Upper Bowens Creek South Canyon - track notes
The south branch of Bowens Creek has sections of canyon from high up in its headwaters, right down to the junction with the north branch. These notes describe the most commonly visited section of Bowens Creek South Canyon, the upper section.
If you want to avoid a 3km road walk, park a car near the start of the fire trail at Range Hill on the Bells Line of Road. The best spot is the open area on the side of the road about 200m E of start of the fire trail.
Then drive to Pierces Pass and park the other car at the top parking area. Walk N along the road to the top of the hill and then NE along the ridge. There is a reasonably well defined pad that keeps to the main ridge line. After a little over 1km the ridge starts to drop. At the pagodas there are a number of spots you can scramble to the right down into the creek. The easiest is the obvious gully you can see about 100m further on from the top of the first pagoda, getting into the creek at about MGA543842. Some creek walking and a bit of scrambling follows to a 10m drop. This can easily be traversed to the right, or abseiled if you feel like it. The canyon proper is reached shortly after.
The first drop is about 8m from tapes from one of a number of trees on the right. However, it can be also be slid in two stages by climbing down under the chockstone. Both drops are into about waist deep water. The anchor for the next drop is from tapes around a tree about 8m back. A long sling is required, otherwise the total drop is about 20m all up. The canyon narrows immediately. The junction with another canyon (Corkscrew Canyon according to Jamieson) coming in from the left is then reached. This is well worth a side trip to explore.
Continuing on there is a nice section of canyon, until it opens out into a lovely coachwood and sassafras forest. The creek meanders for some way before dropping through boulders and then into the bottom canyon section.
There are quite a few tricky scrambles and drops in this section, including one down a log. A rope can be used, although all of the drops can be climbed down or around. This section of canyon opens out a little at the junction with Range Ck (Hobnail Canyon according to Jamieson). It is a good side trip to see the bottom section of Hobnail Canyon. This section of canyon finishes a little way past the junction with the next creek on the left, Ferny Cave Creek.
Continue down the creek until you reach the next tributary coming in from the left. Opposite this you will see a steep bank, but climbable. There are logs at the bottom to help with the first section. Follow this up to the next major cliffline. Follow the cliffline around to the right past a waterfall, to a point where it bends sharply left into small gully. This can be climbed through a narrow hole. Go up to the next line of cliffs and right on a track. Scramble up the cliffs at an obvious point (the track stops traversing under the cliffs). A rope is often found hanging down here. Follow the track up the ridge to the fire trail. Follow the fire trail back to where you left the car, or walk back along Bells Line of Road.
Tom Brennan : firstname.lastname@example.org : updated 2010-11-08
© Tom Brennan : email@example.com : updated 2010-11-08