How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll?

Bluff Knoll

How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll, the highest peak in the Stirling Ranges? The Bluff Knoll trail is a 6km return hike from the carpark. It’s a half day hike, with most hikers completing the return trail in 3-4 hours.

However, this is just a guide. How long it takes to climb Bluff Knoll can vary dependent upon the weather conditions and your level of fitness.

You may also be interested in the Best time to climb Bluff Knoll.

Getting there

Bluff Knoll is the highest peak in a mountain range in the Stirling Ranges National Park, located 337km / 4-5 hour drive south east of Perth, a 4-5 hour drive or 95km / 45min-1hour drive north of Albany.

The carpark at the base of the trail is on Bluff Knoll drive off Chester Pass road and can be accessed with a 2WD vehicle.

How much does it cost to climb Bluff knoll

Hiking the Bluff Knoll trail is free, but the entrance fee to enter the Stirling Ranges National Park is $17 (correct in 2024).

Difficulty

How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll and how challenging is it? Bluff Knoll is a Category 4 / moderately difficult trail and is recommended for those with previous hiking experience. The summit of Bluff Knoll is 1098m above sea level. Weather can be unpredictable and change suddenly which affects trail conditions. Note that the weather conditions at the car park are not a reliable indicator of the conditions on the trail.

How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll? 3-4 hours return trek.

Mist moving around Mountains

The Aboriginal name for the Stirling Ranges is ‘Koi Kyenunu-ruff’ which translates to ‘mist moving around the mountains’. While the summit of Bluff Knoll can offer the most spectacular views in WA, there’s also a chance your view may be obscured. The weather at Bluff Knoll is unpredictable so there’s no guarantee you’ll get the panoramic view you may be expecting, but despite that, I encourage everyone to experience Bluff Knoll in all seasons. In saying that, I have some caveats.

When to go

Avoid the hike on very hot Summer days or in stormy weather. If you choose to attempt the hike in Summer, bring more water than you think you’ll need as there are no reliable water sources on the trail.

In Winter, bring plenty of warm clothing. Bluff Knoll is the only place in Western Australia where you can experience alpine conditions. Once or twice a year it snows, attracting many visitors.

Spring is the best time to climb Bluff Knoll as the wildflowers are in bloom, many of which are unique to the region. The temperature is usually moderate this time of year which makes for a more comfortable hike.

What to bring

Bluff knoll summit view Atlas Introspective

Bring some trail food and 2-3 litres of water per person. Wear sensible hiking clothes including sturdy boots, warm clothing and a hat, and don’t forget sunscreen and a rain jacket.

Can you climb Bluff Knoll in the rain?

You can climb Bluff Knoll at any time of year. However avoid hiking in very stormy weather. The trail is slippery when wet and strong winds can be dangerous in exposed sections of the trail.

How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll in wet weather? It rained pretty heavily the second time I hiked Bluff Knoll and it took a little longer than during dry conditions. Be aware that when it’s cloudy your view can be hampered throughout the trail, not just at the summit. So you may find the hike takes longer, due to difficulties with visibility and the need to be more cautious near cliff edges.

Risks on the trail

Aim to hike Bluff Knoll in the early morning or afternoon and avoid the midday heat. Take note of sunset before you set out, as the risks increase when hiking after dark.

The trail has some sections with sheer drop offs and in 2019 two hikers fell to their death. Strong winds and rain can change the trail conditions. It’s important to mentally prepare for this and don’t stand too close to the edge. Even seasoned hikers can get caught out by sudden weather changes.

Facilities

There is a toilet at the carpark, but once you’re on the trail there are no facilities. Respect the environment. Carry rubbish out of the National Park and ensure any bathroom waste is buried.

How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll for children & young people?

Children and young people can climb Bluff Knoll. But take note that this is a Category 4 hiking trail Ensure all hikers in your group have a decent level of fitness and previous hiking experience. Use your discretion as you know your children best. Bluff Knoll is essentially one long staircase. Allow for a longer trek time to accommodate shorter legs.

How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll & Where to stay

Bakers knob from the ground Atlas Introspective

How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll and what else should you do in the area? While you’re in the Stirling Ranges, nearby Stirling Range Retreat offers a range of accommodation options and can be a great place to stay before or after your hike. For a fee, day visitors can also access the facilities if you want to take a shower.

The Stirling Ranges Ridge Walk

How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll and are there other hikes in the area? So you’ve climbed Bluff Knoll and now you’ve caught the hiking bug. What’s next? Read on to find out what you need to know about thru-hiking the Stirling Ranges Ridge Walk. A 3 day hike starting (or ending) at Bluff Knoll.

Close up view from Ellen Peak Atlas Introspective

How long does it take to climb Bluff Knoll- While you’re in Western Australia you may also enjoy the Cape to Cape walk.