If there’s one thing we like to provide ourselves on here at The Hiking Society, it’s making the outdoors accessible for all in a number of ways including trails.
And this blog post is no different as we’re able to highlight a shorter version of the ever-popular walk in the Grampians National Park – The Pinnacle Circuit.
And whilst we have done the longer, near-on 10km version a number of times – including as part of our 2-day adventure – we reckon this one will be suited for those who are a fraction short on time but still want to see most of the highlights.
Now, the longer version of the Pinnacle Circuit typically starts from the back of the Halls Gap Caravan Park where most people start it.
However, if you are keen on this shorter version, we’d recommend taking the short 5-10 minute drive up to the Wonderland car park and starting it from there.
Beginning on the north side from the car park, you’ll find yourself heading uphill almost straight away but it’s a gradual uphill so no sharp ascents here, folks!
You’ll also find a sign that points you in the direction of the Venus Baths and the initial kilometre or so of the longer version.
It’ll also take you to the base of the Grand Canyon section; one of the many highlights of this walk, which will take you through this area and intersect the path you are taking anyway.
If you don’t go down this, you’ll still be able to see the Grand Canyon except you’ll approach it from the top.
I’d highly recommend taking 5-10 minutes to wander down and having a look through here. It’s such a picturesque section of the walk with photo opportunities galore.
Once you’re done here, double back to the previous intersection, turn left and keep on heading up as you make your way past the Cool Chamber.
As the name suggests, it’s a smallish cave that you’re able to get inside and sit around and ‘cool’ down.
When you’re outside of the chamber, be sure to take a moment to look up and take note of the rock formations above you. They really are incredible!
As you continue to slowly rise to the Pinnacle itself, you’ll come across Bridal Veil Falls, however, just prior to that there will be another junction where you can head right up a rocky flight of stairs.
Assuming you’re going in a clockwise direction to the top, you’ll arrive at this junction on the way back down a little while later.
If the Grand Canyon is one of my favourite sections of this walk, then Silent Street is my absolute favourite.
It’s a narrow corridor cutting its way through an incredibly high gorge which includes the usual rock formations that are associated with the Grampians.
The irony of its name is that people are usually so chatty when walking through such is the spectacular scenery of this section of the walk.
Once you’ve finished walking through Silent Street, you’re almost near the Pinnacle itself so use this as your marker.
As referenced at the start of this blog, the Pinnacle is an incredibly popular landmark in the Grampians National Park and therefore attracts plenty of people.
The best time to be up there, from our experience, is either early-to-mid morning or late afternoon somewhere around 4-5pm.
So, you won’t be without photo opportunities up there, however, it can be hard to get a decent photo if plenty of people are around.
Now, rather than heading north back into Halls Gap and down those dreaded grated stairs, find the path that takes you slightly east and onto a loop that takes you around a number of large rock formations and back to the junction just after Bridal Veil Falls that I spoke of before.
Once you’ve arrived back at this junction, take a left and continue heading back down the way you came and back to the Wonderland Car Park.
As mentioned at the start, this is a shorter version of the Pinnacle Circuit and still just as nice.
Apart from missing out on getting a decent view of Elephant Hide, Venus Baths and Splitter Falls (which I’ve never seen have a decent flow of water), you still get to see all the main highlights of the main Pinnacle Circuit by walking this shorter version.
And best of all, you miss out on those stairs I referenced before!
Also, there are ample car spots available at the Wonderland car park, but make sure you get there at a reasonable hour or you might find yourself without one.
I’d probably recommend this mostly to anyone who is short on time and wants to fit in something like Mackenzie Falls or Boroka Lookout as well during the day.
If you’ve got small children, and you’ve got the time, I’d say this one is doable for you as well. Plenty of parents take their kids up to the top and this is yet another reason why it’s one of the areas most popular walks.
As always, if you wish to follow the path we took for this version of the Pinnacle Circuit, you can do so here via Wikiloc.
The Stats – The Pinnacle Circuit: The Short Version
Length (km): 5.90kms (according to WikiLoc)
Time: 3hr 1min
Moving Time: 1hr 45mins
Difficulty: Easy-moderate (Grade 3)
Maximum Elevation: 720m
Accum. elev. uphill: 363m
Accum. elev. downhill: 363m
Return/Circuit/One Way: Circuit