Pippa and Abby have been hiking around Mt Bogong since they were kids. They’ve thrown together a guide to the mountain, so everyone can tackle this epic peak any which way they want.
Victoria’s majestic Mt Bogong is a must-see for those looking for challenging and rewarding high country hikes, cool secret spots, and historic huts.
Whether you’re approaching from the north, south, east or west, there are many ways of tackling the mountain, each with different levels of difficulty and accessibility.
The most easily accessible route up Mt Bogong is via the Staircase Spur. Whilst it’s a popular hike, it’s also commonly regarded as the most challenging ascent. The Staircase is famous for its seemingly endless undulations, steep pinches and spectacular rock formations.
The walk begins 2km up the Mountain Creek Road fire trail from Mountain Creek car park (access via Ryders Lane off the Kiewa Valley Highway). This is the only spur that doesn’t require 4WD access.
The track’s only 6km long, but don’t be fooled, it’ll probably be the longest 6km of your life. Best to allow 4 hours either way. This track is the most direct route to the summit and is ideal for day trips, although camping’s also possible at Bivouac Hut (more on this below).
Arguably the most beautiful of Mt Bogong’s many tracks, the Eskdale Spur allows you to experience the vegetation changing with the elevation, from sub-alpine forests to twisted snow gums, before reaching the Victorian High Country’s famous alpine tussock grasslands.
The Eskdale Spur is accessible via Trappers Gap Road and the Camp Creek Track. Although the condition of these logging tracks is generally good, a 4WD is needed to reach the Eskdale Spur track head at Camp Creek Gap. This spur offers the fastest winter access to the peak and Cleve Cole Hut.
At 4km long, this route is less taxing than the Staircase. It finishes at Eskdale Point, 500m from the summit, and a cruisy 4km from Cleve Cole Hut. However, this path is still not for the faint-hearted. Allow 3 hours to reach the top.
Granite Flat Spur
The short and sweet Granite Flat Spur is only 3.5km from the summit, but requires a challenging 4WD to access it. It features the most spectacular parts of the Eskdale Spur, at only a fraction of the distance!
This track takes you past the helipad and over the lofty Eskdale Spur ridge, with expansive gullies on either side and spectacular views of Hell Gap.
To access Granite Flat Spur, continue along Camp Creek Road from the start of the Eskdale Spur, until you reach a right turn at the winter gate, onto Granite Flat Spur Road. From here, drive another 3km until you reach the beginning of the walking track.
The aptly named Long Spur is the most time consuming way to get to Mt Bogong. It boasts 18.5km from track head to summit and 14km to Cleve Cole Hut.
Fortunately, this distance can be reduced by accessing the walk from the Mulhauser Spur which joins the track 7km away from Cleve Cole Hut on the northern side. This walk also connects Mt Bogong to the Victorian High Plains via the T-Spur and Mt Wills.
The Long Spur can be accessed with a 4WD from the Omeo Highway along the Log Road. Although not as steep as some of the more popular tracks, the Long Spur is poorly marked in places and lacks the magnificent mountain-top experience that makes Eskdale, Staircase and Granite Flat Spur so rewarding.
This track’s most useful for veteran Mt Bogong summiteers who are looking for a different approach to the mountain or access to Cleve Cole Hut in winter.
Visit Backcountry Huts
Mt Bogong has three backcountry huts available as emergency accommodation for hikers. They also make great lunch spots, campsites and are well worth a visit.
Cleve Cole Hut
Built in the memory of Cleve Cole who died on the mountain in 1936, this hut is widely regarded as one of the best in the Victorian High Country. Rumoured to be haunted, it has many luxurious amenities (by mountain hut standards) such as running water and mattresses.
This popular hut has a warm and homely vibe despite being one of the most remote in Victoria.
Located on the Eskdale Spur, this hut will look very familiar to those who’ve visited Federation Hut on Mt Feathertop. Both shelters, built by the Victorian Huts Association, offer comfortable (but cold) accommodation in magnificent locations.
Affectionately referred to as ‘Bivo’, this rudimentary hut is allegedly halfway up the Staircase Spur (although it feels a lifetime away from the bottom). It’s surrounded by a large (but not very flat) campground, and in all honesty, it’s best suited for lunch breaks and emergency camps.
Mt Bogong Secret Spots
Rocking Stone Saddle
Just 50m off the track between Eskdale Point and Cleve Cole Hut (look out for a snow pole saying ‘Rocking Stone’) sits a rock inside of another rock. It might not sound that exciting but we think it’s pretty cool. See if you can get the little rock out of the big one, it’s possible, but not for those in a rush!
Located 1.7 km down the hill from Cleve Cole Hut, Howmans Falls is a beautiful landmark worth a visit for those staying on the mountain. Have a dip if you’re feeling brave.
For those looking to add a little bit of spice into their staircase experience, the Peppermint Walk offers an alternative to drudging along the Mountain Creek Road fire trail. Featuring gorgeous creek crossings and towering tree ferns, it adds an additional 1km to your staircase round trip.
Winter Gate Closure
From around the Queen’s birthday weekend until the Melbourne Cup, the winter gate at Granite Flat Spur is closed, stopping car access to the track.
Located roughly 3km before the trailhead, it can be kept closed for extended periods as a result of early or late snowfall. It’s worth giving Parks Victoria a call if you think this may be the case.
Mt Bogong Club
The Mt Bogong Club is a community of avid skiers and hikers who are passionate about Mt Bogong. Based in Cleve Cole Hut, members maintain the hut and trails in conjunction with Parks Victoria.
For more information about membership and access to the members quarters, visit their website. They have their annual working bee at Cleve Cole Hut on the Anzac Day long weekend every year, so don’t bother trying to stay that weekend. It’ll just be filled with smelly hikers.
Essential Gear (Summer)
- Common sense
- An up-to-date weather forecast
- Runners or hiking boots
- Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, long-sleeved clothing)
- Gaiters or long pants (snake protection)
- Plenty of water (depending on the track you take, 2-3L per person)
- Energy-rich food
- Non-cotton jumper (the weather can turn suddenly)
- Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar)
- First aid kit
- Parks Victoria also recommends bringing a map and compass
- PLB – There’s only reliable reception on the top of the mountain, so consider bringing a personal beacon
How To Get There
The most direct access to Mt Bogong’s most popular tracks (Staircase, Eskdale and Granite Flat Spur) is via Tawonga in the Kiewa Valley.
Other tracks such as the Long and Mulhauser spurs can be reached from the Omeo Highway.
T-Spur and Quartz Ridge link up with other walking tracks that lead onto the Bogong High Plains.
Written in collab with Abby Vogelsang