Grose Valley from Govetts Leap lookout 1
The Grose River has cut a deep gorgethrough the area as it makes its way east towards the Hawkesbury River.Sheer sandstonecliffs standing hundreds of metres above the river makefor spectacularscenery and can be viewed extensively from theBlackheath area, wherethere are a number of accessible lookouts, thebest known being Govetts Leap.
The valley can also be viewedfrom lookouts near Bells Line of Road and points outside MtVictoria.Charles Darwin described the Grose Valley as "stupendous …magnificent" when he visited in 1836. In 1859 some of the firstphotographs in Australia were taken in the valley. At various timesthere were proposals for rail lines and dams but these have notproceeded. In 1931, the valley was the subject of one of Australia'sfirst forest conservation battles Within the valley, the Blue GumForest is one place that stands outfrom the rest of the valley. Itconsists predominantly of towering Blue Gumtrees, with a thinunderstorey because the tall trees inhibit thegrowth of ground cover byblocking most of the sunlight. Protected bythe Blue Mountains NationalPark, the forest can be accessed only onfoot, with several trails fromdifferent parts of the Grose Valley andadjacent canyons meeting in theforest
There are a number of walks through the valley, with various entry,exit points and valley arms offering a range of permutations to explore. A moderate-grade day walk covering approximately 10km in five hours starts at Perry's Look down and descends sharply to the valley floor. Crossing through a corner of the Blue Gum Forest, the track goes south through the Acacia Flat camp ground,following the Govetts Creek. Passing several abandoned camp grounds,the path forks at Junction Rock; the route to Govetts Leap was closed in October 2003, following a landslide, and was reopened in December2007.In the other direction, along Govetts Creek, the route then starts a continuous climb towards the Grand Canyon, where it forks again; one track goes to Neates Glen, while the other is a steep climb to Evans Lookout.