Everyone has a favourite internet time wasting activity. For some, it’s watching videos of cats, pugs or sloths. For others, it’s swiping through strangers’ instagram accounts, being careful not to double tap. For me, it’s looking at photos of amazing hiking and adventure destinations that I can’t afford to visit. Rather than feel bad about the hours I spend ogling other people’s travel pics, I’m going to share my best finds with you on my Daydream List.
This week’s daydream destination is the Tiger Leaping Gorge Trek in the Yunnan province of China. This two day trek winds through Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the world’s deepest river canyons and is bordered by two towering peaks, Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
If snowcapped mountains, white water rapids and turquoise pool aren’t enough excitement for you, the final leg of the trek includes a 168-step climb up the Sky Ladder, which rests against the side of a mountain on an almost 90 degree angle. While the ladder doesn’t have any kind of safety measure, it does save you up to as much as an hour of extra walking.
While the natural wonder of the Tiger Leaping Gorge is undeniably incredible, what really makes me want to go is this toilet. Imagine that, after a long day of hiking you can sit down, relax and enjoy a beautiful view in peace. Ahhh, bliss.
A big walk up a big hill for a big view.
Distance: About 12 km
Where: Monadocks National Reserve. About a 1-hour drive from Perth.
Time: 5-6 hours.
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. Lengthy with a few steep bits.
Stuff you’ll need: Hat, sunscreen, snacks, water (2L minimum), sturdy enclosed shoes.
Why Do This
Walking up Mount Cooke is an opportunity to do a real hike. You know, the Boy Scout kind where you wear hiking boots, follow a map, and eat trail mix. Just kidding, there’s never a reason to eat trail mix.
Seriously though, this hike does take a least half a day to complete and will put your hill-climbing ability to the test. Don’t let that deter you though, because when you reach the top you’ll be rewarded with a truly impressive 360-degree view of the Darling Ranges and beyond.
Almost at the top.
Map & Directions
If you’re driving from Perth take Albany Highway to the Sullivan Rock picnic area (9km south of the Jarrahdale Rd turnoff). It’s actually quite tricky to find, as the nearby roads on google maps aren’t visible from the highway. So keep an eye out for the red Bibbulmum Track sign on the left and a bushy picnic area on the right side of the road.
- Ok, now cross the road (it’s on a bend so be careful) and follow the Bibbibulmun track sign. You’ll reach Sullivan’s Rock, a large rock home to many a lizard sunbaking.
- Walk up the rock and head to the left. You’ll see a thin path entering the bush.
- This is the track. From now on keep following the little yellow snake markers nailed to trees.
Follow this little guy.
- You’ll walk for about 1.5 hours through flat scrubby bush. (This is kind of boring but…. deal with it!)
- You’ll notice the surrounding bush will start changing to thicker and greener trees. This means you’re almost at the Mt Cooke campsite. Here you can take a break, eat a muesli bar and sign your name in the Bibbulmun track guest book inside that blue box.
- Now the uphill climb begins. Keep an eye out for the Monadocks – the giant pink and white circular boulders that the area is named after.
- You’ve reached the top! Ok, ok, so it’s not an obvious pointy mountaintop but there’s still awesome views. Take those photos and congratulate yourself for being a nature hero.
- Now walk back to the start, enjoying the fact that the downhill is so much easier.