Short and steep hiking trail to Chatauqua Peak from Halls Gap in the Grampians
Chatqauqua Peak sits 200 metres above Halls Gap, just at the northern tip of the town.
The Grampians is packed with rugged Sandstone mountains, stunning long rocky ridges and dry Eucalyptus forests all with-in a pretty short drive or a long walk from Halls Gap. Hiking to Chatauqua Peak gives you a full taste of the incredible Grampians National Park and you can be back in town, in-time for brunch.
Chatauqua Peak Loop trail details
It’s possible to hike directly to Chatauqua Peak and head back down the way that you came from, but by doing this, you’ll miss out on at least one waterfall.
The trail begins from behind the Halls Gap Recreation Reserve, better known as the ‘cricket oval covered in Kangaroos’. A bit over a kilometre into the walk, you’ll arrive at Clematis Falls, which a 20 metre waterfall between massive sandstone cliffs. Getting to the waterfall is easy, it’s a relatively flat walk with a bit of elevation, but nothing that’ll make you sweat.
From the waterfall, the trail gradually gets steeper as you get closer to Chatauqua Peak, which is about 20-25 minutes from Clematis Falls. The trail zig-zags to help with the elevation and then the last 5-10 minutes become very steep where you’ll need to do a small amount of climbing.
The final part of the track before reaching Chatauqua Peak is along a ridge, parts of it can be dangerous – if you’ve bought some kids along, you’ll want to keep a close eye on them. You can walk right along the ridge to the very end, giving you a view down into Halls Gap.
Once you’ve explored the peak, you can head back a few metres along the way that you came from until you find a junction, then turn left and keep following the trail to Bullaces Glen. Bullaces Glen is another waterfall (much smaller than Clematis Falls), the trail then weaves around and finishes up at the Halls Gap Botanic Gardens, just south of the oval and right next to the town centre.
The entire hike, including stopping for photos, won’t take more than 2-2.5 hours and the total elevation is almost exactly 200 metres. Most of the track is quite flat and easy, but then getting up to Chatauqua Peak could be challenging for some people as you’ll need to climb some small sections.
If you’re somewhat fit and able, then you’ll find the entire trail pretty easy.
There is an option to avoid the steep parts and walk around Chatauqua Peak fro, Clematis Falls to Bullaces Glen, for those that aren’t super agile or if you have young kids along with you on the hike.
The entire loop is about 5.5kms, although if you just want to head the shortest route to Chatauqua Peak, then start at the Botanic Gardens and go straight there via Bullaces Glen and you’ll cut out most of the trail.
If you start in town at Halls Gap, then it’s exactly 200 metres elevation to Chatauqua Peak. Starting from behind the cricket oval reduces the total elevation gained by about 10-15 metes.
Halls Gap elevation: 233 metres
Chatauqua Peak elevation: 433 metres
There aren’t any facilities on the trail, but plenty of toilets, barbecues and water fountains nearby, in Halls Gap.
Closest place to buy food & drinks
This trail practically starts in the Halls Gap town centre, which is full of shops and accommodation.