What to expect when Hiking Square Rock, Namadgi National Park, ACT
From the Square Rock/Smokers Gap car park ~ 11 km return, 3-4 hrs, Easy
Warning: Steep and sheer cliff drops
Square Rock walk is in Namadgi National Park, and boast spectacular views of the stunning Brindabella ranges. In the depths of winter, you can expect to see snow, turning this walk into a magnificent winter wonderland. In summer, this area becomes ruled by the wildlife so be sure to keep your eyes out for snakes as they are known to be prominent and territorial in this area.
How to get here: The hike begins at the Square Rock/Smokers Gap Car Park which is located just past Corin Forest snowfields, on the left-hand side as you drive into the National Park. Once you are in the car park head West to find the track as there are two hikes starting from this spot. This drive will take you approximately 60 minutes from Belconnen, Canberra.
What to expect: This is beautiful and relatively easy 11 km return hike. This distance is inclusive of rock hopping and exploring the side trails of the Orroral Valley lookout. The hike starts from the car park and undulates lightly, leading you up the mountain range towards the grasslands. There are some sections with rock and log steps but the path is predominantly dirt, rock and mesh to protect vegetation.
From the grasslands the path gently rises to your destination but has longer flat sections for easy walking. Be sure to check out the Orroral Valley Lookout which directs you left of the path from about the 1.5-2 km mark. This is about a 500 m diversion and worth looking at for the spectacular views of the valley. The vegetation can become overgrown so expect to brush passed branches along this side trip.
Square rock is approximately another 1 km from this side trip. When you arrive at your destination there is a metal ladder to climb up onto the rock. This ladder can become slippery in rain or snowfall so be careful when accessing. For the best opportunity to take in the amazing views we recommend climbing the large boulders to access the top of Square Rock. The top of the rock is flat and has ample room for you to sit up, enjoy your lunch and take in the amazing views.
Be cautious when exploring this area as there are sheer and steep cliff edges and crevasses. This area is to be enjoyed safely particularly for children.
To return back to your car simply return via the route which you came from or you can head down via Orroral Valley and along the Smokers Gap trail