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kedumba valley rd

Christoffa's picture

By Christoffa - Posted on 17 November 2009

I am wondering if anyone has riden kedumba valley rd, this is the track that goes right at Queen Victoria Hospital when you are on your way to Ando's.

From what I can tell it is quite ridable.


Rob's picture

From what I know this is SCA land and you're looking at a hefty fine if they catch you down there Sad

QuikStep's picture

I have not ridden down that far on Kedumba Valley Rd but after some Google Earth exploring I followed the fire trail down right through the catchment area to Warragamba dam it looks to be 70kms + or - 10%. I then rang the water catchment office in Penrith to inquire about getting permission to ride right through to Warragamba dam. The officer I spoke to said it was possible but construction on the dam wall would restrict access at the end of the ride. He also said that as I would be on a non-motorised bike that it should be no problem to just ride the road when its open. I dont think excuse would fly with anyone patrolling the area and I would apply for proper permission before riding it.
The work on the wall has now finished and I am keen to try it so time so if your keen to ride right through let me know.

The link to the access application is

Rob's picture

Doesn't sound likely:

Access will only be granted to individuals, companies or groups who can demonstrate that the activity:
• cannot be carried out elsewhere
• will provide some benefi t to the SCA management of the Special Areas
• will not adversely affect the SCA’s interests
• will not pose a security threat to the SCA’s infrastructure, water supply or Special Areas.

QuikStep's picture

Well it meets the first criteria, this ride could not happen anywhere else!
On the phone I was passed through a few people in the SCA office until I was apparently put onto the person who deals with applications for access to the road that leads from Kedumba Valley Rd to Warragamba he seemed to indicate that it would be fine as long as riders were not motorised, did not intend to leave the road and it was a one day ride. I had said that I planned to submit an application for 4-6 mountain bike riders to do the ride in one day and he said I would not need to, but as it has been said the fines are not worth risking without some form of permission to show roaming patrols.
It cant hurt to apply and see what happens if your keen.

marhleet's picture

would be down past the 'Bonanza' gates on the cliff edge.
I've walked to the first u-turn doing geo-caching, 2km walk.

the SCA guy sounds like he is confused as to which road you are planning.
the Kedumba Valley Rd goes right to the dam lake area west of McMahons Lookout
if he thinks you are going to the dam wall he might be thinking of the other locked gate east off Kings Tableland Rd south of Red Ridge that goes all the way to the dam wall. it's nice firetrail.

the SCA comment about riding the road when it's open is the giveaway, the road is never open. he's thinking of a different rd

Rob's picture

Well - it's an interesting option. You get the application and I'll be first to put the hand up for such a ride Smiling

marhleet's picture

too, but Kedumba Valley is like Bedford Ck and it's an out and back.
the other ride to the dam wall would be great, more like a Lake Woodford ride around the wall area, and would be a downhill blast Eye-wink

Andy Bloot's picture

Keeping the hospital on your left (duh)

This road leads to a locked gate with a no bikes sign (MTB included)
It has something about the water authority/ catchment - I don't remember

But I think it MAY also be that newbs might give it a go and kill themselves
It starts out nice enough
But after a right hand turn becomes VERY VERY steep
You would want to trust your brakes and bear right so you hit the wall rather than fly off the cliff if things do go awry
After the second locked gate, things level out

The roads seem to go on forever with branches leading to god knows where and it would be a good explore
From what I've seen of it, it is pretty standard fire trail, but you would get a work out - especially on the way back up
Take all your spares and plenty of water etc.

It's all nice and wide so you won't run into anyone
You may see a few walkers as off this road is the exit point for the Mount Solitary walk
Probably best to give it a miss on the weekend (assuming you get permission of course)

IMHO it will be easier for them to say no, but no harm in trying I guess
But the steepness of the road would have their alarm bells ringing at the thought of anyone attempting it on a bike

Gerry Atrique's picture

I believe it remains off limits to non-walkers. I understand that's based on the safety issue as contractor and SCA vehicles frequently use the road on weekdays. I have been strongly warned off when trying it out as a training ride.

