If you’re a busy bee but itching for a dose of the outdoors, Lockley’s Pylon is the perfect remedy. You can squeeze this sunrise hike into your weekend and still get back to Sydney before anyone notices you’ve gone.
- Incredible sunrise coffee spot!
- 360 degree views of plateaus, cliffs and valleys
- No one else around! (at sunrise anyway)
One Last Adventure
My favourite adventure buddy was moving overseas in two days, but wouldn’t leave without one final hike.
With a tonne of last-minute packing, life admin and goodbyes scheduled for the weekend, we packed into the van on Friday evening and drove out to the mountains for a sneaky mountain fix.
You’ll find Lockley’s Pylon a quick two hour dash from Sydney, in the Blue Mountains National Park. Fun fact – its name is attributed to Journalist John G Lockley, who was an advocate for protecting the Blue Gum Forest from logging in the 1930s. Cheers Johnno!
Finding the trailhead car park proved a bit difficult for us in the dark (though in the daylight it looks pretty simple), so I’d recommend saving your map for offline use before you lose phone signal. With hopes of catching first-light at the Pylon, we set our alarms for 5.00 am and called it a night.
Snoozing a little too long, we’d dressed (Brooke kept her PJ thermal bottoms on), packed the coffee supplies and were on the trail by 6.00 am. Even in the almost-dark, the track from the end of the car park was well-formed and easy for our tired eyes to follow.
Sunrise From Lockleys Pylon
Keeping sight of the small peak of Lockleys Pylon in the distance we continued left uphill, passing a rocky formation (the Pinnacles) on the right. Undulating through mostly low forest and grass, we dropped into a sandy saddle before entering the trees atop Mt Stead and emerged towards the sign-posted foot of Lockleys Pylon.
Climbing the wooden stairs, we made it to the peak within minutes of sunrise. From here, the views down and across Govetts Gorge and Fortress Creek are spectacular. We brewed up a quick coffee and took in the golden sunlight creeping over the Blue Mountains’ silhouette and into the frosty Grose Valley.
Heading back to the car park in the daylight brought our attention to some of the beautiful wildflowers along the trail, and sweeping views in every direction that we’d missed in the dark.
The return hike took less than two hours, and we were back in Sydney by 10:30am.
- Warm/windproof jacket (the trail is exposed)
- Coffee brew / supplies
- Trainers or hiking boots
- Offline map (limited signal)
How To Get There
Follow Mount Hay Road for approx 9km until you get to the Fortress Ridge Trail – turn right here to continue on Mount Hay Road for another 1.3km until you see the small trailhead car park on your left.
- Sunrise coffee!
Distance Covered / Time Taken
~ 7km / 2.5hr
Feature photo by @thetantrap