.
If you missed the video of our hike to the Mount Rosea summit, scroll up and take a look.
Getting to the Rosea Carpark
The easiest way of getting from Halls Gap to the Rosea Carpark is to follow the road that goes into the mountains, next to the Cricket Oval that’s usually covered in Kangaroos. Drive along this road and go past the Wonderland turnoff, then take the Sundial Carpark & Silverband Falls turn off. Not too far after taking the turnoff, you’ll see a sign for the Rosea Carpark.
If you’re coming from Adelaide, Horsham or Mackenzie Falls, not long after the Boroka Lookout turnoff on your left, take the right turn towards Silverband Falls and follow the same directions as above.
On the chance that you’ve just headed along the Great Ocean Road and are coming in to the Grampians from Warrnambool or Dunkeld, just before you get to Halls Gap and have Lake Bellfield on your right, turn left at Silverband Road and follow it past the Silverband Falls turnoff until you see the Rosea Carpark turnoff on your left.
The hiking trail from the Rosea Carpark goes up to the Mount Rosea summit and returns the same way. This is the same trail that you’d take to find the Staircase.
The hike is about 3.5-4 hours return and just under 9 km in total. See the video of us hiking up Mt Rosea earlier in this blog post.
If you’ve hiked up Mount Rosea before or know of another trail worth mentioning, leave a comment below!