When visiting the Australian Red Center, people always focus on Uluru. Kings Canyon is lesser known but as amazing. You can walk along narrow gorges, surrounded by crazy red rock domes and formations. In this article I give you planning tips, tell you about the difficulty of the walk and share my pictures.
INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Kings Canyon
Located in the Watarrka National Park, the Kings Canyon has 100 meter high walls. It is a place of significance for the aboriginals and walking off the paths is not allowed.
TIPS FOR TRAVEL PLANNING ADDICTS
Getting to Kings canyon
- In the Red Center, in the middle of Australia
- North of Uluru - 3 hours drive along Lasseter HighWay and Luritja Road
- South West of Alice Springs, 325km
Visiting Kings Canyon
- Canyon walk: 5.5km - 3 to 4 Hours return + if you get down into the Garden of Eden - the path is marked on the stones
- Kings Creek Walk: 0.5km - 30min one way
- Walk is on unenven surfaces and it get slippery if it rains
- Start early before it gets too hot
- No facilities along the way
- Mix of walking on rocks, built path and stairs
- The Australian Geographic has a detailed article with the various sections of the walk but without pictures
- And if you have kids, Caz and Craig from yTravelBlog share their experience of doing the Kings Canyon Rim walk with their kids
Difficulty of the Kings Canyon Rim Hike
This hike is not an easy hike. It can be done only one way and starts with the "heart attack hill". It is a very steep path to reach to top of the canyon that will discourage those who would have difficulty doing the whole walk.
When I did this walk including the descent to the Garden of Eden (and then of course the climb back up) I was obsese (as per my IMC). And I did it! But I must admit that I thought I would not be able to finish the last half hour. My feet were burning and my knees were collpasing under me.
The heart attack hill is very impressive from the bottom but I am telling you it is manageable and so worth it! I was so proud when I go there. Just take your time.
The only people I would not recommend trying is those with knee problems.
One last comment about the difficulty of the walk. It does not rain often, but I was 'lucky' to do this walk when it was raining. If this is your case too, be careful! The rocks get slippery.
The Kings Canyon Walk in photos
And finally, here are some pictures of this amazing walks, the domes, the rocks, the layers...
Garden of Eden
On the way you can take a side trip to get down in the canyon to the Gadern of Eden. It is a cool pool with trees and high sandstone walls. People swim in it, however it is recommended not too as it is the only waterhole for miles for most of the wildlife.
These are the stairs to get down and up. I forgot how many steps, but a lot!
And once back up,n there is the view. Amazing isn't it?
Then you leave the Kings Canyon itself and acces another gorge with the Kestrel Falls. You will be lucky to see it only after rainfalls. Be careful not to get too close to the rim. Some people have died, especially trying to take a special pictures which look like they are holding on to the edge. Please be reasonnable!
Then you start descending to the carpark via stone steps.
Have you done a hike under the rain and loved it?
This looks like such a cool hike!
Claire Robinson says
Hi Rebecca. It is actually one my favorite hikes so far.