An amazing special little gem trail hidden in the Millstream-Chichester National Park, North-West WA. One of WA’s Trails ‘Top Trails’ but very little information on it. From what little I had read, I was expecting an overgrown hard to follow trail. Which was not the case. It has been beautifully maintained. I hiked this trail 3rd of July 2021 starting at Mount Herbert carpark, going to the summit as you must do, it is a short steep scramble to the top then return down to join the Camel Trail to Python Pool – 8kms one way. Trail moderate level, while the ascents are not too steep or high, the trail ground consists of loose rocks, pebbles and wildflowers growing up in the middle of paths. You do need to be aware of where you place your feet as it is easy to stumble, trip or roll an ankle in places. Signage – very good triangle markers with a camel symbol though I missed one turn off early in the walk, fumbling through overgrowth and big rocks before discovering the trail continued above me.
The raw beauty of the Pilbara landscape is one to stay forever in your memory, the green spinifex hills, the chocolate coloured big Chichester rocks, red dirt trail and large numbers of small wildflowers dotting the landscape with colours of purple, red and yellow, beautiful snappy gum trees and large termite mounds in sporadic places. One huge plant of Sturt Desert Pea covered right across the trail in one spot. It was just spectacular. It is ideal to start early even in Winter ( you should not attempt hiking in summer unless you hike in the dark early morning ), temperatures still go up in Winter and it is vital to carry ample amounts of water, wear protective long clothes from the sun and sharp bushes especially spinifex! Sunscreen and hat. I recommend to start at Mount Herbert if going one way so you can cool off afterwards at Python Pool! It is also more down hill this way.
About just over 2kms along you reach McKenzie Springs, a spot where the cameleers use to take their camels to collect water. At the time of my hike, the springs had quite a bit of water, a small trickle over the side, no raging waterfall, but huge amount of water above where you had to cross over. I would imagine the springs would be fairly dry most of the year and not ideal for swimming in as it is mostly stagnant water.
There is plaques along the way with information on this 1988 bicentennial trail. The views are incredible the whole way through, there was definitely no ‘boring’ part to the trail. I loved every minute spent out there, soaking up the views of the Chichester ranges on little wooden seats placed along the way. From McKenzie Springs to Python Pool, you follow some of the old camel route. There’s a last long rocky descent to Python Pool, where I caught up with Hubby playing with his drone. The hike took me 3.5hrs due to stopping often to take photos and admire everything. The gusty winds kept me cool but the last hour I could feel it getting hotter and uncomfortable. The swim at the amazing Python Pool was just the icing on the cake. The drive out there is also incredible if you don’t want to hike or you can hike part-way return as an option.
stunning, just stunning, and would be up top on my favourite walks list. I was blown away by this trail and have to make mention as it is overshadowed by other great walks but deserves a mention just as much. Definitely a Top Trails and one not to be missed if you are going through the area.