Aside from the fairly zealous and potentially costly enforcement it's a pleasant enough loop WWF station-Kedumba Pass-Mt Solitary return, but the steep may be a bit too steep for some (me) to enjoy descending given the sharp turns, variable surface conditions and vehicular traffic. Pads deteriorate quickly when you're going quickly too. It can be enjoyed hiking if you have the time, and there is also some good wet abseiling down a creek just east of the pass. Not really a canyon but several good drops down a waterfall and huge scenery.

QuikStep's picture

Just got home and got my map out and notes, I was confused not SCA guy. I had Kings Tableland Rd and Kedumba mixed up. The SCA guy refered to the road that goes left off Kings Tableland Rd to Warraganba Dam wall as Watershed Rd 5 (could be 1 but notes not so clear!) so he knew what I was after. Maybe as the dam was was closed for construction at the time he was happy to let me think I would get access at a later date and told me it was fine, but try later. Maybe I was just talking to the work experience guy. I have just written his name down as John. When I work out a free weekend for a day out I will call again and see what the situation is.

This thread was on Kedumba Rd so sorry to hijack it, I have ridden down Kedumba Rd in the mid 90's on a "Suzico Wolf" it was rigid, 21 speed and v-brakes. All I remember is that is was scarily fast on the way down, I almost didnt make it round a couple of the hair pins and a long push back up. I was only 15 and growing up around there with no friends who road so use to ride some crazy rides on my own.

Flynny's picture

Depends on who you get through to at SCA

A lotof the guys and girls at the SCA are very nice and pro MTB. One or Two are not

marhleet's picture

well, that's the road I was mentioning.
Go past Anderson's left turn
go past the red ridge turn
it's the next turn, W5 from memory, that goes off SE
great fire trail, all downhill , well mostly, all the way to the dam wall

the mention about it being open later, maybe from the east side to access, but the WWF end would still be by application if at all.
it's the same $11,000 fine area being too close to the drinking water supply.
but if it was approved, yeeeeeehaaaa.

thing to think about, parking, and return trip.
the dam is not near Penrith.
anyone got a big truck to do the transfer in. I could drive.

Rob's picture

Going on those pictures from Dingo Gap Gallery it's smooth and safe enough:

marhleet's picture

It's the bit up before that at the first hairpin where your brake lines have already broken and there's a dodgy bit of armco between you and 300 meters of air.
Or the little sniggle off to the left that goes to clear air.

sort of the reasons why the old road at Wisemans Ferry is walking only, there be drops for the unwary.

and you still back on Kedumba Valley.
We've hijacked this thread over to W5 off of Kings Tableland ...

Andy Bloot's picture

But photos can be deceiving
It really is much much steeper than it looks
Many of the people on this site would/ could do it safely
But if your brakes give up it's into the wall or over the cliff
The guard rails shown in the photo end

Re the road to the dam
That's actually keeping the QV hospital on your right, so more straight ahead or left turn
Like someone said, it goes about 75k's to the Dam
I've gone as far as the look out and all legal (about 25k's)
It's OK for 4WD's to continue on to the dam
Not sure once you reach the dam itself or any turn offs on the way

marhleet's picture

only if you're Water Board
there's a smaller bonanza gate on the W5 road and the $11,000 no access sign
the road to McMahons only goes to the lookout, lotsa meters above the dam and even it has $11,000 no access signs on the little wombat trail behind the lookout. they're pretty full on with the no access

Andy Bloot's picture

I never notice signs
Unless they're billboard size
With pretty pictures

Brian's picture

I can confirm this although I am also guiltly of this. I think Lithgow is back that way Eye-wink Smiling

marhleet's picture

the other way follows south of Mt Solitary
prettty much just access to the power lines
and goes up the west side of Narrow Neck into Megalong Valley to Shipley and Blackheath

what I think we're trying to do is
so a tad over 50kms and i gave up at the end with the lack of tracks for some reason.
but that's all locked off once you leave the Tableland Rd near McMahons

and while they say "access should be fine, just fill in this form etc ...."

Schedule One areas
Schedule One refers to land immediately surrounding the water storages. In the Warragamba catchment, Schedule One land extends for a radius of three kilometres from the top of the stored water level in Lake Burragorang (which is formed by Warragamba Dam).

