Mount Abrupt to Piccaninny Circuit – Grampians Victoria

Hiked up to the cloud covered and wet summit Mount Abrupt in the Grampians. This is an out and back hike however I turned it into a loop by taking the new Grampian Peaks Trail towards Picaninny. This turned into a bit of an adventure with some rerouting off track as the Peaks trail is not yet completed!

The trail head is approximately 4kms from the Victoria Valley Rd intersection and about 7 km North of small town of Dunkeld which is the gateway to the Southern Grampians. The track is classified as Hard and starts with the steps up from Grampians Road.

Mount Abrupt Trail

Rising gradually as the track heads north toward nearby Signal Peak (780 metres). After a kilometre or so at the base of Mount Abrupt there is now a connecting track which heads North to Signal Peak. This forms part of the new Grampian Peaks Trail. Leaving the Signal Peak track for another day I turned left to the South West towards Mount Abrupt. The trail then gets steeper and follows an escarpment rim toward the Mount Abrupt Summit. It was not long before I was in the clouds and donning the wet weather gear.

Mount Abrupt Summit

The fog, rain and wind kept me company all the way to the summit. No views today from the escarpment or summit today. Fortunately I have done this Hike before with Trish about 10 years ago so know what the awesome view looks like.

Set up the camera for a quick photo at the summit. It was not that cold but the wind chill in the clouds with the strong wind was making my fingers go numb!

The trail to Mount Abrupt is a 6.8 km out and back hike. However just below the Mount Abrupt summit there is a new sign and the new Grampians Peaks Trail heading off to the Picaninny carpark at 4.8 km. This was an opportunity to turn this hike into a loop by taking the brand new Grampian Peaks Trail towards Picaninny. This seemed like a great way to get some extra distance, avoid retracing my steps and also check out part of the brand new Grampian Peaks Trail.

Grampians Peak Trail to Picaninny

The new tail follows the face of a cliff down through a misty forest with huge trees and mosses everywhere. This turned into a bit of an adventure with some rerouting off track as it turns out this part of the Grampians Peaks trail is not yet completed!

After negotiating 1000’s of steps down and emerging below the cloud I came across a couple of surveyors where the formed track ends. Had to use a knotted rope to get down this section.

Chatted to the surveyors and as I did not want to turn back and up the 1000’s of steps to Mount Abrupt one of the surveyors offered to guide me to the top of a difficult to find gulley they used to climb in here. This Gulley would take me down to the main road. There is also a new Peaks Trail hike in camping area being built here. Only pegs at present but it will be a great camp with great view.

What an amazing gully this turned out to be. Cliffs both sides and the most amazing hollows in the sandstone rock formations. Not the first to be here though as one of the formations has one engraving in the rock with names and dated 1897.

There were some steep slippery downhill sections where I wished I had hiking poles but nothing too difficult. A very enjoyable detour that will remain unmarked and seldom visited.

After about an hour emerged onto the Grampians Road and followed the road 2 or 3 km back to the car at the Mount Abrupt trailhead. Will be back soon to hike up to the top of Signal Peak.

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