Hancock Gorge (with Kermits Pool), Karijini NP
For the fit and adventurous the Hancock Gorge Trail is one of the most spectacular short trails in Western Australia. Whilst it’s a short 400 metres return, suggested time to take on this trail is 80 minutes which gives a clue to its Class 5 level.
About the Trail
From the trailhead, this challenging hike starts easily enough to the edge of the gorge. You then decend a series of solid metal ladders to the gorge floor.
From there you wade through cold pools, negotiate rock ledges on the gorge walls and clamber through stony creek beds. Along the way, the steep gorge walls are imposing and there are amazing colours and textures in the finer detail.
The gorge soon dramatically narrows and that is where the really tricky part of the Class 5 section comes into play. To continue you need a degree of flexibility and nerve by doing what is called the "spider walk" (where you stretch your arms and legs out to straddle the gap and move along the walls) . After getting through that, it's only a matter of metres before coming to a roped off section, the end of the trail. The gorge continues on, but it is simply too dangerous.
The view of Kermits Pool from here is wonderful. A good idea for your feet are reef shoes. They have a better grip than hiking boots and make wading through water better than bare feet.