Horse Track and Rogriquez Pass

August 2019

The GPS track shows the route of one of our favourite Blue Mountains walk circuits - down the Horse Track and up Rodriquez Pass. The walk is recorded in a 2011 blog, while here an alternative view of the main features and the overall walk experience is recorded.
The walks starts at Evans Lookout (point 001) and descends a relatively easy path and stairs. The track has been renovated and is characterised by interesting rocks and pagodas. (4533, 4534)
At point 002 the main track descends to the right and is taken by the majority of walkers intending to complete the Grand Canyon circuit. Access to the Horse Track is via a less defined path which goes straight on, mildly discouraged by National Parks.
A point, not marked on the GPS trace, is reached where the track deviates sharply to the left. As a short deviation a short scramble straight ahead takes one up to Lizard Rock, so named apparently because to look over the edge one needs to lie on one's stomach. Views of rock faces and the Grose Valley are spectacular. (4535, 4536)
An indistinct path leads to the right along the rock and terminates at a lookout providing views up Greaves Creek to Beauchamp Falls. (4537, 4538)
Re-tracing steps off Lizard Rock and turning right down the hill starts the Horse Track proper leading at first down the cliff face with rock views and intermittent valley glimpses. The track continues past a flat picnic ground (point 003) and then steadily down over a couple of ridges until reaching Rodriguez Pass (point 004). (4539)

Rodriguez Pass runs alongside Greaves Creek downstream to Junction Rock where it joins Govetts Creek in the Grose Valley, first passing a stand of Blue Gums, and upstream back toward the Grand Canyon. (4540, 4541)
Crossing a small Greaves Creek tributary (which is actually crossed for the first time on the way down the Horse Track), the upstream path follows a delightful part of the creek past rock pools alternating with rapids.
Greaves Creek meets another creek coming down from the left, and is crossed at point 005. The path continues through open rain forest, increasing in gradient, following the rise of Greaves Creek.
A number of cascades and waterfalls form features on this part of the creek.
A favourite spot, complete with seat where we can stop, drink and even eat marks the top of the forest. It comes complete with an inquisitive water dragon in the summer.
Only 50m on the creek must be crossed. Bent iron rods embedded in the rock show the futility of attempts to provide some bridging, which has been washed away by floods.
Immediately after the crossing a steep ascent close to the cliff line with the creek now on the left begins. This is the most arduous part of the walk, with large stone steps and a rough path. However, it is also one of the most attractive parts.
Eventually the path reaches a point where a couple of rock falls closed the track for considerable time, closing the descent through a rock 'cave' formed by an earlier fall. It is now possible to climb and cross the rock fall with the aid of a steel rope. (Point 007).

At the base of the rock fall it is possible to detour into the creek to the base of Beauchamp Falls, last glimpsed from the top of Lizard Rock.
Past point 008, the track joins the Grand Canyon track (the Grand Canyon is just visible on the GPS trace). There are even old signs on trees as the track progresses up the hill in the gully.
The route up the ferny gully is one of the mountain jewels with rain forest, water and shelter caves. Recent stone work has rejuvenated some of the old stone steps and bridges.
The track rejoins the junction with the descent to the horse track and Lizard Rock and retraces the relatively short ascent from there to Evans Lookout.

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 4.12.