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At a Glance
Might be easy for some, but the steepness and therefore both up and down are a task.
Corner of Glenraphael Dr and Cliff Dr, Katoomba.
Narrow Neck is possibly the most scenic ride you may come across which definitely makes it worth the effort even though it is all fire trail.
The start from the asphalt to the gate descends 100m in altitude in less than a 1km and then you got a nice and hard 100m climb back up. There is a section that is very steep that is concreted guaranteed to use up 40% of your total energy. This whole bit to the gate can be driven, but the descents are fun and locally it is considered cheating to not ride it. If riding it however, keep an eye out for cars and minibuses.
After the gate the track consists of undulating fire trail in beautiful scenery. These undulations however are very large, so while they are all rideable they do test ones fitness. Some of the descents are fast and water barred, however they are legendary for messing people up especially the really steep decent to the "narrow neck" itself. On weekends you see a lot of bloodey knees where people have become a little too excited. After the "narrow neck" to the fire tower it is fast and the undulations are much smaller.
The section after the fire tower is the best bit as this section hasn't been graded in years so is quite overgrown, not single track, but certainly not wide fire trail. It is also largely a descent except for one climb (that is easier than it looks) and ends up on shale covered double track guaranteed to flick large sharp stones up onto your new bike. It takes maybe 10minutes from the fire tower to the lookout at the end but this section is a real hoot!
Returning is quite a climb out, but you have some good excuses to stop and look and the jaw dropping scenery you ignored on the way out. Once back at the fire tower it stops climbing and becomes undulating again. Slowly you get more tired as you work your way out and may have to walk up the one very steep section around the "narrow neck".
Best time to ride it is just after dawn on a clear winters morning if you can deal with the sub zero temperatures. The ground can be frozen and the valleys filled with cloud. If you are very lucky you may get the phantom falls of cloud from the Megalong Valley into the Jameson Valley. Weekends have the largest number of riders if you don't want to be out there by yourself as there is no mobile coverage for most of it.
So a long and exhausting ride but very good for fitness and for just enjoying going somewhere special on a bike.
There is a toilet block near the end at the Fire Lookout Tower.
|Narrow Neck Plateau||5 years 24 weeks ago|