• Distance 1.8km
  • Altitude max 1936m
  • Altitude min 1855m
  • Duration 1 hours
  • Trail type Return
Three Stars

Three Stars

Worth Doing

The Australian Hiker Experience Rating is a measure of the overall quality of a walk. It is intended to help you decide whether to walk a trail, not to measure anything objective. Consider this our personal take on the walk.

Grade Three

Grade Three

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

The Australian Hiker Difficulty Grading System is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Parking
Toilets
Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds
Showers

Mount Stilwell Lookout Walk NSW (1.8km)

NSW

Nearest Town

Charlotte Pass, NSW

Best Time of the Year to Travel

  • For newer hikers – November-late March
  • For experienced hikers who can cope with snow conditions and navigate off trail – year round

Starting Location

Charlotte Pass and the end of Kosciuszko Road

Four trail options start from this trailhead which means that it can be busy. I did this hike mid week and by the time I left there were 70 cars parked along the road. This is very busy on weekend, particularly long weekends

Start point for the Mount Stilwell Lookout Walk and the Mount Stilwell Summit Walk at Charlotte Pass. This trailhead is on the left hand side of the toilet block

Finish Location

Charlotte Pass and the end of Kosciuszko Road

The toilet facilities at the trailhead are excellent

Mount Stilwell Lookout Walk Review

I have been trying to walk Mount Stilwell for a couple of years now and for various reasons I just never made it. There are four walks available from. this trail head. Two walks on Mount Stilwell that share the same track. The shorter Lookout Walk and the longer Summit Walk, as well as the longer Mount Kosciuszko Summit Walk and the Main Range Walk. Which one you choose will depend on your level of fitness and the time you have available on the day. If you are walking with non-hikers then the Mount Stilwell Lookout Walk is well worth doing in its own right – it provides good views of Australia’s tallest mountains with minimal effort.

Both off the Mount Stilwell walks starts on the management road located on the left hand side of the toilet block at Charlotte Pass with an obvious sign in place. This first shorter walk is the Mount Stilwell Lookout Walk and is accessible to just about any hiker and non-hiker alike and while its worth doing in it’s own right it’s great for the non hikers in the family to get involved.

Almost immediately after you start the walk there is a signposted turn to the left. The trail itself is a narrow single file trail but is in very good condition and well maintained as it winds its way up the hill. As you wind your way up the well formed trail tread you are initially provided with views down into the valley to your left before coming across the old and disused ski lift infrastructure still in place on the right hand side of the trail.  Shortly after you go past this you will come across a small spur trail off to the right that takes you about 15 metres off trail to an unofficial lookout. This informal lookout is worthwhile doing and shortens the trail even further for the less fitter walkers.

Once you return to the main trail continue on up to the lookout platform which is a metal structure located to the right of the current ski lift. This platform includes interpretation material and looks towards Australia’s highest peaks. On the day I did this walk there were strong winds which are buffeting me which wasn’t unsurprising given the platform is located almost at the edge of the tree line.

I walked this track in the first couple of days of summer and there were still plenty of wildflowers out to keep people interested. The only animal life I saw was the occasional crow as well as insect life. Ignoring the Australian vegetation, the landscape reminded me of a walk that we did in Switzerland a number of years ago.

While I did come across other hikers on the day, the vast majority of people who visit this trailhead do the much longer and more demanding Kosciuszko Summit Walk or the Main Range Walk.

This walk was a real surprise for me and while its not overly long, it is well worth doing just for the landscape.

The trailhead to the summit of Mount Stilwell is just to the left of the toilet block

This trail starts with a 40 metre walk along management road before tuning left

Turn left here

This trail is very well maintained although it is definitely a single width trail

View to the summit of Mount Stilwell

View off trail. Most of this walk is within the tree line zone

From late spring to early summer there are always plants in flower

View to the valley on the left of the trail

Old ski lift infrastructure

 

Trail example

Hovea montana, commonly known as Alpine Hovea

A leaf beetle. The main wildlife you come across in this part of the park is bird and insect life

Spur trail turning right not far past the old ski lift

Spur trail view. While not a formal lookout it’s well worth the short detour to have a look

Apporoaching the lookout which is located just to the right of the ski lift

Mount Stilwell Lookout

Just some of the interpretation signage at the lookout

Panoramic image from the Mount Stilwell Lookout

insert summit video

Heading back down

Approaching the trailhead

Back to the trailhead

Back to the car park

Trail video

 

 

Trail video showing the walk from start to finish

Getting There

Travel to Jindabyne via Cooma and head towards Charlotte Pass. There is a park entry fee which you can pay as a day or annual pass at the visitor centre in Jindabyne or at the toll gates on nearing the park. The visitor centre  in Jindabyne opens at 8:30am most days but check the timings on the website just in case.

Follow Kosciuszko Road until it ends at the car park at Charlotte Pass. Long term parking is along the road but there is 20 minute parking which allows you time to offload gear if you need. If you want to avoid the crowds on busy weekends, start walking around 8:00am which will allow you time to get a good parking space

Entering Kosciuszko National Park

Park entry point. You will need an annual pass or will have to pay the daily park entry fee

Trail video

Things to Know

  • There is good phone signal on this track
  • You need to bring your own water. There are some locations to draw water on the trail but if doing so you should filter
  • The only set of toilets are at the trailhead
  • The March Flies can be ruthless from about mid November-mid March so wear long sleeves and long pants. They don’t care about insect repellent!
  • The Australia Day weekend in January is a very popular time for this walk. If you are planning on walking on this weekend start early to avoid big crowds (before 8:00am)
  • If you plan on camping, be aware of the restrictions regarding where you can camp
  • Come prepared for bad weather conditions and low temperatures even if its not forecast

Disclaimer

This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

Australian Hiker Newsletter

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