Grose Valley from Govetts Leap lookout II
The Grose River has cut a deepgorgethrough the area as it makes its way east towards the HawkesburyRiver.Sheer sandstonecliffs standing hundreds of metres above the rivermakefor spectacularscenery and can be viewed extensively fromtheBlackheath area, wherethere are a number of accessible lookouts,thebest known being Govetts Leap.
The valley can also beviewedfrom lookouts near Bells Line of Road and points outsideMtVictoria.Charles Darwin described the Grose Valley as "stupendous…magnificent" when he visited in 1836. In 1859 some of thefirstphotographs in Australia were taken in the valley. At varioustimesthere were proposals for rail lines and dams but these havenotproceeded. In 1931, the valley was the subject of one ofAustralia'sfirst forest conservation battles Within the valley, theBlue GumForest is one place that stands outfrom the rest of the valley.Itconsists predominantly of towering Blue Gumtrees, with athinunderstorey because the tall trees inhibit thegrowth of groundcover byblocking most of the sunlight. Protected bythe Blue MountainsNationalPark, the forest can be accessed only onfoot, with severaltrails fromdifferent parts of the Grose Valley andadjacent canyonsmeeting in theforest
There are a number of walks through thevalley, with various entry,exit points and valley arms offering a rangeof permutations to explore. A moderate-grade day walk coveringapproximately 10km in five hours starts at Perry's Look down anddescends sharply to the valley floor. Crossing through a corner of theBlue Gum Forest, the track goes south through the Acacia Flat campground,following the Govetts Creek. Passing several abandoned campgrounds,the path forks at Junction Rock; the route to Govetts Leap wasclosed in October 2003, following a landslide, and was reopened inDecember2007.In the other direction, along Govetts Creek, the routethen starts a continuous climb towards the Grand Canyon, where it forksagain; one track goes to Neates Glen, while the other is a steep climbto Evans Lookout.