Cycle Sydney, Mountain Bike Ride, Butterbox Point to Mount Hay Trail

This 30km out and back ride follows well graded fire trails out to Butterbox Point and Mount Hay. The ride is entirely on good quality fire trails which are open to 4wd vehicles, so take care. Smooth trails and undulating terrain allows for fast cycling to be maintained for most of the ride, and provides fun, high speed descents and some leg testing climbs. On a clear day there are more views than you can poke a camera at with fantastic views to be had of the Wentworth Creek Gorge system and the stunning Grose Valley Gorge.

Terrain

Undulating fire trail. And you will need your climbing legs!

Traffic

Vehicle traffic, and other cyclists.

Access

From Sydney take the M4 then Great Western Highway. At Leura take the exit at Leura Mall to the left. Turn right crossing the highway and doubling back on Britain Street then turn left into Mt Hay Road and park when the road turns to dirt.

Food and Drink

No food or drink available at trail head, but nearby Leura is famous for its bakeries and mountain cuisine.

Side Trip

There are various walking trails at Butterbox Point, but an absolute must is a trip out along Lockley Track to Lockley Pylon where stunning views over Govetts Gorge near its junction with the Grose Valley can be seen. And for the really keen, follow it further down into the stunning Blue Gum Forest.

 

More Details

This ride takes the Mount Hay Road out to a fantastic lookout at Butterbox Point and Mount Hay. It is essentially an unsealed road and is open to vehicle traffic, primarily 4wds. Be sure to keep an eye out for vehicle traffic whilst out on the trail and ride within your limits. Being an unsealed road the trail surface is in good condition and provides little in the way of technical challenges making this ride suitable for all skill levels.

A reasonable amount of climbing is contained in the ride and it tends to be predominantly downhill on the way out and then a steady climb on the return leg. Riders with good fitness should have no troubles and this would make a great ride if you are looking to trade your skinny treads for something of the fat tyred variety.

Mount Hay would have to be one of the most prominent land marks in the area and is one of a number of basalt-capped mountains which make up some of the highest peaks in the Blue Mountains. Mount Hay is comprised of a cap of 15 million year old basalt which was once part of a continuous sheet. It has since eroded to leave a number of peaks including Mt Banks, Mt Wilson, and Mt Tomah. The open nature of the ride provides stunning views along most of the trail but like most Blue Mountains rides it saves the best until last and the view into the 600 metre deep Grose Valley is an absolute cracker!

For those looking to make a full day of it, a number of walking trails start from the end of Mount Hay Road. These lead to various views of Butterbox Point and a trail can be taken to the summit of Mount Hay itself. This ride is open to the elements and even in warmer weather strong winds and resulting wind chill can drop the temperature suddenly. Due to the exposed nature of the ride it is best suited to the shoulder seasons avoiding extremes of heat and cold. Weather can be variable in this part of the mountains and as such riders should be well prepared for all eventualities and carry the appropriate clothing. No water is available along the route so be sure to carry ample water and an energy snack for the ride. 

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Start ride at the end of Mt Hay Rd bitumen.
  • 0.4 Ignore Fernlea Rd on your left and continue straight.
  • 2.1 Gate at start of fire trail, note the information booth on your left.
  • 5.6 Intersection with Rocklilly Ridge walking trail, ignore this and continue on straight.
  • 6.5 Just before a downhill you reach a junction with Fortress Ridge fire trail to your left, continue on straight ahead.
  • 7.7 Junction with Lockley Pylon, Blue Gum forest walking trail, continue on straight.
  • 8.3 At a right hand bend in the trail you come to the Pinnacles rock formations.
  • 9.7 Junction with Urella Ridge fire trail on your right, ignore and continue on straight.
  • 13.2 Hurley Heights Trail on right, ignore and continue on straight.
  • 13.5 End of Mt Hay Rd at a small car park. If you wish to explore the area, walking trails lead from here to Butterbox Point and Mt Hay. Bikes will have to be left here or walked. When you are done simply retrace you steps back to the car.
  • 27.0 Ride finishes.
  • Trail map

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    Back

    25.465 km / 15.823 mi

    Total Distance

    459 m / 1,507 ft

    Total Ascent

    459 m / 1,505 ft

    Total Descent

    954 m / 3,129 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
    Fitness Level: High
    MTB Segment: flow
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Limited
    Estimated Distance: 27.0
    Elevation Gain: 1095
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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