In the Blue Mountains, Woronora and Metropolitan catchments, Schedule One lands cover the entire catchments.

All access, either on foot or by vehicle, and including motorcycles, bicycles and horses, is prohibited in Schedule One land.

Access will only be granted to individuals, companies
or groups who can demonstrate that the activity:
• will provide some benefit to the SCA management of the Special Areas

so don't get your hopes up.

philberesford's picture
Access will only be granted to individuals, companies
or groups who can demonstrate that the activity:
• will provide some benefit to the SCA management of the Special Areas

Just a thought but couldn't you word it so that you'll be able to provide them with the location of obstacles and fallen trees that may prevent access to management and SES appliances?

marhleet's picture

that might just work.
a regular run looking for fallen trees, and motorcycle weilding nasties, all duly reported with photos. Eye-wink
as long as the group is kept small, a regular run would be nice, but back to the parking ...

bonaccordians's picture

My friend and I rode this track in the late 1980's from King Tablelands Rd. to the dam itself, crossed the dam... then rode the Oaks and Andersons backwards back to Wentworth Falls. A beautiful ride. We spent a couple of days doing it, camping and taking in the scenery. In fact, we did many rides in so called 'no go' catchment zones and only once were stopped by Waterboard guys in a ute behind Mt Solitary. Contrary to my expectations, they were incredibly nice to us. Didn't seem to mind at all that we were there. Just suggested we didn't camp in the no go zone. Of course, that WAS the last century and things have probably changed for the worse. I wonder though if they could really be bothered prosecuting some idiot on a bicycle!
Ride on!

red's picture

Instead of having to go across the wall at Warragamba Dam (which is unlikely to EVER be open again - bastards) you can continue on 3 or so km's to "Wallaby Knob" above the junction of Nepean & Warragamba rivers. When they were building the dam they put a road up the knob in for equipment to get to the western side after fording the Nepean downstream of Nortons Basin. I've done it 20 years ago, it's still there though doubtless overgrown.

These days it's not a simple ford across the river, & you'll probably need to swim gear over, but it is well doable - take a child's blow up swim ring perhaps. Cross the Nepean just downstream of the junction & the Nepean just upstream you can walk across easily at a few places. Then it's a simple ride up Nortons Basin Rd to Wallacia.

And SCA are still saying there's a review coming on re MTB access to Kedumba Valley.

beerhunter's picture


It is schedule 2 and schedule 1 restricted access areas. I know it well, as the officious SCA officer showed me the maps and regulations at about the time he took our names, and told us that these days they just don't allow people in there. We made his day, him being able to get out his book, poke out his gut, take our names and speak in officialese. I was tempted to point out that he weighed more then me and my bike combined, and that at 2.5 tonnes his landcruiser would cause more erosion in one trip than I would in twenty, but passed on that opportunity...

Kedumba pass is about 760 vertical over 10 km, and I at least felt pretty good about getting up in one go.That was about my 6th time in there, and 2nd time accosted. Its a great shame you are not allowed to ride, it as the loop to Katoomba and the end of narrowneck, then back up Kedumba is a classic.

That being said, the first time they catch you it will just be a letter (if you are nice) but after that they think about fining you. You can logic it out by spreading the $300 fine over two trips, and at $150 per trip it is not much more than some race entries. You can justify anything if you think about it Smiling

the Beerhunter

hathill's picture

I have heard the rumor that they are going to lift the level 2 restrictions here - not sure how accurate that may be. Time will tell.

Kingy's picture

Awesome trail fast the first bit is insane 70 kph stuff, white knuckles, down to the seweage treatment plant turn around ride back up.
I did it with a mate of mine once might have been Johnny Ulrich anyway when we got to the bottom the Sewarge blokes threw our pushys on the back of the ute and gave us a ride back up the good old days that was 1991

Good fun.

I once did the dam wall ride from Wenty out via Silverdaleback home to St Marys, you have to be a fit bastard if you want to do it though.

I think if we put it across in the right way we can get a guernsy might nee to keep it on the qt and get a hook up on the sly from the dam side, just need a bod to unlock the gate Eye-wink

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