Location: Mount Gunjin, Greenmount State Forest, Pickering Brook
Distance: 5.5km loop
Grade: 2 - Easy, with some incline
Trail Marker: Unmarked, download kml file below
Duration: 1 - 3 hours
Date climbed: 12th February 2018
Kml Trail File: Please click here.
With perfect hiking weather forecasted I made a last minute decision to climb mountain number 2. With only a few hours up my sleeve, (a common occurrence for me) I didn't want to stray too far from home so chose to tackle the smallest mountain in the Darling Range, Mount Gunjin which stands 399m above sea level.
Mount Gunjin lies within the Greenmount State Forest, and was the location of a Western Australian Forestry Department fire-watching tower. The fire tower and hut site are identified in the Kattamordo Heritage Trail pamphlet as being constructed in 1921.
I grabbed the info for this trail off the Walk GPS website. Please note: this is mostly an unmarked trail so recommend only if you have some previous bushwalking experience. It actually made up part of a much bigger walk trail, the 'Pickering Brook – Mt Gunjin Walk' but, as I was just focused on the mountain side of things I only did this component of the walk. Beginning at the northern section of their map, I parked and began my trek at the corner of Walter & Lockwood Roads in Bickley. The start of the walk follows the Munda Biddi Trail into state forest to the left of Lockwood Rd heading NNE. Such a beautiful trail to walk/ride through and my thoughts turned to my husband Munda Biddi journey as he had gone through this section back in January. Nice narrow track, pretty compact at this stage. I crossed over Gunjin Rd and then on to another mountain bike track, no longer on the Munda Biddi which takes a left turn at Gunjin Rd.
I was a little disappointed to come across what appears to be a local rubbish tip with sheets of asbestos, old furniture and general waste strewn everywhere, hardly surprising though given that there are so many vehicle access tracks throughout the area. I don't understand how people can dump their rubbish with a clear conscience.
Anyway from here you cross over the small forest road where the trail then climbs quite steeply over a distance of about 400m before reaching the SE of the Mount Gunjin summit clearing.
As you come out to the summit you will see a large clearing, this site was for the former Western Australian Forestry Department fire-watching tower, which had a few names including Mount Gunjin lookout tower.
The summit is also the drop off/pickup location for Kalamunda Mountain Bike Collective 'Steadyrack Shuttle' service and a rest stop for the many mountain bike riders utilizing the many many trails within the area. I was pretty amazed actually at just how many trails there were up there.
To continue on with the hike, you cross the summit and the notes said to head down Gunjin Rd downhill and then turn onto the Kalamunda Circuit Track however you don't actually go downhill, you literally cross the summit straight ahead to the yellow post and re-enter the forest to the left of Gunjin Rd going downhill. You really could follow any trail you wish as many of them link up but I jumped on the Goldilocks trail (see Blue Triangle on top of yellow post) which is the Kalamunda Circuit Trail. Please note: These are mountain bike trails and hikers must use with extreme caution as quite often you will not know a bike is coming down the trail until the last few seconds, they are super fast and super quiet so please pay attention or you just might find yourself having to dive out of the way.
I followed the Goldilocks Trail around to the 3 Bears/Muffin Tops sign. Gosh I wish I could ride, those trails looked very cool and apparently 'I ain't seen nothing' is what hubby said to me when I was describing them. Looks like some very fast downhill riding with awesome jumps, corners and ditches to navigate through. I did actually have a guy come flying up behind me, thankfully I was prepared so was already out of the way when he came through, probably scared him more haha
Once again at this point I think you could probably take either way but I stuck to the trail notes and took the right track along the 3 Bears trail. I had to skirt around a few mountain bike-jumps that were set up across the track, and continued on to meet the Munda Biddi Trail again which led me back down a forest trail to Gunjin Rd.
A few steep hills throughout this section and that wonderful deep pea gravel we all love so much about the Perth Hills haha
I came to a Y section of the track which has the Munda Biidi Trail sign right in the middle pointing upwards, I found this a little unclear whether it wanted me to take the right track up the 4wd style track or the left track through the Pine Forest, I checked out the map and both led to Gunjin Rd so chose to take the more scenic trail through the Pine Forest, which ends up on a 4wd track anyway but was nice to have cover for the short time I did.
When you come to the T Junction that is Gunjin Rd, turn right and head up the hill for about 450m.
Look out for the trail to re-enter the forest on the right following the Munda Biddi Trail back to where you started. I have always hated double backing on same trails but found some gorgeous wildlfowers I had not seen at the start.
Overall it was quite a nice forest walk, if you don't mind some 4wd tracks. The only down side is that it doesn't offer any views from the top but hopefully this post inspires you to get along and check it out, we would love to hear your thoughts on the trail. Please feel free to tag us in your adventures.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we walk, the traditional lands of the Whadjuk people & wish to acknowledge them as traditional owners paying respects to their Elders, past & present, and Elders from other communities who may be here today.